2017-18 Fantasy Basketball Profile: Lonzo Ball
Due mostly to his father’s over-the-top comments, Lonzo Ball has entered the NBA with a high level of expectations and a wide range of predictions for how his career will turn out. A look at past No. 2 overall picks shows a high rate of busts, but Ball still has to forge his own career path.
Leaving aside all the attention on the shoes he’s wearing, Ball has posted two triple doubles in his first four games in Las Vegas Summer League. In the game between, he scored 36 points and nearly had a triple double (11 assists, eight rebounds). Production against summer league competition has to be kept in perspective, but can Ball be a high-level fantasy producer as a rookie?
Concern over Ball’s shooting form are not going away at all, as he’s just shooting just 35.7 percent from the floor (25-for-70) and 19.4 percent from three-point range (7-for-36) through four games in Las Vegas.
Turnovers have also been an issue, with 13 over the last two games and a total of 20 in the four summer league games thus far. But that has been chalked up to teammates needing to learn to look for Ball’s passes at any time, by no less an authority than Lakers’ head coach Luke Walton.
Overall, Ball has filled the stat sheet so far in Summer League, averaging 17.0 points, 9.8 assists, 8.3 rebounds and 3.3 steals per game. That scoring average is skewed by a 36-point performance, but Ball did average 7.6 assists, 6.0 rebounds and 1.8 steals per game in his lone season at UCLA. He has the size (6-foot-6) and feel for the game to put himself in position to rebound, and start his own fast breaks from the defensive end.
Ball should be an immediate multi-category producer for the Lakers and fantasy basketball owners, with plenty of playing time to drive volume. If you’re in a league that uses shooting percentages as categories, Ball will be a detriment there until further notice. But he will be a worthy No. 2 point guard for fantasy as a rookie, with the ability to be started consistently in leagues that use some sort of flex position for guards.