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NBA Draft News: Rob Pelinka says the Lakers aren’t worried about LaVar Ball

Los Angeles is evaluating players, not parents.

2017 NBA Draft Combine - Day Two Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images

The Los Angeles Lakers received the second overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft Lottery, and ever since it’s been widely assumed they’ll select UCLA guard and Southern California native Lonzo Ball.

No one has been pushing that narrative harder than Ball’s own father, LaVar Ball, who has just in the last day said that his son will only work out for the Lakers, that he’ll work out one-on-one against anyone for the Lakers and that Lonzo Ball’s arrival on the Lakers was destiny.

When all that is dropping in just the first day, it would be understandable for the Lakers front office to be slightly wary of the media situation they would create by drafting Lonzo Ball. However, during an appearance on “Mornings with Keyshawn, Jorge and LZ” on ESPN 710, General Manager Rob Pelinka made it sound like the front office isn’t very concerned about potentially bringing LaVar Ball into the team’s orbit.

If Pelinka sees Lonzo Ball’s relationship with his father as “similar” to his own, it might give the Lakers even more confidence that everything would work out fine no matter how much pressure LaVar Ball’s mouth creates for his son to perform.

Ultimately though, the Lakers will have to choose whichever available player they think is the most talented with the second overall pick. If that’s Lonzo Ball, you take him and figure out the family stuff later. The Lakers are sorely in need of talent, and can’t afford to pass it up just because they’re a little worried about the clickbait headlines a prospect’s father might create.

Harrison Faigen is co-host of the Locked on Lakers podcast (subscribe here, or listen to our latest episode on the lottery below), and you can follow him on Twitter at @hmfaigen.

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