LaVar Ball cleared up confusion to ESPN about being misquoted by radio station about comments on Lonzo only playing for Lakers: “All I said was that my boy is going to play for the Lakers, and I’m going to speak it into existence,” LaVar told ESPN on Saturday night. “I want him to be a Laker, but I wasn’t saying he’s only going to play for the Lakers. I’m not trying to say he won’t play for a different team. But I’d like him to play for the Lakers because it’s home and I’d love him to learn from Magic (Johnson) He’s the best guard ever to me, and nobody better for Lonzo to learn from than Magic Johnson.”
“The Lakers (have) always been a team I wanted to go to, I mean desperately – before I was on the Celtics,” Thomas said in the A to Z interview. “My Dad, being a Laker fan (growing up in Tacoma, Wash.), I was brainwashed as a kid of being a Laker fan, so that’s all I looked up to. I definitely (wanted to go there), especially in the draft (when) they had four second-round picks. “And when I did work out for the Lakers, they were interested in me and they thought they would pick me – which, they didn’t. And also, when I was a free agent, they were showing interest but that was the year they were waiting on, like, Carmelo (Anthony) and those types of guys to decide if they would come to LA, so I wasn’t like the first option. And then they ended up getting Jeremy Lin, so…”
First, NBA teams will be navigating uncharted waters with two-way contracts. Speaking to a number of NBA front office people, some suggest two-way deals will be offered nearly immediately after the NBA Draft, while some suggest teams might wait it out through training camp. Whatever the case may be, teams will need to establish credibility with this first year of two-way contracts. Teams may bring two-way players up to NBA rosters for up to 45 days, but there is no guarantee they will do so. The minimum a two-way player can earn is $75,000, while they can cap out at approximately $275,000 if they are on an NBA roster for the maximum allotment.
It won’t be enough to sidetrack what could be a one-year relocation. One NBA front-office talent evaluator says Markkanen “for sure” should be a top 10 pick. “His ability to shoot is what’s going to get him in this league,” the evaluator says. It’s ironic that Markkanen mostly eschewed the NBA until the last couple of years, as the time difference would’ve required him to rise before dawn to watch games; the mindfulness that had him ignoring the league will help vault him into it.