Lonzo Ball is a Laker, now can he live up to the hype?
Since the moments the lottery Balls landed and the Lakers had the No. 2 pick, this was the expected outcome. There was plenty of diversions, there was chum in the water as the Lakers tried to see if there was trade interest, but at the end of the day, this was expected.
Lonzo Ball of UCLA is a Los Angeles Laker.
So yes, LaVar Ball was right. His son is a Laker (and now the team will try to push the dad to the sideline, even though the ESPN broadcast certainly didn’t).
Lonzo Ball: “I’m just thankful for everybody that helped me get here.” Said he’s “blessed to play for his home town.“— Mike Trudell (@LakersReporter) June 23, 2017
Ball brings a great narrative that was always hard for the Lakers to pass on. He’s a local kid who will have to deal with unreal expectations — Lakers fans have heard the comparisons to Jason Kidd, the passing ability and floor vision of Magic Johnson. Those are unfair comparisons for any player, but Ball handled that well after being drafted.
Lonzo Ball on Magic: “He’s the best point guard to ever play, so I can learn a lot of things from him.”— Mike Trudell (@LakersReporter) June 22, 2017
However, Ball brings the kind of court vision and passing skills that can’t be taught, and those skills make him amazing in the open court.
His shot is awkward and there are questions about his ability to get it off in the NBA against longer defenders, but in catch-and-shoot situations he just knocks it down.
Also, can he create for himself in the half court so teams just don’t go under the pick and wait? At UCLA he didn’t do a lot of pick-and-roll, and of the ones he did 75 percent ended with a pass. He has to be more of a scoring threat.
The Lakers are looking to add big time free agents starting in 2018, they have already cleared out cap space. If Ball can distribute like the Lakers hope, that will be a draw — everyone wants to play with a player who runs the court and passes.
It’s now all on Ball to live up to the hype. Fair or not.