Programming note: Watch the pregame edition of Warriors Outsiders on Saturday at 3:30 p.m., streaming live on the MyTeams app.
The Lakers named Magic Johnson president of basketball operations in February 2017.
About four months later, the franchise selected Lonzo Ball with the No. 2 overall pick in the NBA Draft.
According to ESPN's Stephen A. Smith, Magic wanted to select De'Aaron Fox (who went to the Kings at No. 5 overall) but owner Jeannie Buss wanted Lonzo.
That tidbit is very interesting when you factor in what we learned on Friday afternoon, courtesy Shams Charania of The Athletic:
One of the headaches and near-debacles of the final stretch of Johnson’s tenure came in late February. In what could have been a catastrophe, the Lakers needed to prevent point guard Lonzo Ball from undergoing a potential unauthorized surgery on his left ankle that was planned by estranged former business partner Alan Foster and with LaVar Ball’s knowledge, multiple team and league sources told The Athletic.
The Lakers found out about Ball’s situation when Lonzo Ball called General Manager Rob Pelinka, and the organization informed him that they would not allow it and could void his contract, sources said. The Lakers then arranged transportation to bring Ball home, sources said ... Johnson and Lakers General Manager Rob Pelinka communicated with those around Lonzo, working with his then-agent Harrison Gaines to squash the procedure and bring him back to Los Angeles, sources around the team with knowledge of the situation said.
Ball, meanwhile, has since shuffled those around him by hiring Creative Artists Agency to represent him. He filed a lawsuit against Foster alleging in excess of $2 million in damages.
This story is...
...not actually unbelievable because when it comes to LaVar Ball, crazy is normal.
Lonzo sustained a significant ankle sprain on Jan. 19 and missed the rest of the season.
Lonzo Ball says his ankle is "finally starting to show some good progress," and he expects to be back playing in a couple weeks.— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) April 10, 2019
Over his final 13 games, the 21-year old averaged 12.5 points, 7.2 assists, 5.9 rebounds and 1.4 steals while shooting over 37 percent from deep.
In his only appearance against the Warriors, he recorded six points, four assists and three rebounds in Los Angeles' Christmas Night win.
Lonzo will be playing for a new head coach next season, as the Lakers and Luke Walton mutually agreed to part ways on Friday.