Magic Johnson: LaVar Ball Doesn't Affect Evaluation of Son Lonzo - NBC 10 Philadelphia

Magic Johnson: LaVar Ball Doesn't Affect Evaluation of Son Lonzo

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    Magic Johnson: LaVar Ball Doesn't Affect Evaluation of Son Lonzo
    CSNPhilly.com
    Magic Johnson: LaVar Ball doesn't affect evaluation of son Lonzo

    LaVar Ball won't stop talking to the point where there are legitimate questions about blowback for his son.

    But Lakers president of basketball operations Magic Johnson says LaVar doesn't affect his view of Lonzo Ball, a potential top-three pick in this June's NBA Draft.

    Johnson told ESPN's Jeff Goodman that the outspoken elder Ball "has no effect at all" on how he evaluates Lonzo. 

    "I think what you're drafting is the son and not the father," Johnson told ESPN. "I think that you also are gauging and evaluating his son on his ability and what he can do not only on the basketball court but also what he can do for your team. How he can enhance and make your team better."

    The Lakers, of course, only keep their pick if it lands in the top three. If it falls outside the top three, the pick conveys to the Sixers, providing Johnson no opportunity to draft Ball this June. Ball has indicated he'd like to play for the Lakers after growing up in Chino Hills, Calif., and attending UCLA. It would certainly make for quite the Hollywood story.

    But LaVar's comments aren't making other teams shy away as well. Suns general manager Ryan McDonough, whose team has the second best odds of landing the first overall selection, also said that Lonzo's dad doesn't change his team's calculus. Per Goodman, several other league execs also agree with Magic and McDonough. 

    "Not really, no," McDonough said at the NBA Draft Combine. "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."