The Los Angeles Lakers will take a point guard with the No. 2 pick in the draft and there is only one man for the job.
That man is not the hometown kid, Lonzo Ball.
That man is De’Aaron Fox, point guard, from the University of Kentucky.
Let me tell you why Magic Johnson’s decision is an easy one (in my completely unbiased opinion)…
De’Aaron Fox isn’t that bad of a shooter.
Sure, to start his freshman campaign at Kentucky, De’Aaron Fox was one of the worst three-point-shooting guards ever (although not even the worst in his own starting five), which is why he’s not projected above Lonzo Ball. But by the end of the year, Fox’s stroke — which always looked the part without getting the results — improved immensely. By season’s end, he was shooting about as well as anyone could want from a speedy, drive-first point guard. He entered the NCAA tournament having gone 7-for-12 in his last six SEC games, showing a massive improvement from earlier in the year when he couldn’t get his outside shot to fall.
From the foul line, Fox was good at 74 percent on the season and even better in the clutch, while Lonzo Ball shot 67 percent over at UCLA.
The Lakers like to run.
The Lakers like to get it and go in transition, and there isn’t a better guard in the draft who can play at that tempo. No incoming prospect is faster with the ball than De’Aaron Fox and there aren’t many guys who are already in the league that can run with him. If Luke Walton wants to push it, Fox and De’Angelo Russell make a backcourt that can really push it.
To be fair, Lonzo Ball is also very good in transition — it’s his biggest strength — but give me the blazing speed that can’t be taught over Ball’s court vision and unselfishness. Like John Wall, Fox can figure that out as he goes.
Lonzo Ball can’t guard me.
He can’t guard you. He can’t guard the person sitting next to you or anyone else reading this. We know he can’t guard De’Aaron Fox and I’m not sure he can guard anyone else in the NBA on the ball. He will get pick-and-roll’d and ISO’d to death at the next level, where, unlike the college game, you can’t hide your defensive inefficiencies. 99 percent of the guys Ball will be matched up with in the NBA are going to blow right past him. Set a screen and it’s a free basket.
Lonzo Ball’s shot is broke.
It’s tough to criticize Ball’s shot because it goes in, but it’s also tough to see him getting as many off in the NBA with that broke-ass form. If he’s open, yeah, it’s a good shot. But what if there are five seconds on the shot clock and he has to get one off over the longer, quicker, better defenders in the league? Not a prayer. He can’t get that shot over a flat-footed Isaiah Thomas with his hands in his pockets.
Lonzo Ball’s shoes are really broke.
This has nothing to do with Ball vs. Fox; however, it should be mentioned that Ball’s shoes are complete trash and blatant Kobe knock-offs.
I’d pass on him with the 50th pick in the Croatian league draft just to keep those shoes off of my court and out of my locker room.
LaVar Ball is an actual crazy person who is doing much more harm than good.
Above all else, at the end of the day, LaVar Ball is Reason No. 1 why teams should pass on Lonzo Ball. He’ll be complaining about Lonzo’s teammates and coaches the moment something goes wrong, and Lonzo will be the one who is punished in the end. Crazy dad did a great job of getting the family name out there — kudos to his marketing — but it’s time to take a seat and let Lonzo do his thing. That won’t happen, though, and whatever team gets Lonzo will be constantly dealing with LaVar’s nonsense. The NBA is a league of grown men making millions upon millions of dollars; do you think they want some kid’s crazy dad inserting himself into their business? Hell, there’s already a target on Lonzo’s back for the things LaVar’s already said, and it’ll only get worse.
Let the next team take Daddy’s Boy and take the safe bet in De’Aaron Fox as your point guard.