The Los Angeles Lakers landed the no.2 overall pick in this year’s NBA Draft, putting the rebuilding franchise in prime position to select UCLA standout #Lonzo Ball. The Lakers, with 46.9 percent chance of retaining their first-round pick ahead of the NBA Draft Lottery, emerged as one of the big winners Thursday night.

Born to be a Laker

College basketball and NBA Draft expert Chad Ford of ESPN reported weeks ago about the Lakers’ front-office interest in using their lottery pick for Chino Hills native Lonzo Ball. The UCLA star took college hoops by storm this past season after he averaged 14.6 points, 7.6 assists and 1.8 steals across 36 games.

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However, the most impressive part about Ball’s game is his shooting efficiency. He shot 55.1 percent from the field and 41.2 percent from beyond the arc. Bleacher Report writer Alec Nathan also paid attention to Ball’s highly efficient shot selection.

“Not only did Ball shoot better than 55 percent from the field while attempting 56.6 percent of his total shots from beyond the arc, per Hoop-Math.com, he also made a gaudy 78.9 percent of his looks at the rim,” Nathan noted.

Ford said the Lakers are enamored with Ball’s all-around brilliance, while ESPN First Take analyst Stephen A. Smith believes the Los Angeles kid has all the makings of a box-office superstar.

Although several NBA scouts have some level of concerns about the off-court shenanigans of Ball’s father, LaVar, Chris Heisler of Los Angeles Daily News reported that Lakers president of basketball operations Magic Johnson isn’t too worried about potential distractions LaVar could bring to the franchise.

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“Happily for Lonzo, scouts have him down as a level-headed, unassuming young man or, in other words, nothing like his father. Asked about LaVar at the NBA combine, Magic said the father would have “no effect at all” on his son’s draft status,” according to Heisler.

Moving parts

With Ball appears to be heading to the Lakers, all eyes will be on Magic as he makes the necessary moves to make Lonzo’s arrival smooth as possible. Nathan thinks it won’t be shocking if the Lakers president explores a trade to unload one of their guards: D’Angelo Russell and #Jordan Clarkson.

Between the two, Russell will command a better trade returns largely because of his status as a former no.2 overall pick and he’s still playing on a rookie contract. Clarkson, on the other hand, is earning $12.5 million per year after re-signing with the Lakers to a four-year, $40 million deal. The sheer size of his contract makes Clarkson a little harder to trade than Russell, although he can still be used as potential trade package if the Lakers pull off a major coup on the trade market this summer. #Lakers Rumors