Lakers: Should LA have drafted Donovan Mitchell instead of Lonzo Ball?

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It would’ve definitely been a bold decision, but looking back, should the Lakers have made a selection outside of Lonzo Ball at second overall?

Donovan Mitchell has been one of the best rookies of the season so far, and is lighting things up for the Utah Jazz. Meanwhile in Los Angeles, point guard Lonzo Ball has had a bit of a tougher time developing some parts of his game.

Also with the Lakers, Kyle Kuzma hasn’t slowed down since Summer League, leading to his career-best night on Wednesday versus Houston with 38 points. Mitchell is more of a scorer while Ball is more of a pass first player — if the Lakers had taken the former Louisville guard instead of the former UCLA Bruin, their season might look a look different.

Just 11 wins as of writing this piece has LA still somehow in the hunt for an eighth seed in the Western Conference. They’ve played well lately against some of the better teams in basketball, and have gone to overtime with Golden State in both clashes they’ve had.

Assuming the D’Angelo Russell trade still happened and the Lakers still ended up landing Kyle Kuzma at 27th overall, one has to wonder how different things would be if they’d gone a direction away from Lonzo Ball. There’s no question to some that Ball’s game will develop sooner than later and then he’ll become a generational talent at the highest level.

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But if you looked at right now, that’s not really the case.

His scoring has been his weakest point, and that may be what keeps him from being a star in the long run. Sure, rebounds and assists are great, but how are the Lakers going to function knowing that their point guard running the offense can’t shoot?

They’re not.

If Los Angeles had drafted Donovan Mitchell, there would also be no more question about keeping Jordan Clarkson, who’s also out played Lonzo Ball for a good part of the season. At that point, Clarkson’s game gets to grow in a starting role after LA was sure enough about him to give him a four year, $50 million deal not too long ago.

And then alongside him, Donovan Mitchell and Kyle Kuzma add to the much more explosive lineup. You’d also have to think of the impact that it would have had on their potential free agency pursuits.

When it comes to stars coming to the Los Angeles Lakers, something everyone in the league is going to have to think about now, whether they like it or not, is just how much of a factor LaVar Ball and his antics are in the outcome of those scenarios.

Drafting Mitchell would’ve also given the Lakers a better chance, perhaps, of establishing a winning culture without having to deal with any of those outside distractions that the elder Ball brings to the table.

Lastly, they should’ve known for a while now that their biggest problem wasn’t at point guard, but rather at shooting guard. Clarkson has no problem running the offense, albeit he’s not everyone’s favorite player with the way that he plays.

Nonetheless, if the Lakers had gone after a shooting guard like Mitchell higher in the draft, they would’ve left the door open as well for a superstar point guard as well as a quality big man to fill the other holes in their roster.

Next: There's No More Debating Kyle Kuzma

It’s not a decision they can go back on now, obviously. But it does make you wonder.