Lonzo Ball - NBA Summer League MVP

To my complete surprise, Lonzo Ball was named the NBA Summer League (Las Vegas) MVP last night so I want to hear from my fellow monkeys:

Is Lonzo Ball really going to be something special in the NBA?
Did he actually deserve to win the MVP, albeit other great performances?
Why has he worn different shoes in almost every game?

Lonzo's fathers seems to be a complete clown, but Zo has been a rather humble guy who has been certainly backing up the hype. Let me know what you all think!

Region: 
United States - West

Comments (98)

Jul 18, 2017

I'm uneasy about the fact that Lonzo has 2 younger brothers, which means the dad could potentially have a television spotlight for another TWO DECADES depending on how all 3 of their careers pan out.

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Jul 18, 2017

The middle brother (LiAngelo) will not make it to the NBA, he likely will not even start at UCLA. The youngest one is a highly ranked prospect though.

Jul 18, 2017

That's a relief.

Jul 18, 2017

yeah the little brother is built as if he is a football player... but he put up similar numbers to his older and younger brother in hs so you never know...

Jul 18, 2017

As far as being special, it's too soon to tell. Seasoned NBA players are much larger, faster, and skilled than college or summer league players. He's got to continue to make adjustments and work hard in order to recognize his potential. I like the kid, but so many young players we like go bust from injuries or just not taking the opportunity seriously enough.

Jul 18, 2017

People have been wildly overreacting to Summer League this year more than years prior. It's way to early to tell for any of these players. But, Lonzo has wild IQ and man his passes were something special. That being said he is going to struggle this year because the Lakers are trash and Lonzo can not create scoring opportunities for himself and his teammates will not be able to finish on these great passes. I'm going to hold my "give him a statue" reactions for all rookies until about mid-November.

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Jul 19, 2017

Magic "The Lakers are Back"

Jul 20, 2017

Bit premature to post this after you won the summer league ...

Jul 18, 2017

LaVar wasn't surprised

Jul 18, 2017

I would be extremely worried about his inability to create separation off the dribble as well as his poor shooting in summer league than anything else. It appears his only special talent is passing but good defenders will make that extremely difficult if he can't get to the rim or shoot, limiting his only special talent.

Jul 18, 2017

His shooting is fine. He'll make some tweaks and that percentage will come up. But he's not very quick. Also, Balls play style is pass first anyway--he likes to make his teammates better. I like that style of play because he lets the game come to him instead of chasing after it. But it would be nice if he had a stronger, more explosive base and knew he could create his own shots with ease.

Jul 18, 2017

His shooting does not at all seem to be fine. It was fine at UCLA but if you want to use summer league to laud his MVP then use it for everything, he shot 12 of 50 on jumpers in summer league... that is horrible. The thing about a "pass first" point guard is that if they cannot create space off the dribble to get to the rim/ shoot the ball well that extremely limits their passing ability. If he doesn't improve those aspects he will never be an all-nba level talent, maybe not even an all-star.

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Jul 18, 2017

wrong bobthebuilder he made 34 out of 89 http://www.nba.com/players/lonzo/ball/1628366

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Jul 18, 2017

I think with smaller guards like IT it's limiting, but Lonzo is 6'5. It's like being a pocket QB, he could stand still and probably still see the court wel. He's an accurate passer. Not only that, he shot well in college and everyone knows players have to adjust to the larger court in the NBA.

Then add in a couple years of development, he'll be tougher to bounce players off. If he gets a better shot it doesn't take that much space to put up points from mid range or outside as well as keep your teammates involved.

Jul 18, 2017

Dude, look at Ricky Rubio. He is a 6'4 pass first PG who can't shoot and you see the result, Rubio actually seems more able to create space off the dribble. Rubio actually plays very good defense, Lonzo doesn't. Same with Rondo. If Lonzo does not improve on his summer league shooting and ability to create space he will be a bust relative to this hype, period. NBA defenses are way too smart to get suckered into letting him pick them apart off the pass if he isn't much of a threat off the dribble or shooting.

