Most importantly, he makes the entire team fun. When he’s in transition, squint your eyes so you don’t focus on the details of any one player. You will see a speed of ball movement, extra passes and explosive offense that resembles the Warriors. (And it should, since Walton has transplanted Steve Kerr’s system in Los Angeles.)
When Ball plays half court, the Lakers look like any other mediocre NBA team. And when he is sitting on the bench, they look like the Nets.
I’ve watched Fultz, Tatus, Fox, Smith Jr., and Jackson in Summer League games, and they all show flashes of being future All-Stars. But they do it because their individual skill sets are superior to their competition. When they miss shots, like Fultz missing three straight layups and a free throw in a one-point loss to the Celtics, or Tatum getting stripped of the ball at the end of a loss to the Jazz, no one else on their team contributes to the team.
Lonzo is the only guy who makes his teammates better.
Say what you will about his funky jump shot and his on-ball defense being exposed when he plays in the upcoming season. But his court vision, timing and passing skills can’t be diminished by playing against NBA stars, as long as his veteran team mates do their part by running the floor on every possession, cutting hard to the rim and hitting wide open shots.
With KCP, Lopez and the improving Ingram and Randle, the Lakers’ starting line up will be light years better than last season’s albatross laden group of Russell-Young-Deng-Randle-Mozgov. They may not be a .500 team in the group of death known as the Western Conference, but the team’s future outlook has completely turned around because of Magic, Pelinka and the new kid on the block.
Laker fans may be singing Ball’s praises for the next fifteen years. Maybe this will become their theme song: