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Lakers select Chino Hills' Lonzo Ball

25 June 2017

After LaVar Ball was proven right about his son eventually playing for the Los Angeles Lakers, he's only going to get bolder with his predictions and trash talk moving forward.

It is indeed too early to talk about the NBA Playoffs, but Ball will be Ball. "We expect a "Ball" jersey hanging up there, alright?"

Why the high expectations on Ball?

The Lakers have become enamored about the potential his passing ability could translate to at the next level while his unselfish that was described as being "infectious" and could lead to more unified team on the court.

Also going to the Lakers are the rights to forward Kyle Kuzma, who was drafted with the 27th pick.

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Magic made his intentions known a few days before the draft when he traded D'Angelo Russell to Brooklyn, giving up on the No. 2 pick in the 2015 draft after just two mostly promising seasons. The trade on draft night netted them an extra pick, as they traded away the 28th pick for No. 30 and No. 42.

During his three years with the Swoops, Kuzma steadily improved as a shooter, but there's still reason to be skeptical about how much of that will translate to the National Basketball Association. The Big East player of the year scored 18.7 points per game last season and excelled as a wing defender. The Lakers have not been to the playoffs in the last four years, the franchise's longest playoff drought ever.

Both Pelinka and Johnson told the tale of the day they went to Chino Hills and witnessed how the Ball family lives and the manner in which the patriarch of the family, Lavar Ball, interacts with his sons, his wife and the neighborhood kids.

ESPN interviewed LaVar for what felt like the 100th time Thursday night right after the Lakers picked Lonzo.

"D'Angelo is an excellent player", Johnson said Friday, when the team introduced its top draft pick Lonzo Ball at its practice facility.

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The Pacers selected Anigbogu in the second round with the 47th overall pick.

For Johnson, research made it clear that Ball can be that next great Lakers' leader. He won a championship with the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2016.

In his one college season with UCLA, the 6ft 6in player led the country with 7.6 assists per game. He just needs to play his game.

The biggest bombshell sent All-Star guard Jimmy Butler from the Chicago Bulls to the Minnesota Timberwolves, where Butler was reunited with his former coach Tom Thibodeau.

Offensively, he's a work in progress, but has shown enough to earn healthy minutes off the bench as a rookie. "Larry Nance on that lob - wow!"

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