Jul 18, 2017

Lol Rubio. Seriously bro? No offense but he's a shitty comparison

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Jul 18, 2017

In what sense? He is tall like Ball. He is an outstanding passer and was known as such as a prospect, like Ball. He lacks athleticism, like Ball, I actually think he is more athletic than Ball. He has never been able to shoot, just like Ball couldn't in summer league. I get that Ball shot better in college and obviously you hope that carries over but scouts were worried about his slow and low release leading to a noticeable drop-off in the NBA, that worry has not been assuaged in summer league. So what, exactly, about my comparison is shitty?

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Jul 18, 2017

Lmao. Have you even watched him play?

Jul 18, 2017

Yes. Are you going to respond to my question? How is my comparison shitty?

Jul 18, 2017

Rubio is European, so his standard is relative to other Europeans like Tony Parker, Manu, or Bargani. Ball is more of a John Wall/James Harden type of player.

If you watch their play you'd pick up that they have different techniques. Americans have a more street style vs the extreme technicality Europeans possess. I remember Rubio as being finesse and crafty. Ball is a little quicker to take on challenges and use his body.

And Ball has always had a shot. While his FG is low now, shooting is one area most players seem to be able to work on to improve. And Ball is a much better attacker than Rubio. And they seem to be listed with identical wingspans but I think Ball's is longer. His dunk is stronger than Rubio's and he's a little faster.

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Best Response
Jul 18, 2017

Did you just compare Ball to John Wall/ Harden? WTF.... this is absolutely ridiculous. Ball game is not street style at all, I mean this is just a bunch of generalizations and it's like you have no idea what actual player you're talking about just that you are speaking on an American vs. European. Ball barely ever dunks and you just talked about his "stronger dunk". I have already discussed the specific reasons his jumper may be a problem in the NBA when it wasn't in college. He is a "much better attacker" by what metric? He was terrible as a scorer against summer league scrubs. The moment you compared the ultra athletic John Wall to the non-athletic Ball I realized I am talking to someone who has no idea. Unbelievable.

p.s. who gave you an SB for that garbage post? What a joke.

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Jul 23, 2017

Lost all credibility when even mentioning Rubio - dude is all trash.

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Jul 18, 2017
BobTheBaker:

His shooting does not at all seem to be fine. It was fine at UCLA but if you want to use summer league to laud his MVP then use it for everything, he shot 12 of 50 on jumpers in summer league... that is horrible. The thing about a "pass first" point guard is that if they cannot create space off the dribble to get to the rim/ shoot the ball well that extremely limits their passing ability. If he doesn't improve those aspects he will never be an all-nba level talent, maybe not even an all-star.

Get to the rim....

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Jul 18, 2017

Albeit, I only watched him play for 10-15min of summer league but I've seen him play at UCLA. I felt the man deserved it. He had a triple double almost each game.

I don't think he's going to be as individually impressive as some former Lakers we've seen (Kobe Bryant i.e..) with regards to scoring, but I already see him being a top Laker with regards to passing, assisting and opening up play. He 's the "Real Deal" when it comes to moving the ball up and down the court, and finding an open man. I've seen few do it better than Lonzo at such a young age.

...Lavar Ball is already taking on his role as Laker's team dad. Heard he brought orange slices and frozen grapes to practice.

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Jul 18, 2017

Don't mind me @hightheta01 just throwing .....silver bananas

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Jul 18, 2017

Did hell actually freeze over??

Jul 18, 2017

I would give this a silver banana but fucker wso blocked it

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Jul 18, 2017

I agree with everything BobTheBaker said. I'll also add: Ball looks slow against summer league competition, and his athleticism will be below the NBA average when the season kicks off. Also he is too skinny and doesn't seem strong, so he'll get pushed around a lot. And his shot is funky too. Improving your shot and changing your form is not easy when you've been shooting the same way your whole life. If becoming a better shooter was as simple as just "working on it", every NBA guard would shoot jumpers at a 50%+ clip. I could see Lonzo really struggle unless he improves his shooting significantly, and as for athleticism, unfortunately "explosiveness" cannot be taught. My 2 cents.

