2 - Lonzo Ball

6-6, 190 Point Guard
ucla_65.gif UCLA Freshman
10/27/97 (22 yrs)
Chino Hills, CA
High School
Chino Hills
Team Site Profile
Jump Shot
NBA Ready
Ball Handling

NBA Comparison: Jason Kidd/Ricky Rubio

Strengths: At 6’6" with a 6’9" wingspan, Ball has a unique set of physical tools for a point guard that will provide him with a number of advantages in the pros … One of the first things that stands out about Ball is his elite transition play … It starts with his ability to force turnovers and haul in defensive boards to push the ball up the floor and begin the break … He also has tremendous speed in the open floor when the ball is in his hands, but the skill that truly transcends above all other players his age is his elite vision, creativity and passing ability … Not only does he demonstrate the ability to deliver exceptionally accurate passes, but his knowledge of when to push the ball up the floor himself and when to give it up to his teammates is impeccable … He always knows where his teammates are on the floor and gets them the ball in spots they are comfortable … In a basketball sense he’s playing chess, while his peers are playing checkers … Ball constantly moves the ball, makes quick decisions, and has extremely rare vision for a player his age … He has excellent ball-handling ability, but does an exemplary job of not over dribbling and keeping everyone involved … He is also very efficient in transition where he posted an outstanding 4.1-to-1 assist to turnover ratio … The half court is where Ball is a more polarizing player, with transparent strengths and weaknesses to his game … His greatest strength in the half court is still his court vision and creativity prowess … At 6’6” he has the size to see over the defense and find shooters on the perimeter or make entry passes to the post … He also has the basketball IQ to see plays before they happen, which is not something you see often from a such a young point guard … More impressively, his willingness to move the ball was contagious, as UCLA’s offense featured constant fluidity and unselfishness from everyone on the floor … Ball might have the most unorthodox shooting mechanics you will ever see, but he is still a tremendous shooter, particularly off the catch and from long range … Ball connected on 41.2% of his 194 three-point attempts this past season, many of them from far beyond NBA range … Despite his odd shooting motion, he releases the ball squared to the basket and gets great rotation on his ball … In addition, Ball is an above average shooter on the move, as he does a good job getting his feet underneath him when coming off of a screen … He also has a lethal step-back jumper, which is one of his go-to scoring options in isolation situations or off the pick and roll … The combination of his deep range and comfort with the step-back can be a tough guard for opposing defenses … One, perhaps unexpected, area where Ball contributes offensively is cutting off the ball, resulting in easy conversions off of lob passes to the rim … In his one season at UCLA, he proved to be a much better athlete than most thought coming out of high school … Ball understands the use of deception and has a real knack for lulling his defender to sleep off the ball, then using hard backdoor cuts to create scoring opportunities … Ball will fit well in the modern up-tempo NBA game today …

Weaknesses: Ball has an outstanding combination of size, length, and athleticism, but his frame is not filled out yet, and he can struggle with more physical guards at times … This also hinders his ability to consistently get into the paint off the dribble … Wears a leg sleave and his legs appear to be underdeveloped … He has terrific speed but does not possess the quickest first step, which will make it more challenging to put pressure on the defense in the NBA … The biggest knock on Ball at this stage is his inability to consistently create his own offense when things break down … Ball is not great in isolation and generally his pick and roll possessions end up as a passer … He very infrequently used the pick to get into the paint and find his own offense … He also rarely showed signs of any mid-range game or the ability to pull up off the dribble … Ball will likely need to play alongside several other offensive threats to be able to generate his own offense in spurts … Where his awkward shooting mechanics can be exploited is off the dribble … On the one hand, Ball converted on 48.6% of his jumpers off the dribble, a number that was near the top in college basketball … However, rarely did he attempt such shots this season, and most of them were step-back three pointers rather than mid range pull ups … His inability to pull up in the mid-range is a function of his extremely slow shooting mechanics. Ball’s low release point and need to come back across his body certainly seem to factor into his inability to get his jumper off when pulling up off the dribble, and he has almost no in-between game because of it … He will need to develop a somewhat quicker release if he ever wants to be effective in this facet of the game … A lot of Ball’s baskets in the half-court at the rim were assisted, which indicates his ability to move off the ball along with his struggles creating his own shot off the dribble … On the defensive side of the court, Ball is adept at forcing turnovers, but he does not have the overall impact that his physical tools would suggest … Ball struggles at times containing dribble penetration against quicker guards, which was particularly exposed against De’Aaron Fox, who exploded for 39 points against him in the NCAA Tournament … Ball also does not have great awareness when being screened, and he also could show more consistent effort to fight through screens and recover … Ball is an intriguing prospect, but his weaknesses are well documented, and he will need to be surrounded by the right personnel to achieve optimal success … Perhaps the biggest question mark surrounding Ball has nothing to do with his game whatsoever … Some NBA execs view his father, LaVar as a potential problem with his "over involvement" and the endless controversial comments he has made over the last few months … The hope is that he will fade into the background and not be too involved with Lonzo’s day to day decision making, and ultimately career. Time will tell …

