NBA Draft Profile: Lonzo Ball


Lonzo Ball

6-6, 190 lbs.

Point Guard


This kid did a terrific job living up to the hype last season, strolling into Westwood and immediately becoming the most important player on a Top-10 team in the nation. Ball did it all for the Bruins–averaging 14.6 points, 6 rebounds and an NCAA-best 7.6 assists per game. UCLA finished 31-5, its best record since Kevin Love and Russell Westbrook were in UCLA unis. Lonzo drew comparisons to Jason Kidd for his prodigious stat line, and even though the college game isn’t what it was when J-Kidd was in Berkeley, it isn’t that far-fetched. The freshman proved he can do it all on the offensive end, finishing with nine double-doubles and setting a new UCLA single-season record for assists (274). Not bad for a freshman, eh?

I guess we’re supposed to mention LaVar Ball and his outspoken ridiculousness here, but honestly, it’s a real stretch to believe that somebody’s loudmouth dad can have a significantly negative impact on their NBA career. It’s true that the apple never falls far from the tree, but a little excess confidence can’t hurt a 19-year-old kid going up against the best basketball players in the world. The more pressing concern is his cringeworthy shooting form (did he learn that from you, Lavar?), which could be tweaked by coaches at the next level. Ball wasn’t awful from downtown last year, but could certainly use improvement (41 percent). He’s also not a jaw-dropping athlete and may struggle defensively against quick guards. A reliable jump shot would make him a much more feared player.

BOTTOM LINE: Whether it’s the confidence that’s been passed down by dad, or simply a sixth sense for the game, Ball has that “it” factor that can make him a great player at the next level. He’s got all of the incentive in the world to continue to get better, and it’s clear his inner circle (a.k.a. dad) won’t be satisfied unless he reaches All-Star level.

Lonzo has the size (6-6) and basketball IQ (7.6 apg) necessary for success in the NBA. Given some time in the weight room, a few hundred jumpers before and after practice each day, and some work on defense, this kid will become a star player at the next level. He won’t slip past the third pick in the draft, and like it or not, you’ll be hearing from him (and his crazy dad) for a long time.


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