Why Jerry Colangelo’s feelings about Lonzo and LaVar Ball matter

Not mentioning LaVar Ball by name, 76ers special assistant Jerry Colangelo said the “people around” NBA Draft prospect Lonzo Ball will make having him on the roster challenging for a team.

Why Jerry Colangelo’s feelings about Lonzo and LaVar Ball matter

Why Jerry Colangelo’s feelings about Lonzo and LaVar Ball matter

Colangelo, though, suggested it would be a mistake for a team not to select Ball because of that reason.

"I think Ball is a terrific prospect and could have an outstanding NBA future," Colangelo said Friday on Philadelphia radio station WIP 94 (via CSN Philly). "I think it's going to be challenging with the people around him without being specific, and yet I don't think teams should bypass the player because they have those concerns. I think at the end of the day what wins in this league is talent and this is a very talented young man."

Lending significance to Colangelo’s comments is a recent report from Basketball Insiders that said, “With reports surfacing that the LA Lakers and former UCLA guard Lonzo Ball have finalized the details of a workout and face to face meeting in LA next week, there is a growing sense that unless Lonzo absolutely blows the doors off, he may not be the Lakers’ guy.”

Lonzo does not plan on working out for the Celtics, who have the No. 1 overall pick, and the notion that the Lakers could take Kansas forward Josh Jackson or Kentucky guard De’Aaron Fox with the second pick has “become so real that Ball’s camp, which started the process saying he’d only meet with the Lakers, have expressed a willingness to meet with the Philadelphia 76ers and possibly the Sacramento Kings depending on how things go with the Lakers. Neither are expected to get a workout out of Ball, but both may get a chance for a face to face meeting.”

After the draft lottery, LaVar said (via Lakers Nation), “That’s all we working out for is the Lakers. Just the Lakers. There’s nobody else that we need to work out for.”

But a story last week on ESPN.com said Ball is considering working out for the 76ers, who are set to pick third. That decision will be made after his agent, Harrison Gaines, and Sixers GM Bryan Colangelo discuss Lonzo’s potential fit with the team. That fit may not be perfect for the point guard, as sources believe Philly wants to feature Ben Simmons in a point-forward role next season.

This chapter of the Lonzo/LaVar Ball saga ends June 22, the day of the NBA Draft, when we’ll learn which team values the son’s talents over the father’s bluster.

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