Magic Johnson Defends 2017 Decision to Draft Lonzo Ball to Lakers

Lonzo Ball became injured and missed more games than any other Laker last season.

lonzo ball

Image via Getty/Jonathan Bachman

lonzo ball

Magic Johnson still backs his decision to draft Lonzo Ball in 2017, a pick that ultimately characterized Magic's brief term as a front office executive with the Los Angeles Lakers.

While appearing on ESPN’s First Take, Magic contended that the Pelicans will be a compelling team, referencing Ball, Brandon Ingram, and Jrue Holiday.

“The Pelicans will be one of the most entertaining teams in all of basketball, because now you put Jrue Holiday with Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram. I mean, those guys are gonna be running and gunning and they got a good coach,” Johnson said.

When host Stephen A. Smith asked, “You sure that’s not emotion there because you drafted Lonzo Ball? You drafted Lonzo Ball, Magic Johnson.”

Johnson replied, “Yes, I did. And I’m standing right here too. I’m standing right here, I’m not moving. I did that.”

.@MagicJohnson not afraid to stand by picking Lonzo Ball to go to the Lakers 😅

— First Take (@FirstTake) September 20, 2019

In 2017, Johnson led a plan to send D’Angelo Russell from the Lakers to the Brooklyn Nets in order to move Timofey Mozgov’s contract and make room for Ball, Clutch Points reports. According to Lonzo Wire, Ball ended up getting injured and missing more games than any other Laker last season.

In a recent interview with Big Boy's Neighborhood, Ball was asked whether the Lakers could have won last season’s title. “I thought we had a good chance, honestly. Looking back on it, we were moving in the right direction and then 'Bron went down, Rondo went down, I went down, [Brandon Ingram] went down, so it was just like … there was a point we were looking at the stands for people because we ain’t got no bodies.”

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