For Lonzo Ball, a boyhood dream has come true.
With the second overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft, the Los Angeles Lakers selected the California native. After spending his high school basketball career at Chino Hills and, playing for UCLA this past year, Lonzo is no stranger to the California spotlight. For the Lakers, keeping their pick was the safest move possible.
Los Angeles will welcome a point guard with the high-level court vision and overall basketball IQ of Lonzo Ball with open arms. If you’ve ever watched Lonzo play, you’ll also know that he possesses some amazing abilities in transition. Ball often makes moving down the court with and without the ball effortless, and is good at making the quick decision to either pull up, attack the rim, or pass the ball. This is a skill that is highly valued by NBA front offices. In his lone season at UCLA, Lonzo Ball averaged 14.6 points per game on an impressive 55.1%, as well as 7.6 assists per game.
The biggest areas of improvement for Ball will be on the defensive end, building up his in-between game, along with weak side drives. Although Lonzo is a strong off-ball defender, at times he struggled guarding the ball. This was evident in the NCAA Tournament against Kentucky when Ball struggled to guard the likes of Malik Monk and De'Aaron Fox. Also, Lonzo sometimes struggles on his pull-up jumpers because of his low release point, however, that could be an easy fix. Overall, this is a solid pick for the Los Angeles Lakers.
After trading D'Angelo Russell to Brooklyn, Lonzo Ball is now the Lakers undisputed point guard of the future. Expectations are sky high for the young up-and-comer and only time will tell if trading Russell was the right move. Lakers Nation, get ready, you might have a future hometown All-Star on your hands.