Ever since LaVar Ball started getting headlines as the world’s craziest sports dad, people have wondered how his antics could affect Lonzo Ball’s draft stock. In particular, people have wondered about his comment that Lonzo, who starred at point guard for UCLA, would play only for the Lakers.

Now we know the Lakers don’t care much for what LaVar Ball has to say either way. On Thursday, Lakers president of basketball operations Magic Johnson told ESPN’s Jeff Goodman the elder Ball “will not have an impact whatsoever” on how Los Angeles handles its draft strategy regarding Lonzo.

Phoenix Suns general manager Ryan McDonough also downplayed LaVar’s role in the draft process but did not give the same hard no Johnson gave Goodman. Here’s what McDonough said on ESPN2 to the question about LaVar, as transcribed by CBS Sports’ Matt Norlander:

“Not really, no,” McDonough said. “We evaluate the player first and foremost. Every player comes from a different family situation. It seems like LaVar has been extremely involved in Lonzo’s career and obviously he’s a polarizing guy. But on the court, in terms of development, it seems like it’s helped Lonzo. As we try to weigh in all the factors, certainly having a parent who’s very involved and cares a lot, we don’t view that as a bad thing. It’s a little bit different than certain situations but it’s certainly that we would not disqualify Lonzo for, or really factor heavily in our decision.” 


Lonzo Ball averaged 14.6 points, 6.0 rebounds and 7.6 assists at UCLA last season, and he is a consensus top-three pick in the NBA draft. The draft lottery won’t take place until Tuesday, but the Suns are in line for the No. 2 pick with the Lakers expected to draft third.

About Jesse Kramer

Jesse is a writer and editor for The Comeback. He has also worked for SI.com and runs The Catch and Shoot, a college basketball website based in Chicago. He is a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. Follow Jesse on Twitter @Jesse_Kramer.