Los Angeles Lakers President of Basketball Operations Magic Johnson and general manager Rob Pelinka have not taken long to make their impact felt on the franchise. The duo has been hard at work this offseason putting the Lakers in a better position to succeed both this season as well as in the future.
One of the first moves they made was drafting UCLA point guard Lonzo Ball with the second overall pick. Ball is a potentially transcendent player who could change the fortunes of the franchise.
Ball shines because of his passing and style of play that elevates his teammates. Magic appeared on ESPN’s First Take and said that Ball is exactly the kind of playmaker the Lakers have been missing:
“When you draft Lonzo Ball a pass-first point guard, also basketball IQ is off the charts, he creates havoc and he creates shots for guys. So he can get inside that lane and make players better, and we’ve been missing that.”
The impact Ball can have on a team was witnessed during Summer League where Ball was named MVP and the Lakers won the Championship. In a setting where most players are gunning for their own stats in order to get signed somewhere, the Lakers played a team game, constantly making the extra pass. That was a credit to Ball.
The NBA is much different than Summer League obviously, but Ball has the potential to have that kind of impact and Magic believes that will be the case. He already proclaimed Lonzo to be the face of the franchise and believes his jersey will be hanging in the rafters one day.
Ball has that kind of talent and his ability to elevate players will be key to his success in the league. If he can make an immediate impact, the Lakers could be better than expected.