The Los Angeles Lakers drafted what they hope is their next franchise point guard in 2017, selecting Lonzo Ball out of UCLA with the second overall pick.
Ball showed what he is capable of in the Las Vegas Summer League as he not only played at a high level, but he elevated the play of all of his teammates as well.
Ball was named MVP of the league, and helped lead the Lakers to their first ever Summer League Championship. His play left Laker fans very encouraged about what is to come, but he has still yet to play an NBA game yet so it will be interesting to see if he is able to replicate his summer league success.
Despite not playing a single game, SLAM Magazine seems to be very high on Ball as they ranked him No. 45 on their list of top 50 players in the NBA right now:
He’s unselfish as hell and his teammates are going to have a lot of fun hooping alongside him
He’s good for one or two “Daaaaaamn!” highlights per game, at minimum
He needs to become a slightly better jumpshooter, which is something you can say for approximately 93 percent of rookies
His ceiling is very, very high—like Jason Kidd-meets-Penny Hardaway high
He’s going to be the 45th best player in the NBA this season, and then in the ensuing years he’s going to be ranked even higher
Ball has also set high expectations for himself this season, as he set a goal of the Lakers making the playoffs and him winning Rookie of the Year.
The Lakers haven’t had a true pass-first point guard like Ball since Magic Johnson was leading the Showtime Lakers to five championships in the 1980s, so it’s understandable why the Lakers, whose front office is led by Johnson, and people throughout the league are so high on the young rookie.