Date of Birth: October 27th, 1997
Position: Point Guard
Measurements: 6’6, 190 lbs
Lonzo Ball is a very talented player. A terrific scorer and shooter and is especially good at finishing at the rim. Ball had a FG% at the rim of 78.9% which is absolutely incredible for a guard.
Lonzo has the agility and ball-handling ability to be a point guard at the next level even with his height. If you see this play right here, you can understand what I’m talking about. He gets the switch onto Bam Adebayo and while Bam still plays great defense, Lonzo is able to hit the tough, deep three because of the little separation he was able to generate.
That shiftiness that he can bring will be necessary to be able to get away from the smaller guards he’ll be going up against. Lonzo can shoot, attack the basket, and pass with the best of them. He has all of the tools to truly be great.
The one major advanced statistic that stands out is Lonzo Ball’s Usage Rate. Essentially, usage rate determines how often a player is controlling the ball in the offense. Ball’s usage rate was at 18.1% in his freshman season at UCLA. That percentage is a lot lower than the other guards going in the first round of this draft. That should make every team confident that Lonzo Ball will be able to produce off-ball on the offensive end.
Lonzo Ball isn’t a bad defender by any means, but I am a little concerned with his off-ball defense. He sometimes breaks too quickly on the fast-break and will leave his man or he’ll start ball watching and lose his man completely. This is something that can be easily fixed if Lonzo is able to get into the right system once he is drafted.
It’s usually not too necessary to concern yourself with a player’s free throw percentage in college, but since Lonzo doesn’t show too many weaknesses, we can note it. A 67 FT% is too low for a player who has a remarkable True Shooting Percentage of 67%. Maybe it has to do with his awkward release. I’m inclined to believe that it is simply that low because of the small sample size and that the percentage should shoot up once he gets more attempts in the league.
The biggest risk with drafting Lonzo Ball is his father, LaVar Ball. LaVar has shown that he is not afraid to say anything to the media. He has convinced Lonzo that he doesn’t need to work out for Boston (which was a terrible idea) and wants Lonzo to play for 1 team only, the Los Angeles Lakers. We’ll see how involved LaVar is once Lonzo is drafted, but I can tell you with confidence that we have not heard from the last of LaVar.
Lonzo Ball is the 1st player since Anthony Davis in the 2011-2012 season to accumulate 500 points and 200 rebounds in a season while having a usage percentage of below 20%.
We’ve heard this comparison many times. Jason Kidd was a do it all type guard at Cal and also when he moved onto the NBA. Lonzo Ball was that same type of player at UCLA. Kidd was a little more reckless with the ball in college, averaging over 4 turnovers per game. Ball only averaged 2.5 turnovers per game in college. Lonzo Ball has the ability to become as good as Jason Kidd in the NBA, but will have to get to the weight room and put the work in on the defensive end.
The stat that really convinced me that this comparison was a good one: There are only 3 players in the last 25 years to average 14 PPG, 7.5 APG, and 6 RPG. Denzel Valentine is one.
The other 2?
Lonzo Ball and Jason Kidd.