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Ball will play for any NBA team but wants to learn from Magic Johnson

Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports / Action Images

Lonzo Ball isn't being quite as outward about his desire to play for his hometown Los Angeles Lakers as his father LaVar had publicly hoped.

"I'll play for anyone, all 30 teams," Ball told The Vertical's Shams Charania. "I want the challenge of helping turn around any team in the league. Just making it to the NBA, that's my goal."

But the Los Angeles-area native does admit that playing for the purple and gold would have its obvious appeals.

"This is where all my family is," Ball said. "Hopefully, they have a nice pick and they have a chance to get me. I want this to be realistic. Just being very family-oriented, to play in front of them would mean a lot to me. The Lakers are a young team and they have a lot of young talent."

Where that pick lands could change a lot of plans. The Lakers currently have a 53.1 percent chance of losing their first-round selection entirely, as it will belong to the Philadelphia 76ers if it drops outside of the top three as a result of the May 16 draft lottery.

Conversely, they have a 15.6 percent chance of landing the first overall selection. Ball has already stated that he believes he's a better pro prospect than fellow Pac-12 product Markelle Fultz, the one player projected ahead of Ball in most mocks.

New Lakers president Magic Johnson has praised Ball's talent and leadership, and Lonzo likens himself to the "Showtime" legend.

"He was a big point guard, I'm a big point guard," Ball said. "I can learn a lot from Magic, and it would be a blessing for me to be able to take after him each and every day. Magic is probably the best guard to ever play the game. The fact that he also played as a big guard, he can show me things."

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