Los Angeles Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka compared their rookie pick Lonzo Ball to two of the NFL's greatest quarterbacks -- Tom Brady of the New England Patriots and Aaron Rodgers of the Green Bay Packers -- in terms of passing ability. "I think when this really came into focus for us was, we knew the talent was transcendent,” Pelinka told ESPN, referring to Ball, the Lakers’ No. 2 overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft. “The way he passes the ball, you look at quarterbacks like Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers, that just have a gift,” he added. Pelinka said like Brady and Rodgers, Ball clearly has a gift in terms of passing.

Ball averaged 14.6 points, 7.6 assists and 6.0 rebounds per game as he led UCLA to the Sweet 16, his only achievement in his lone season in college. Ball’s achievements pale in comparison with Brady and Rodgers in terms of titles and records. Brady recently won his fifth Super Bowl Trophy in Super Bowl LI while Rodgers hold the NFL’s all-time passing rating record with 104.1 on top of a Super Bowl ring.

Lakers president Magic Johnson also declared Ball as the new face of the franchise and hopes that the franchise could retire his jersey in the future. However, it took the Lakers two workouts with Ball before deciding to use the No. 2 pick on him.

LaVar Ball confident in son’s ability

LaVar, Lonzo’s father, guaranteed that his son will take the Lakers to the playoffs in his first year.

"Lonzo Ball is gonna take the Lakers to the playoffs his first year," LaVar told ESPN. "Come see me when he does." The boast came as no surprise since LaVar has been drumming up his son’s image weeks before the Draft. He earlier claimed that his son is more talented than Golden State Warriors' Steph Curry and even boasted that he can beat Michael Jordan to a game of one-on-one in his prime.

Coach Luke Walton, for his part, said he was not concerned about LaVar’s comments that could affect his son and make him a target of other players in the NBA.

Coach Luke Walton not ready to make guarantees

Walton said he’s not ready to make the type of guarantees that LaVar made, with the season still months away.

"I'm a very optimistic person, but I don't look that far into the future," Walton said, adding that he’s hoping that Lonzo could lead the Lakers to a couple of Summer League victories, and “we'll take it from there." However, Walton said he likes what he sees in Lonzo, saying he fits the Lakers’ run-and-gun style of play. The Lakers also see Ball as their new court leader, with former No. 2 pick D'Angelo Russell now gone and traded to the Brooklyn Nets.

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