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Making The Case For Drafting Fox Over Ball In L.A.


Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports

Justin Ford | USA TODAY Sports

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.

Article written by Drew Franklin

I can recite every line from Forrest Gump, blindfolded. Follow me on Twitter: @DrewFranklinKSR

14 responses to “Making The Case For Drafting Fox Over Ball In L.A.”

  1. pancakesfordinner

    Let Ball go to the Lakers. Until they dump Deng and Mosgov’s 16+ mil contracts (which won’t happen anytime soon), they’re not going to be competitive for a few years. Unfortunately the 76ers, Suns, Kings and Magic don’t really have the pieces to build around Fox. The Suns are loaded with Kentucky guards and don’t need another. The dream scenario would be Fox going to the Wolves, but I don’t see him falling that far. Hopefully someone, maybe the Nuggets, Mavericks, or Wolves will trade up and steal Fox (if only the Pelicans had a pick to trade).

    Ultimately, this will be just like the 2005 draft when the Jazz were wowed by Deron Williams and passed on a solid Chris Paul. The Jazz eventually trade raped the Nets and dumped Williams, while the Hornets became immediately competitive and eventually Paul forced his way to the Clippers and he seems to be doing alright.

    1. bhb71

      I see the Sixers trading their pick to a team that needs a PG. They’re apparently adamant that Ben Simmons is a PG, so they’re probably looking for a shooter like Monk. I don’t see them taking Monk at #3 when they know they can trade down. I could see a trade with the Knicks happening, possibly involving Melo.

  2. UKALLDAY1

    There is about a snowballs chance in hell the Lakers take Fox over Ball. Maybe everywhere is the country people hate Lavar, but they are a walking talking real life reality show to us out here in LA, it’s like the basketball version of the Khardashians. We do not mind Lavar, we actually like him and Lonzo is box office! He is exactly what the Lakers need. With that being said I think De’aaron is the better player. The Lakers are in love with Lonzo and Magic likes him a lot. D. Fox might have the better career …

  3. TonyMontana

    I think the Lakers want the celebrity on their team. I see Lonzo putting more butts in the seats out there in L.A. Plus he has built in fans right there with UCLA, it just makes sense. It would be pretty cool for UK to have the starting point guard on the Lakers though!

    1. Sentient Third Eye

      It’s all about putting butts in seats, and right now the Lakers have been surpassed in their own town by the Clippers. If they pick Ball, it will be for rebuilding grassroots fan support. Of course, winning would help as well…

    2. UKALLDAY1

      Sentiment, you have the slightest clue what you are talking about. The Clippers HAVE NOT and WILL NOT EVER surpass the Lakers in LA, that is crazy talk. I live in LA and this is always going to be a Laker town no matter how much they lose. Magic, Kareem, Wilt, West, Shaq and Kobe have planted a seed that will never be overtook. It is like saying the Mets have surpassed the Yankees or better yet Louisville basketball has surpassed Kentucky, those type things are just never going to happen in this lifetime.

    3. frantic29

      Ukallday1. In terms of attendance the Clippers did beat out the Lakers this year. http://www.espn.com/nba/attendance

  4. real truth

    Lonzo Ball is like a cartoon character. I just want to get my bowl of lucky charms and watch everything he does.

  5. Cats4lyfe

    Listening to the Leach Report and he was talking about the Lakers taking Lavar Ball with the number 2 pick. That’s just funny to me!

  6. theWilkman

    Lonzo will put butts in the seats at first but how long before Lavar chases them out?

    1. Sentient Third Eye

      Once Lonzo gets some money rolling in, he can afford to have his dad committed.

    2. catsarerunnin

      He wants 3 billion for his lousy shoe company that’s sold just a few hundred shoes. That’s enough to committ him right now.

    3. pancakesfordinner

      Catsrunning, LaVarr said he’s sold between 400-500 pairs of shoes, that’s $200-250k in revenue. Assuming half in material cost, and another $25 in marketing to have SI write that puff piece about them, they’re still taking in $50k for a worldwide marketing campaign. That’s pretty good right?

      Most of the comparisons say Lonzo will be similar to Jason Kidd, and who didn’t run out to ask their mom for the new JKidds?

      I mean LEBRON only sold 2.4 million pairs and he’s a superstar. Plus his shoes only cost $200, so at $480 million in revenue, Nike is barely making any money off him.

      Clearly Lonzo’s dad is a marketing genius and is worth well over $3 billion. With Lonzo likely headed to LaLa land, we should go ahead and prepare for Space Jam 2, staring Lonzo and several lesser known WB stars, such as Elmer Fudd, Michigan J Frog, and Pepe LePew!

  7. sardiscat

    At the beginning of the season, Fox was releasing his shot off the side of his index finger–not good, puts sidespin on the ball and makes it spin out if it hits the rim. At the end of the season, he was releasing the ball off the tips of his fingers–good, makes the ball go swish and bounce softly if it hits the rim.