Stephen A Smith was on ESPN's "First Take" and the conversation went to Lonzo Ball and his NBA prospects heading into the NBA Draft this evening. The criticism of Ball is that he is a decent shooter, but he is not big and might not be what the Los Angeles Lakers need in order to contend in the NBA, making Ball a possible NBA bust.

However, Smith disagreed with that assessment and said it is all about what a team expects of their draft pick and he believes the Lakers will set up Lonzo Ball to succeed, comparing the young UCLA player to Jason Kidd.

What Lonzo Ball has to succeed

According to Smith, Lonzo Ball will be asked to play the role of a leader for the Los Angeles Lakers and that is where Ball can be a huge success. If a team wanted Lonzo to be a pure shooter or to be a player that can completely take control of games, that would be a different story. However, if the Lakers use Ball to create plays and get other players involved, he can be just as great as Jason Kidd was in the NBA.

Smith reminded viewers that Jason Kidd was not a great shooter when he came into the NBA but he developed into one and became an NBA Hall of Fame player. With Magic Johnson now running the show with the Los Angeles Lakers, Smith said the team will look for Lonzo Ball to be someone who can be a leader and run that offense.

That is a recipe for success for Ball.

Improvement for Lakers in 2017-18

The Los Angeles Lakers had a great player that was supposed to be their franchise star in D'Angelo Russell. Compared to Lonzo Ball, Russell was a better athlete and a better shooter. On his own, Russell might be the better player. However, what Russell lacked were leadership skills.

As a result, the Lakers traded Russell to the Brooklyn Nets for Brook Lopez.

With D'Angelo Russell gone, it is time for the Los Angeles Lakers to find his replacement and that should come tonight at the 2017 NBA Draft when the Lakers choose Lonzo Ball with the second overall pick in the draft. While selecting Ball was no guarantee after lackluster workouts, trading D'Angelo seems to open the door for Lonzo to come to the Lakers.

Lonzo Ball himself said that he will love to play for whoever the Los Angeles Lakers bring in if that ends up who selects him in the NBA Draft tonight. There is a chance the Lakers could shoot for Paul George in a trade as well and things could get really exciting as the time ticks down to the start of tonight's NBA Draft. Where Lonzo Ball ends up will be one of the biggest topics of discussion.