The Los Angeles Lakers used the second overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft to select Lonzo Ball out of UCLA, believing that he would be the team’s point guard of the future and the man to jump-start their struggling offense.
Ball had been known for his court vision and passing as well as his ability to hit threes from all over the court. Ball had a successful rookie year but not in the way that most expected.
His offense was dragged down by horrendous shooting, including a concerning 45 percent from the free throw line and 31 percent from three. The player that was expected to come in and be an offensive savant couldn’t figure out a way to manufacture points, which drove a narrative suggesting that his rookie season was a failure.
However, despite his shooting struggles, Ball greatly impressed with his defense. He was among the top point guards in the league in points allowed per possession and finished second in blocks among point guards.
Ball found ways to jump into passing lanes and create turnovers while also showcasing an impressive ability to rebound the basketball. Now, with LeBron James in town, Ball will have to find a way to be productive without the ball in his hands.
Given his sometimes too unselfish game, one would imagine that Ball will have no problem sharing, but he’s still going to need to adjust to playing alongside the greatest player on the planet.