AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREUCLA alum Kenny Clark signs four-year contract extension with PackersNow, Ball can do the same thing with another broken but proud team desperate to return to a time of hoisting trophies and hanging banners.And, even better for Lakers fans, that revving in the background is the sound of “Showtime II,” Ball now so, so close to restoring the old-school flash and blur to a Lakers brand turned helplessly bland.On the fragile fate of some air-popped pingpong balls, this franchise finally, mercifully but — for now — only potentially re-discovered its footing.I guess everyone can stop fretting over that five-game April winning streak, the worst stretch of best basketball the Lakers have played in years.Those superfluous victories didn’t send this franchise into the dark and hellish abyss that awaited had the Lakers dropped from the top three Tuesday and been forced to ship their pick to Philadelphia. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error All of this feel-good, of course, is based on the Celtics drafting Washington’s Markelle Fultz, who, as of this moment, appears to have an edge on Ball as the player most likely to go first.This also assumes the Lakers will keep the No. 2 pick as opposed to trading it, a guess that can’t be considered anything more than that because the team is now being managed by rookies Magic Johnson and Rob Pelinka.Together, as NBA executives, these two have a track record that could be summarized on an index card, with enough room left over for all the chords and lyrics to “Free Bird.”In Ball, however, Magic must see possibly the Lakers’ greatest point guard since he last looked into a mirror, right? If he can’t draft himself, doesn’t it figure that Johnson would draft the next-closest version of himself? Magic 2.0?Ball is pass-first coming into a league that’s me-first. He can control a game without shooting, even as there are NBA All-Stars who can influence games only by scoring. He’s a renowned finisher likely to be available to a team that famously can’t finish.“It’s exciting times for the Lakers,” Johnson told the NBA’s website Tuesday night, not speaking specifically about Ball, although he could have been. “We’re not where we want to be, but we’re heading in the right direction.”With the addition of Ball, the Lakers would be heading in that direction at a much swifter pace, a pace also entirely more entertaining not to mention more inclined to succeed.If you haven’t figured it out by now, I really want the Lakers to get Ball because this marriage is simply too perfect not to happen.A Southern California kid staying home to help revive the tradition-rich Lakers and doing so from the very position the man drafting him once revolutionized? This stuff is made-for-TV worthy.I’m not suggesting Ball is going to be another Magic. But I am saying he has a chance to put together an NBA career that will leave people routinely comparing the two.“Oh, no question about it,” Johnson said when asked if a superstar could emerge from this next wave of college talent. “I think this draft is very deep. Yeah, I think it could possibly be a legend for the Lakers.”Again, Johnson wasn’t speaking specifically about Ball, although he could have been.And, for the record, I do remember that Magic once said the Dodgers’ No. 1 priority was to re-sign Zack Greinke, and we all know how that turned out. So, unlike his passing touch during his playing days, Johnson’s words aren’t always golden.I also know that whatever team takes Lonzo Ball also is drafting his father, LaVar, and all the clamor that comes with him.But isn’t that part of Lakers lore, too, the outrageous sideshows and completely unnecessary drama? See, it’s all simply too perfect.Already Tuesday there was an ESPN report hinting that Lonzo Ball might work out only for the Lakers, the exact sort of LaVar-centric decision sure to send eyeballs rolling.“What it does is it gives us flexibility to do what we want to do,” Johnson said of the team retaining its top pick. “We’ll see what’s best for the Lakers.”What’s best for the Lakers is right under their collective nose, the rival, hated Celtics fittingly the only thing standing between this franchise and its return to relevance. Hollywood’s team got a Hollywood ending Tuesday, an ending made even more theatrically brilliant in that it’s only a beginning.The Lonzo Ball Era in Lakers lore took an enormous step toward becoming reality when the team won the NBA draft lottery … by finishing second.Technically, the Celtics were the winners in New York City, Boston securing the No. 1 overall pick.But the Lakers, with the third-best chance to end up on top, jumped a spot, possibly putting them in position to select the player who, with his mere arrival, resurrected a college program no less storied than the one at UCLA.