Jul 18, 2017

Exactly. Perhaps it was a fluke but and he will return to his college 3 pt form but his summer league shooting was in no way encouraging. As for arguing for his athleticism/speed, that is a total joke that's not even worth my time.

Jul 18, 2017

It's possible that Ball's quick release makes up for his weird shot but that's far from known. He had a great summer league because of his vision and passing, those two things can carry you a long way (see Rajon Rondo). If he can consistently hit shots then he can be a superstar, but he can still be a good PG if he only shoots 30%.

All that said, Dennis Smith Jr. looked like a monster. The Mavs were super excited to get him at 9, the FO saw him as a top 5 guy, and they're even higher on him now after summer league. As a Mavs fans, I'm so pumped to have him on the team. Ball only D'ed him up once or twice the other night but DSJ very quickly showed that Ball was no match for him.

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Jul 18, 2017

What you just said makes absolutely no sense. How can he still be a good PG if he shoots 30%? If you shoot 30% in the league, you don't start, and you're probably out of the league in 2-3 years max. Today's NBA is a scorer's league, and that is why relatively young guys like Rondo struggle and bounce around 4-5 teams. You said "see Rajon Rondo", but Rondo is literally trash. This isn't 2008 anymore. If his skill set is only passing, and he is a pass-first player, guys will literally play 10 feet off of him when guarding, and just clog up the passing lanes - rendering him useless.

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Jul 18, 2017

I believe he is talking 30% from three, he has to be. Other than that I pretty much agree with you.

Jul 18, 2017

His release is slow not quick. It's much harder to become Rajon Rondo than it was 10 years ago, the 3 point shot is just too important to the modern game and defenses have become smarter. Rondo also had a great first step and Ball does not.

Jul 23, 2017

To further your point, it helped to have KG down at the post, Ray around the 3pt marker (and constantly going on back door screens on the wing), and the Truth seemingly doing it all. Rondo only needed to pass and which was the only thing he was good at.

Jul 18, 2017

If Lavar wasn't present, everyone would be sucking Ball off as the new Lebrun James for his court vision and ability to make his teammates better. He won MVP because he almost averaged a triple double. He's a good and humble kid but you got sensitive lamos picking apart every piece of his game because they wish he fails. That's pathetic bro.

Jul 18, 2017

It's not pathetic, it's being realistic. Superstars in college come into the NBA and 9 times out of 10, are average players or slightly above average players. Stars / good college players come into the NBA and often end up riding the bench or are out of the league in a few years. How many #1 picks become busts compared to #1 picks that become franchise-level talent? Comparing someone like Ball who did "well" against college competition to someone like Harden or Wall who are top tier NBA talent is a completely delusional and retarded comparison. Also don't get it twisted - Lebron James, Kobe, KG and other players coming out of high school were branded as generational superstars YEARS before they dibbled a single ball in the NBA. Ball is in a completely different talent category and was never branded as the "next coming" by anyone.

Jul 18, 2017

This is dumb. I already stated that Ball is too young to determine whether he's a good enough player to be a superstar in the league. That was the first comment I made way up in this thread.

And my comparison is not retarded by any stretch. Go look up Ball's WAR on FiveThirtyEight and his projectile. Dude is estimated to be similar to a Wall or Harden or Westbrook.

Rubio was a lame and lazy attempt by @BobTheBaker that I called him out on. And I think bob is a black guy. I thought black people stick together. He's throwing a good kid under the bus because he's a sensitive lib.

If Lavar had been Latasha Ball, I bet then the kid would get more credit.