Overall: Ball arrived at UCLA this season on a mission to rejuvenate a basketball team that had struggled in recent years … Right away, Ball’s team first mentality and ability to elevate the play of everyone else around him was apparent … On a team that finished near the bottom of the Pac-12 a year ago, Ball throttled UCLA to the best offense in the nation on their way to a 31-5 record and a three seed in the NCAA tournament … His 8.1 assists per 40 minutes ranked second among draft eligible players, and his 6.4 rebounds per 40 ranks third among point guards … He can contribute to the game in a variety of ways and could easily post numerous triple-doubles throughout his career at the next level.

Notes: Rated the No. 4 player, nationally, in his high school class by ESPN.com and Rivals.com … Named the 2016 CIF Southern Section Open Division Player of the Year … earned 2016 National Player of the Year acclaim from MaxPreps … 2015-16 Male High School Athlete of the Year by MaxPreps, the first recipient of the national award from the state of California … Naismith High School Player of the Year, the Morgan Wootten Player of the Year and the Gatorade State Player of the Year … claimed national Player of the Year honors from USA Today…first-team All-America selection, led Chino Hills to 35-0 record during senior season 2016 CIF State Open Division Championship … set UCLA single-season assists record (274) … First-Team All-America selection

William Peter Desautelle III 5/20/17

Strengths: 6’6 point guard … Great size and length for a point guard … Tremendous court vision, passing, and playmaking ability. Makes one handed passes with either hand. Quick decision maker, knows where the plays going before receiving the ball. Can make flashy passes in transition or in the half court. Can pin point full court outlet passes to start breaks. Great timing and finds teammates when they’re in position to score … Great ball handler and floor general. Gets where he wants with the ball. High basketball IQ and ideal point guard traits. Brings out the best in his teammates. Can play alongside other great players, isn’t hindered by others taking the shots … Plays even keeled and nonchalant and doesn’t get rattled. Doesn’t force his impact on the game. Can play with the ball in his hands as well as off the ball … Has shooting range out to the three point line … Standout athlete that can finish plays above the rim … Great rebounder on both ends for a guard and impacts the game in multiple statistical categories. Averaged a triple-double for his senior year while going undefeated … Good size and willingness as a defender … Possesses great quickness and shows excellent anticipation …

Weaknesses: While he can make shots from outside, he has an extremely unorthodox, even ugly, shooting form … Tends to fling the ball from the left side of his face … Has a lot of room to add strength … Good athlete but not incredibly explosive … Played a loose, up tempo style at Chino Hills, will need to work on valuing possessions and making the sound play moving forward …

Outlook: Ball had a tremendous senior year and high school career as a whole … He leads a talented incoming class for UCLA and has the ability to make an impact early on… Ball’s ability to impact the game without scoring makes him special as a prospect having tied Jacque Vaughn’s McDonald’s All American assist record with 13 in the game.

Evan Tomes 9/28/16

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