The Philadelphia 76ers should inquire about Lonzo Ball, the former No. 2 pick.
Okay, hear me out Sixers nation. I already know what you may be thinking: “Lonzo Ball? Another non-shooter? We need someone who can go get a bucket! Not a guy who is Ben Simmons’ brother in another lifetime.” All of this is very true. LaVar’s two-year hype machine surrounding his first son has panned out exactly as many NBA scouts predicted. Ball is talented, but he is a throwback point guard. He can run your offense, make the right reads, and has all-NBA potential as a defender. Yet, has a reluctancy to shoot. Compared with his contemporaries who came out with him in 2016, after four years we can see that then president of basketball operations, Magic Johnson, drafted the wrong guy.
But surprisingly, I see something totally different.
Ball reminds me of another big point guard who had all the physical tools, but jump shot was non-existent as well. He ended up working on his shot for years and turning into one of the premier point guards of the 90’s and 2000’s before retiring in 2014.
Lakers assistant coach, Jason Kidd.
Ball, at 6-foot-6, is a bigger version of Kidd. Both dominate the game cerebrally, never making the highlight caliber play, but the stat sheet nightly shows their impact across the board. Kidd for his career, averaged 12.3 points per game, but he sits among the greats in NBA history for triple-doubles. I see the same thing in Lonzo Ball. With the right coach that can push his strengths to the forefront, Ball can become this generation’s Jason Kidd.
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The Philadelphia 76ers may have the staff that can do it.
Ball has the type of game that won’t be appreciated in the social media highlight reel era that we’re in. But if you put the kid in the right system, he would be a star.
Will the Sixers take a look at him? Probably not. Philly needs another big-time scorer that can create their own offense. They simply don’t have enough weapons come playoff time, though Philadelphia sits in the East’s top spot. Too many unexcused losses when Embiid is out is a red flag that Rivers and company must address speedily.
Ball, however, gives the Sixers a filled need at the point guard position. Tyrese Maxey and Shake Milton are good ball-handlers, but they are not pure lead guards. They are scorers first. Ball would give Rivers some security at the point when resting Ben Simmons.
Defensively is where Ball can really be unleashed. He is a hound on that side of the court. With his elite size, and keen anticipation, he can make opposing teams’ guards work for their points. But offense is what we need, and Lonzo’s reluctancy isn’t tied up in whether he can shoot. He just isn’t consistent.
In his debut in the NBA Summer League back in 2016, Lonzo barely looked at the rim, deciding to be a distributor most of the night. The next time out, he poured in 37 points, and went on to be NBA summer league MVP, leading the Lakers summer team to the championship. I know the NBA summer league is pretty much the Drew League with NBA sponsorship, but the point is, Lonzo Ball will shoot, and can shoot. It’s not a question of refusal as compared to the Sixers star, Ben Simmons.
Ball won’t fill the immediate need of the Sixers, but he is a good young piece to add to the roster. A low risk, possible high reward type of player that Sam Cassell can do wonders with. Did I mention that we wouldn’t have to worry about LaVar’s antics? Just threw that in there for argument’s sake.
Hey Daryl Morey, take a chance on Lonzo Ball. While you’re at it, bring J.J. Redick back. More shooting is needed. There is nothing to lose.