Lakers officially trade D'Angelo Russell to Nets

Ball recently claimed that his son Lonzo, Los Angeles' No. 2 pick in the 2017 NBA Draft, will help the Lakers return to the playoffs in his first year in the league.

The favorite's role, per the oddsmaker, went to point guard Lonzo Ball, the No. 2 overall pick by the Los Angeles Lakers.

However, getting Los Angeles into the playoffs could be a very tall order for Ball, given that the team has been among the NBA's worst for four straight seasons and likely won't add a veteran star, such as Paul George or LeBron James, until the next offseason.

The Los Angeles Lakers wasted no time heaping sky-high expectations upon Lonzo Ball, whom they drafted with the No. 2 overall pick in Thursday's National Basketball Association draft. He and classmates Kris Jenkins and Darryl Reynolds never lost back-to-back games or more than five games in any one season during their four years. The 76ers selected guard Markelle Fultz on Thursday night with the No1 pick and the Lakers followed by taking Ball, the start of a record-setting run of one-and-dones in the National Basketball Association draft.

The Lakers don't appear concerned by LaVar Ball, the voluble father with aspirations of building a global sports empire around his three talented sons.

After LaVar's ESPN interview Simmons ripped him on Twitter by calling him insane for saying that Lonzo will lead the Lakers to the playoffs in his first year.

Ball usually grins or sighs when his father gets on the microphone, but he openly acknowledged he also wanted to land with the Lakers, who needed a serendipitous draft lottery to end up with the second pick.

Certainly, this is a risky move by the Lakers but these are the moves the organization needs to make if they want to move toward the top.

For now, though, the Lakers will bank on Ball helping revive a franchise that last made the playoffs in 2013. "If I can come halfway short of him, you know it's going to be good". The Lakers acquired the No. 27 pick in the trade that sent D'Angelo Russell to the Brooklyn Nets earlier this week. Those two were the seventh and eighth Hoosiers players selected in the past 15 years and the first since Noah Vonleh went No. 9 overall in 2014.

Fultz is seen as a terrific all-around offensive talent while Ball has been compared to future Hall of Famer Jason Kidd because of his extraordinary court vision and passing skills.

The Philadelphia 76ers selected guard Markelle Fultz with the No. 1 pick in the National Basketball Association draft.

Johnson concluded and laughed, "I wouldn't have made that move if I didn't think I could use that money". This past season, Hart led the Big East in points per game (18.1), player efficiency rating (28.1) and win shares (7.7).

  • Joanne Flowers