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The Los Angeles Lakers will receive Indiana center Thomas Bryant (via Jazz), who was the No. 42 overall pick of the 2017 NBA draft on Thursday night. 

Kevin Pelton's stats and scouting ranking -- No. 30: "Because Bryant is only an average shot-blocker and a poor defensive rebounder, he has to score efficiently to have value in the NBA." More (Insider)

Scouting report -- positives:

  • Versatile forward
  • Crazy long wingspan
  • Can score inside and outside
  • A load in the paint

Scouting report -- negatives:

  • Still inconsistent
  • Slow feet, lacks elite athleticism

Read the full scouting report (Insider)

ESPN Analytics projection (within his first five seasons):

  • Chances he'll be an All-Star: 0.99 percent
  • Chances he'll be an NBA starter: 14.42 percent
  • Chances he'll be a role player: 13.57 percent

More player projections  |  How our projection model works


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The Los Angeles Lakers will receive Villanova guard Josh Hart  (via Jazz), who was the No. 30 overall pick of the 2017 NBA draft on Thursday night. 

Ford's Big Board ranking -- No. 30:  "Jack of all trades. Above average at just about everything -- shooting, ballhandling, defense and passing." More (Insider)

Kevin Pelton's stats and scouting ranking -- No. 16: "One of the most productive players in college basketball as a senior, Hart has no statistical weaknesses, and he has strengths in terms of 2-point percentage and shooting." More (Insider)

Scouting report -- positives:

  • Solid shooter with range
  • Tough, physical wing
  • High basketball IQ

Scouting report -- negatives:

  • Lacks any one elite skill
  • Lacks explosive leaping ability

Read the full scouting report (Insider)

ESPN Analytics projection (within his first five seasons):

  • Chances he'll be an All-Star: 0.02 percent
  • Chances he'll be an NBA starter: 3.65 percent
  • Chances he'll be a role player: 10.10 percent

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At the NBA draft, LaVar Ball reaffirms his past comments and makes more predictions for Lonzo's future with the Lakers.
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The Los Angeles Lakers will receive Utah forward Kyle Kuzma with the No. 27 overall pick (via Nets) of the 2017 NBA draft on Thursday night.

Scouting report -- positives:

  • Good rebounder
  • Good floor vision, passer for his size
  • High basketball IQ

Scouting report -- negatives:

  • Inconsistent shooter
  • Lacks elite athleticism

Read the full scouting report (Insider)

ESPN Analytics projection (within his first five seasons):

  • Chances he'll be an All-Star: 0.06 percent
  • Chances he'll be an NBA starter: 2.03 percent
  • Chances he'll be a role player: 7.15 percent

More player projections  |  How our projection model works

More draft coverage:


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NEW YORK -- Magic Johnson and the Los Angeles Lakers made it official at 7:47 p.m. ET Thursday, when Showtime met 'Zotime with the second pick of the NBA draft. Lonzo Ball was selected as a point guard by the greatest point guard of all, and wouldn't you know it, he walked onto the stage without his stage dad in tow.

LaVar long ago predicted this night would come. Actually, he long ago predicted his oldest of three boys would be drafted in Markelle Fultz's spot, the No. 1 slot. But who's keeping track?

From Manhattan to Brooklyn, from the Grand Hyatt lobby to the floor of the Barclays Center, LaVar led his oversize entourage on a high-voltage trip around the big city while doing nothing to temper his standing as the most polarizing face and voice in basketball, college or pro. And while doing nothing to lighten the alleged load he has planted squarely on his son's shoulders.

But instead of wasting time and energy hating on LaVar and, by extension, on Lonzo, too, fans should remember that the son is not the father, and that the NBA is always best served when a visionary playmaker such as Lonzo walks through its doors.

"I'm truly blessed to be able to play for my hometown," Lonzo said, "and I can't wait to get on the court."

Out in Los Angeles, Lonzo will play a beautiful game for the beautiful people. He will play the game that Magic Johnson and Larry Bird played. The game that Jason Kidd and Steve Nash played. The game that LeBron James prefers to play.


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EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- Moments after the Los Angeles Lakers selected UCLA guard Lonzo Ball with the No. 2 overall pick in Thursday night's NBA draft, Ball's outspoken father, LaVar, made a bold proclamation on national television. 

"Lonzo Ball is going to take the Lakers to the playoffs in his first year," LaVar told ESPN's Jeff Goodman.

The Lakers have missed the playoffs for four straight seasons -- the longest postseason drought in franchise history -- and posted the league's third-worst record last season at 26-56.

"That's the goal. You don't play to lose. That's definitely the goal. That's the plan," Ball said when asked about his father's comments.

With his son making the interview rounds in the tunnels of Barclays Center, the passionate and outspoken LaVar excitedly talked about how he had called his son going to the Lakers for a long time.

"Yes! Yes!" the elder Ball told ESPN not far from where other families and draft picks sat by the stage. "I told you I would speak it into existence. And everybody kept saying what if? What if? I don't live on what if's. If I live on what if's, I will never get to where I am at.

"People always say LaVar, how come you are always right? I say because I never get left."

When asked about LaVar's playoffs prediction, Lakers coach Luke Walton smiled.

"I'm a very optimistic person, but I don't look that far into the future," Walton said at the team's practice facility, where a group of season-ticket holders and sponsors gathered for a draft party. "Right now, I'm hoping [Lonzo] leads us to a couple summer league victories, and we'll take it from there." 

Walton said he expects LaVar's comments will, at least initially, apply pressure to Lonzo.

