Lakers great Magic Johnson picks successor in Lonzo Ball

Jessica Allison
June 24, 2017

With the second overall draft pick at the 2017 NBA Draft ceremony, held at Brooklyn's Barclays Center on Thursday (June 22), the Los Angeles Lakers chose 19-year-old point guard Lonzo Ball.

Shortly after drafting Lonzo Ball with the No. 2 overall pick, the second-year head coach admitted he's not quite ready to make those type of guarantees with the season still months away. "I know when I was a young player, I had a target on my back from my own teammates because of things my dad said, but it ended up working out". "I'll have another hat on that say 'I told you so.'" Ball said. D'Angelo Russell, as talented as he is, couldn't help the Lakers rise from the bottom of the Western Conference, much less compete for a playoff spot.

Ball went to UCLA and his family lives in Chino Hills, so as far as being local, Ball is as home grown as it gets in a league with the Lakers' two rookies from a season ago grew tall in Croatia and Georgia-the state, not the country. I kind of patterned my game after that. The season before the California native arrived at UCLA's campus, the Bruins went 15-17, but improved to 31-5 the year after and made it all the way to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA tournament.

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On the defensive end, he will be a nice complement to both Jordan Clarkson and Lonzo Ball, who are now the team's lone point guards going into the 2017-18 season. I couldn't ask for anything more. I think players around the National Basketball Association feel that as well and are going to be attracted to that energy here.

"He's the best point guard to play", Ball said of Johnson.

Bryant was the second IN player selected on Thursday, joining OG Anunoby, who went IN the first round at No. 23 overall to the Toronto Raptors. Of course, there's also the realistic chance of perennial All-Star Paul George joining the roster sooner than the summer of 2018, when the incumbent Pacer becomes a restricted free agent.

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