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Jul 18, 2017

It's not picking apart his game, with or without his Dad he has GLARING flaws. Also, saying his name in the same sentence as Lebron's is heresy. First off, Lonzo lacks athleticism and an explosive first step to get to the basket or the agility to create separation on jumpers. Against athletic NBA defenders he will not be able to penetrate and kick out the way he did in the NCAA/summer league. Also, his shooting mechanics are trash other than his squared stance meaning he can't space the floor clogging the passing lanes he is looking for. Defensively, he is a liability on the court and people blow by him off the dribble. His court vision and bbiq is incredible though and that is what you're betting on when drafting him at 2. He could be great but there is a lot to fix, he played trash PAC12 competition in NCAA and trash barely D-League competition in Summer League. He has a lot to work on for his game to translate to the NBA(the best competition). Not wishing he fails, but it is going to take a WHILE before he does anything substantial in the NBA. PG's historically take 4-5 years to develop into great NBA players. Saying he is Lebron is just wrong, so stop because want to know who he really is playing like right now, Michael Carter-Williams. MCW is bad. Not saying he will stay as bad as MCW, but there games look eerily similar right now.

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Jul 18, 2017

@BobTheBaker spitting fire and I love it!! I actually have to agree with most of his points here, sorry to say it guys

Jul 18, 2017

Let's be honest. The Celtics are feeling mighty good about #1 trading down to get Tatum at #3 (see his stats here: http://www.nba.com/players/jayson/tatum/1628369) AND getting another potential lottery pick in another loaded draft for big men next year!!!

So you can argue whether Lonzo, Fultz or Tatum were the MVPs of Summer League, but I just thought I'd drop in here to mention that the Celtics are on the cusp of becoming an elite contender. They will give the Cavs a run THIS year and knock them off the throne in the East for sure by next year.

Book it.

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Jul 18, 2017

I'm worried about you guys losing Bradley. He was lockdown and hit some huge shots for you guys.

But yeah, obviously you guys are number 1 in the East when Lebron goes West. 2021 though, watch out for the Sixers.

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Jul 18, 2017

Agreed, losing Bradley was tough but out of one of the guys that had to go (to sign Hayward), it made the most sense long term. We weren't going to be able to pay him with the cap and Thomas coming up next year.

I think Rozier and Brown will surprise guarding 1s this year...and now we don't just have 1 scoring option like in previous years. The team just got MUCH longer, MUCH tougher and MUCH more versatile this offseason (not just one scoring option)...could go a long way toward solving our rebounding issues.

I think we take the Cavs to 6 or 7 this year in the ECF.

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Jul 18, 2017

WSO dropping the hammer AND the mic....Celtics are certainly a top contender in the East, but LeBron can hold them off for a few more years

Jul 21, 2017

and just like that, the path to the finals just got a LOT easier: https://www.celticsblog.com/2017/7/21/16012398/kyr...
YESSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :-)

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Jul 18, 2017

Markelle Fultz is a generational talent. Taytum is good but he seems like a 18-22 ppg scorer that doesn't bring much else to the table.

Jul 18, 2017

I think with Taytum's length, footwork and scoring prowess in ISO, he can become an 18-22ppg scorer AND add in 8-10 boards/game WHEN he puts on an extra 15-20lbs of muscle and fills out his frame (for sure in year 1 and if he stays thin, he will struggle to fill out the stat sheet and guard PFs).

I think the extra muscle will also help him guarding 4s - he won't be there in year 1, but I can see him making a huge leap by year 2-3. It's harder to find big guys like Taytum that can move their feet and guard 2-4, have high character and great BBIQ...that is who the Celtics have AND don't forget, the Celtics could very well get pick #2-5 for giving up Fultz.

So CS could very well have turned an exceptional Fultz (a position in low demand) into Taytum AND the #2-5 pick in next years loaded draft class...with some transformational BIGS (a position of high demand)

Ainge is a genius.

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Jul 18, 2017

Lonzo will be special. LiAngelo is good for a surprise but I don't think he'll be as hyped going into the league as Zo. The youngest of the three will probably be Zo 2.0.

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Jul 18, 2017

LiAngelo will probably never step on an NBA court dude he is not even a top 100 recruit coming out of HS.

Jul 19, 2017

You never know what can happen over four years in college with a star brother in the NBA.
Plus: Seth Curry also made it.

Jul 18, 2017

The hard pressing question that has yet to be addressed: What the hell is the situation with the damn shoes? I'm not sure if a genius marketing ploy or just trolling. @BobTheBaker

Jul 18, 2017

This.

