Since they burst onto the scene, the Ball family has been in the spotlight. Lonzo Ball went second overall to the Los Angeles Lakers in 2017, keeping him close to home. LaMelo was chosen by the Hornets in 2020, while middle brother LiAngelo continues to pave his own way into the NBA. Of course, we can’t forget father LaVar and his wife Tina for their great parenting.
Fast forward to today, and oldest brother Lonzo currently plays for the Bulls while LaMelo continues to show signs of being a superstar in this league with Charlotte. LiAngelo made appearances in the Drew League and Summer League, putting up great stat lines when given minutes on the floor.
As we all know, there is no place like home, and LaVar has stated in the past all three of his sons will be on the Lakers at some point in their careers. Let’s face it: the Lakers are still in a complete mess roster-wise despite their free-agent additions this offseason.
Simply put, here’s the master plan to get at least two members of the Ball family onto the Lakers.
Step One (And Probably the Easiest One): Sign LiAngelo
If there’s one word I can use to describe the way the NBA has treated “Gelo”, it’s disrespectful. When given time on the court, it’s no question he can be very effective for his team. Here are some examples:
LiAngelo Ball in the Drew League yesterday…— DKM 🏀⚽️ (@DKM_Sports) July 25, 2022
5 rebounds pic.twitter.com/u74wQrprCd
Only playing in three Summer League games, Ball put up a measly six points per game average. Not screaming league-ready, right? Let’s dive into what he did during his time in the G-League last year.
Appearing in 28 games, LiAngelo still hovered around the 13 minutes/game range. He averaged almost five points per game but was fifth on the team in three-point percentage. Looking deeply into his box scores, he only surpassed twenty minutes twice. His best game was when he was on the court for 24 minutes scoring 12 points on four of eight from the three-point line.
It’s clear he loves shooting from beyond the arc; given time, he will continue to become deadly from deep. There are still question marks when it comes to his defensive skills, but from watching him in Drew League games, his playmaking has improved drastically.
With the team in need of shooting, Lakers GM Rob Pelinka should pull the trigger on giving Gelo a guaranteed contract to help this team. Bringing him off the bench will provide a spark for this team offensively.
Step Two: Bringing Zo Back Home
Here’s where things get more difficult. The Chicago Bulls brought the eldest Ball Brother to their franchise in hopes that he will be their franchise point guard for years to come. His debut season with Chicago saw him average 13 points/game while improving his three-point percentage to 42 percent. Of course, we can’t forget about his ability to find his teammates, leading him to average almost six assists a game.
Also, he continues to make an impact on the defensive end. His 1.8 steals/game was good for the fifth best in the league. Unfortunately, he only played 35 games as his season was cut short due to a knee injury.
Let’s slow down for a second. Why would the Chicago Bulls move on from their point guard after one season? More importantly, why would the Lakers pull the trigger on a player who has struggled with injuries since his career began?
Los Angeles is already struggling to find a point guard that will work well with LeBron James. Russell Westbrook struggled to gel with the King after he was brought in by the franchise last offseason. Kendrick Nunn didn’t even step foot on the court. Kyrie Irving has reportedly stated he wants to play in Brooklyn with or without Kevin Durant.
As for Chicago, they are filled with guards. Coby White, Ayo Dosunmu, and Alex Caruso have played point guard for the team in the past. Don’t forget about the team’s signing of Goran Dragic, who brings veteran leadership to the team.
So, how can both sides make this work?
At first glance, this trade seems completely one-sided. I don’t blame you, as the Lakers would be giving up an All-Star player who is a complete star when healthy. Then, there’s Anthony Davis.
All jokes aside, Davis has battled with injuries of his own recently. After playing 62 games during his first season with the Lakers, he has only appeared in a total of 76 games during the past two years. The team cannot continue to waste LeBron’s time with them, and not having Davis on the court consistently hurts their chances at a championship.
On the court, it is no question Davis makes a big impact on the defensive end. But, Lonzo can do the same at the guard position. Receiving Nikola Vučević helps ease the pain, as he helps space the floor for a team that needs to clear the paint for LeBron. Though not the defensive player Davis is, he did average a block and a steal for Chicago last season.
When on the court, Lonzo provides playmaking and three-point shooting for the Lakers. After all, the team had the eighth-worst percentage from beyond the arc. Ball and Vučević will provide an immediate impact in that department.
In the end, Los Angeles brings home the hometown kid who finally solves their point guard issue. Oh, and he’s still 24 years old.
LiAngelo and Lonzo bring a specific skill set to the Purple & Gold, and it’ll be interesting to see how this could work out. Realistically, this plan to bring the Ball family to LA may never come to fruition in the near future. But, it’s nice to imagine the possibilities. Who knows, maybe there is a way LaMelo can join the Lakers too?