Lonzo Ball says he'd rather be drafted by the Lakers than be the #1 pick

In the latest edition of "Things said by the Ball family" the man himself Lonzo Ball said on ESPN's SportsNation that he'd rather be selected by the Lakers than be the #1 pick in the draft this summer:

As of this writing if the bottom of the NBA standings remain the Lakers would hold the 3rd best odds at making the 1st overall selection in this years draft, and although it's no certainty that Ball would be their pick it's pretty much universally assumed that Lakers GM Magic Johnson would select him given the opportunity. Ball's ties to the Los Angeles area and pass-first mentality seem to much of a slam dunk to intrigue Johnson.

The funniest part of this to me is that even though both Lonzo and his crazy dad Lavar Ball have both stated a preference to the Lakers, but they're both also on the record as saying any team would be making a bad decision selecting the consensus #1 prospect Markelle Fultz over Ball come draft day.

Lonzo via ESPN radio in LA:

“Markelle’s a great player, but I feel I’m better than him. I think I can lead a team better than him. Obviously he’s a great scorer — he’s a great player, so I’m not taking that away from him.”

And Lavar on TMZ Sports:

“If you got a kid that makes everybody better, you mean to tell me you wouldn’t take him over a guy that’s averaging 40 points but the team’s losing? If you want a winner, you pick my boy. …
“Look what he did to UCLA. They 15-17 last year. You bring one dude and change the culture that’s what you want, it’s not Lonzo’s passing and shooting that’s his great gift, it’s the winning.”

So essentially the mixed message is here is: 'Lonzo is the best player in the draft, but don't pick him if you're not LA because we'd rather he plays there.'

Obviously I don't have an issue with Lonzo and the family saying they think he's the best player in the draft. Confidence is key, and no one should cede what they believe to be true; however, you can't say I am the best player but I'd prefer you don't pick me first if you aren't the Lakers. Actually he can say whatever he wants he's just gonna look like a jackass if he ends up somewhere else, which is more likely the case than not.

If the current standings hold the Lakers have a 46.9% chance of landing a top three selection in the draft via the lottery, but if they don't land in the top 3 spots they lose their pick to the Philadelphia 76ers as they owe them a pick from a previous trade and that pick is only top 3 protected this year. That's not even factoring in that any team selecting before them may draft Ball despite the efforts of him and his family to try and dissuade other potential suitors from selecting him before Los Angeles.

My hope is that the Lakers fall out of the top 3 and lose their pick to Philly for two reasons:

1. I strongly dislike the Lakers and hope their tanking this year was for naught.

2. I can't wait to see Ball switch gears so fast about where he wants to play when the Lakers are no longer an option.

Related: Can the media please stop putting a microphone in front of Lonzo Ball's father?

Photo Credit - CBSsports.com

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