"I think it will make it more challenging, a little bit, but I think every top draft pick that comes in has a target on their back," Walton said. "The best players in this league want to set the tone with these young players early, to let them know what it's like here. I know when I was a young player, I had a target on my back from my own teammates because of things my dad [NBA great Bill Walton] said, but it ended up working out.

"What's incredible is that he's been, according to [Lonzo], his dad has been great. He's always been there. He's supported him. He obviously loves him and that's what you want out of a father, so I'm not overly concerned by it."

Philadelphia 76ers


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Thursday night's NBA draft turned into an advertisement for the Big Baller Brand.

It started with a subtle black logo on Lonzo Ball's black bow tie, but became more pronounced after Ball was taken No. 2 by the Los Angeles Lakers.

That's when Ball's father, LaVar, who had a "BBB" tie on, pulled out a hat with the Big Baller Brand logo on it in Lakers purple and gold.

Moments later, Lonzo's signature ZO2 shoes were being offered for sale in Lakers colors on the company's website. The price was $495, the same as the first version of the shoes, with the promise of shipping pairs to customers by Feb. 10.

"Big Baller Brand, we about to launch it off now," said LaVar Ball, when stopped while walking through a hallway at Barclays Center in New York. "We are about to do some things."

Not missing a beat, Lonzo changed out of his dress shoes and wore the new shoes he will wear at Staples Center in the fall when he was introduced by commissioner Adam Silver. 

"I had them on after Markelle [Fultz] got picked," Lonzo said. "I had a good feeling I was going to be staying home. I'm glad that they picked me because I didn't have any other shoes under the table."

Information from ESPN's Ohm Youngmisuk was used in this report.


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Lakers fans show excitement at the team's draft party after they selected hometown point guard Lonzo Ball.

It took about as long as one of Lonzo Ball's deft, cross-court passes for NBA players to start licking their chops at the prospect of taking the Ball family down a peg.

Not too long after the Los Angeles Lakers took Ball with the No. 2 overall pick in the NBA draft -- and after his father, LaVar, declared to ESPN's Jeff Goodman that the Lakers would be playoff-bound in 2018 -- Philadelphia 76ers stars Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons subtweeted some thinly veiled shots at the father-son duo:

Asked on a conference call with Los Angeles media about Embiid's tweet, Lonzo said, "That's funny."

The NBA's 2017-18 regular-season schedule won't be released until August, but suffice to say, the first Sixers-Lakers matchup between Ball and Philly's No. 1 overall pick Markelle Fultz will be appointment viewing.

-- Brendan C. Hall


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LaVar Ball predicts that all of the Ball brothers will be playing for the Lakers eventually, and Los Angeles will make the playoffs Lonzo's rookie season.
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The Los Angeles Lakers selected UCLA guard Lonzo Ball with the No. 2 overall pick of the 2017 NBA draft on Thursday night. 

Ford's Big Board ranking -- No. 2: "He's the best passer in the draft. In fact, he might be the best passer to come out of the draft in the last decade. His court vision and ability to anticipate plays before they develop is uncanny. He also has deep range on his jump shot and is a very good finisher at the rim."  More (Insider)

Kevin Pelton's stats and scouting ranking -- No. 1: "Part of the challenge in evaluating Ball is how unusual his skill set is, not just for an elite prospect, but overall." More (Insider)

Scouting report -- positives:

  • Elite passer
  • Excellent ball handler
  • Creative with the ball
  • Unselfish

Scouting report -- negatives:

  • Needs to add strength
  • Unorthodox shooting form

Read the full scouting report (Insider)


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EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- Since last fall, the Los Angeles Lakers and Lonzo Ball have seemed destined to collide: a storied, star-starved franchise in tatters but bound for the NBA lottery, where a homegrown star who helped resurrect the hallowed UCLA Bruins would be waiting.

Throughout his freshman campaign in Westwood, Ball, a 6-foot-6, 190-pound point guard reared in Chino Hills by his outspoken father, LaVar, delivered the sort of flashy highlights -- no-look passes, moonbeam 3-pointers and sky-walking slams -- that the Lakers have always craved.

On Thursday night, that destiny was realized.

The Lakers selected Ball second overall in the draft, giving the rebuilding team another promising young guard while setting up a season of intrigue about how Ball -- and, by proxy, his father's dominant presence -- will impact the NBA's glamour franchise.

"This is crazy. It's crazy. You can't really tell with my emotion [over the phone]. But I feel good and I'm happy to be home," Ball said on a conference call with reporters following his selection.

Ball marks the first high-profile draftee under the new regime of Magic Johnson, the Lakers' president of basketball operations (and the player whom Ball patterned his game after), and Rob Pelinka, their general manager.

"I couldn't ask for anything more -- to be able to learn from [Johnson] every day is truly a blessing," Ball said. 

Once the pingpong balls delivered the Lakers the No. 2 pick in the 2017 draft on May 16, fate appeared in control. 

"It is a wonderful feeling, but I already knew what was coming to him," LaVar said after his son's selection, making yet another guarantee -- that Lonzo will lead the Lakers back to the playoffs next season


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Stephen A. Smith explains why people continue to compare Lonzo Ball to Jason Kidd and why leadership will be a key component to his success.

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TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Jordan Clarkson
PTS AST STL MIN
14.7 2.6 1.1 29.2
OTHER LEADERS
ReboundsJ. Randle 8.6
AssistsJ. Randle 3.6
StealsL. Nance Jr. 1.3
BlocksI. Zubac 0.9