For a bunch of guys in business, I'm surprised nobody gives a shit about this. I am starting to think deep into it.

Does he continue to use his Big Baller Brand because it gives him flexibility with sneaker options? He's the only guy in the NBA who will have his own shoe selling at after-market prices, which is a great idea as the "top" sneakers sell for that on the after-market anyway. I think people will actually pay it if he ends up being good. He'll essentially kill all the sales after the first level, essentially doing JIT production on the shoe to cover his costs in case none are sold. NOT a bad idea.

Not only is he the only one selling at a price point that's comparable to the secondary market (in finance terms), but he is able to now wear any shoe he wants. He can wear the most popular and hyped shoes at any time he wants. Maybe he ends up getting notoriety due to it. He is looked at favorably in the fashion arena due to that. Then his shoes appreciate by association? No other player in the NBA (with a sneaker deal) can just choose to wear whatever shoe he wants.

Does that put other athletes at a disadvantage once this sort of model is out there? Does he sell the shoes he wears on big games as advertising? Nike pays $250k for him to wear their new sneaker on Christmas? Adidas pays $250k for a playoff debut? Jordan pays for a big matchup in the regular season? These are all possibilities that nobody has ever considered and can only be accomplished if you own the company that makes your shoes. I think that BBB is much more than what people are considering it now, and I'm starting to wonder if Lavar Ball is much more intelligent than we are making him out to be.

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Jul 20, 2017

He is absolutely far smarter than people think. People think just because someone says outlandish things that the person must be dumb without thinking about the fact that they are doing it on purpose. Martin Shkreli, Trump, Drake, Kanye, etc. all say completely wild things all the time to boost their own positioning or for amusement, and in Lavar Ball's case him/his family/his company have gotten so much media attention from him alone. The NBA, ESPN, and other sports publications focus on him/Lonzo's every move now - just look at the NBA's social media feed over the past few weeks and note how many times a post dedicated to Lonzo Ball shows up.

Jul 20, 2017

I think it is a marketing ploy, they will likely play in those shoes for one season, realize it isn't sustainable as a business (especially if he doesn't play well), and sign a shoe deal. They aren't geniuses for thinking of this, they are just vastly underestimating the difficulty of what they're trying to do.

Jul 19, 2017

i think lavar ball should be the next NBA commissioner, any thoughts anyone? especially @BobTheBaker since you know the most about basketball it seems

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Jul 19, 2017

I think Lavar Ball would be an explosive commissioner, a pure incarnation of "street ball", and an excellent ambassador to a multi-billion dollar brand. If Nike knows what's good for them they'll take notice.

Jul 19, 2017

My vote is for LeVar Burton

Jul 20, 2017

the shoes are a ploy to try and get a real shoe deal -- apparently the real "Big Ballers" would rather snag a pair of Allen Edmonds and still save $100

Jul 20, 2017

I may be biased BC I am a UCLA alum, but he definitely deserved the SL MVP. 2 Triple doubles that early on is a good sign but probably won't fully carry over during the actual season for a long time.

I think lonzo will be legit in a few years if he can get his 3pt shot to be consistent and stops rocking anything related to the big baller brand

Jul 20, 2017

De'Aaron Fox is going to be rookie of the year.

Jul 23, 2017

In related news, LaMelo has apparently finally managed to pull off his first dunk in a game...don't bother searching for it. It was so unspectacular, I've seen more exciting lay ups.

Jul 24, 2017

Caught that on the Big Baller Brand Instagram and LaMelo almost snaps his frail little leg on the way down hahah

Jul 23, 2017

It's fucking Summer League, who cares. For what it's worth, the Kings have won the past two "championships" and the off season is more exciting for the NBA - but who cares - NFL season is kicking off and MLB playoffs around the corner. Don't give a damn about the Ball brothers..

--- I just sounded like a grumpy old man #wannabeFacebookrant

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Aug 7, 2017

Celtics will be in the Finals this year...just sayin...

Aug 7, 2017
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Aug 7, 2017
Aug 22, 2017