Tjarks: Not far at all. I think the perfect fit for Lonzo — at least when it comes to matters on the court — is actually no. 3 to Philly, where he could play off of Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons. That team would be amazing. The great thing about using him in a complementary role in the offense is he can shoot the ball from way behind the 3-point line, really stretching out the defense. He also doesn’t need the ball in his hands much to significantly boost a team’s ball movement. He had a usage rate of only 18.1 at UCLA this season (Markelle Fultz, in comparison, had a usage rate of 31.4), and Ball really empowered secondary ball handlers like Bryce Alford and Aaron Holiday. The ball doesn’t stick with Lonzo — he was either taking the shot or moving it within a couple of seconds — and that had a contagious effect on the rest of the team. UCLA returned most of its players from 2016 (when the Bruins were the 117th-ranked offense in the nation), yet their team-wide assist numbers went through the roof, which the team largely attributed to Lonzo’s style of play. It becomes a lot easier to make the extra pass when you know it will come back to you. Long story short, I would be stunned if the 76ers didn’t take him if he’s there at no. 3.
O’Connor: I don’t see him sliding any further than that, unless the Ball camp does indeed withhold Lonzo from workouts with everyone other than the Lakers. That could end up being a major mistake because Philly is still a great basketball environment to land into. It’s funny when you think about it, but the team with a guy who shoots with the wrong hand (Simmons) might actually be an ideal match for the guy who looks like he’s never shot a basketball before (Ball).
I agree with everything here. While Jim (respect) wrote that he wanted no part of LaVar – which I kind of agree with from a fan standpoint but not from a blogging standpoint – he fits the Sixers better than anyone besides Markelle Fultz. Problem is, no one really thinks the Lakers will pass on him, and my guess is all reports to the contrary are just a smoke screen. I think they’d trade D’Angelo Russell before they pass on Ball.
But, yeah, if he falls to the Sixers at three – assuming the Sixers still have the third pick – you take him.
Actually, maybe not.