What you think of Lonzo Ball at Summer League speaks as much to what you want to see as what he has done on the court.
His passing is better than advertised — he sees the court with a gift that can’t be taught, and he puts the ball on the money. Because of that, the other Lakers are moving well off the ball, running the court, and he has changed the dynamic of the Lakers team (much like he did at UCLA). This is what Lakers’ fans see, a guy who can lead a team in the style Luke Walton has to coach.
He’s also shooting just 35.4 percent from the floor overall and closer to 20 percent from three for the tournament. I had scouts tell me that come the season they will go under picks and make him prove he can score at the NBA level (he’s gotten buckets driving to the rim in Summer League that will be more difficult when NBA defenders who understand how to rotate get in his path). Some of the passes that make the highlight reel from Vegas are turnovers when the season starts and defenders are longer and smarter. Ball’s man defense needs work.
There’s a lot of reason for hope for the Lakers — Ball has “it.” There’s a long way to go from racking up triple-doubles in Las Vegas and having that kind of impact in an NBA game, but the way he changes the dynamic of the team makes him must watch. There is real potential.
Check out his highlights from Saturday night above and see that potential.
The Lakers play in the Vegas semi-finals Sunday against Dallas (and its stud rookie point guard Dennis Smith, who has been very impressive in Summer League as well). It will be the Lakers fourth game in five days, welcome to learning about the grind of NBA travel, Lonzo.