Darius Garland ‘Promise’ rumors could impact the Phoenix Suns

Darius Garland Vanderbilt Phoenix Suns (Photo by Cassy Athena/Getty Images)
Darius Garland Vanderbilt Phoenix Suns (Photo by Cassy Athena/Getty Images) /
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Kemba Walker LeBron James (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)
Kemba Walker LeBron James (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images) /

So what happens next for L.A.?

Could this mean that the Lakers will select Garland to play behind Lonzo Ball?

My gut says: no.

Why would the Lakers waste a roster spot on a top-four draft pick who is going to sit behind another young point guard who at the moment has not proven that he is going to develop into the kind of player that one might have believed he would be when originally selected second overall.

Again, L.A. needs to improve the team now,  and having Garland sit behind young Ball who couldn’t help guide the Lakers to the playoffs last season just doesn’t make sense.

So, could the Lakers have a plan for acquiring a veteran point guard, say, Kemba Walker or Kyrie Irving in free agency (or sign-and-trade), or Mike Conley in trade, any one of whom would absolutely be an upgrade over both Ball and Garland immediately?

That scenario makes a lot more sense to me, which in at least the case of signing a point guard outright in free agency, makes Lonzo Ball immediately expendable.

Phoenix Suns
Phoenix Suns /

Phoenix Suns

Remember too: Lonzo Ball was Magic Johnson‘s guy.  Magic said he saw a little bit of himself in Ball. They were going to work together to create the next incarnation of ShowTime.

Lonzo was supposed to be his heir apparent.

But now Magic is gone.

There is a troubling (eh, excitingamount of turmoil in the organization. They have a new head coach(s).

And in the end: they need to be built around LeBron James who needs to be in possession of the (basket)ball, and (Lonzo) Ball is not a great shooter.

Lonzo could  be a bit of a Magic-type player in a fast-paced offense where he is the primary ball-handler and is either constantly looking to distribute or drive it to the hole.

When he is waiting for LeBron to make a decision, he hangs out on the wing – where he is least efficient.

If the Lakers have promised Garland their draft spot, they do not expect him to be the player to lead the Lakers to the promised land, but they might have high enough hopes for him in the future that they cannot pass up on him now, even if they do not necessarily need him, now.

At only 19-years-old (he won’t turn 20 until January), he could easily play behind someone like Walker for the next 3-4 years while the Lakers finish up Lebron’s legacy run, and by the time this era is all finished, he’ll be perfectly groomed to take over the spot and be a centerpiece for the following decade (obviously presuming that he is that  good).

In which case, L.A. won’t want Lonzo Ball on the roster as well, taking up a third (and relatively expensive) point guard spot, meaning he will have to be moved.

Enter the Phoenix Suns.