The Los Angeles Lakers kept busy on draft night but one name was noticeably missing. After minor speculation, the Lakers did what everyone expected by not drafting LiAngelo Ball, the brother of sophomore point guard Lonzo Ball.
Now, according to ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne, they have also informed the younger Ball brother that he will not be signed as an undrafted free agent to participate in Summer League with the team:
Lakers officially informed LiAngelo Ball he will not be on their Summer League team last night. They were determined to make this a basketball decision but as one source put it, “obviously there’s more to it than basketball.” In other words— the LaVar effect was real.
— Ramona Shelburne (@ramonashelburne) June 22, 2018
Ball was not considered a highly ranked prospect by any talent evaluators but his connection to the Lakers’ star guard made his addition to the roster a possibility.
The Lakers will participate in the newly created Sacramento Summer League as well as the annual Las Vegas Summer League which will now feature all 30 NBA teams.
The elder Ball and Kyle Kuzma will not play in the summer tournaments but the Lakers will have a loaded roster anyway with returning players Josh Hart, Thomas Bryant, and Alex Caruso being joined by the trio of new draftees (Moritz Wagner, Isaac Bonga, Svi Mykhailiuk) and undrafted free agents like Joel Berry II and Malik Newman.
LiAngelo will now likely consider a career overseas as most do not expect him to be a G-League prospect either. He spent much of last season playing in Lithuania after walking away from UCLA.