By Flint Wheeler

Moments after the Los Angeles Lakers selected UCLA guard Lonzo Ball with the No. 2 overall pick in Thursday night’s NBA draft, Ball’s outspoken father, LaVar, made a bold proclamation on national television.? “He has the talent to be an All-Star”. In a single breath, Johnson anointed Ball “the new face of the Lakers” and “the guy who will lead us back to where we want to get to”. “I’m not insane. I know it’s going to take time to build and we’re building, but when we get the right people in here, we’re going to win”.

Hall of Fame basketball player Magic Johnson, who is the new president of basketball operations for the Lakers, said last month that he would not let such controversies dissuade the team from picking Lonzo Ball and held true to his world in Thursday’s draft.

Those moves should give the Lakers close to $60 million in significant cap room next summer – enough to potentially sign two max-salary players.

Will Russell, only 21 years old, blossom in Brooklyn and make the Lakers regret giving up on him? When the Patriots offense is operating at its highest efficiency, Brady is getting the ball out of his hands quickly to playmakers like Julian Edelman, Danny Amendola, Rob Gronkowski, Dion Lewis, and James White.

“Magic Johnson is one of the greatest players to ever play… he’s the best point guard to ever play, so I can learn a lot of things from him”.

“I talked about that with coach Walton”, 2nd Overall Pick in the draft, Lonzo Ball said.  “The right people are in charge” he continued on via the ESPN draft Podcast. This made me smile. An athlete finally saying he’s got a lot to learn and will look up to the players before him to help guide the way. Smart and mature. Players that are chosen number two overall are expected to be cornerstone players for the next decade. Ball was asked about what will be different next summer, since he’s essentially betting on himself to turn their fortunes around.

During the Laker media day Lonzo Ball continued with his humble appreciation of his storied surroundings. When asked “What it feels like to be a Laker”, Ball looked up at the rafters and the retired jerseys of former legends. “Baylor, Goodrich, Abdul-Jabbar, O’Neal, Worthy, West. Johnson. Do you see it? Okay, then. We’re fine. We want expectations. I’m happy. I’m excited.

This is what 76ers, Lakers fans have waited for.”

Distractions from the Lavar Ball (Lonzo’s outspoken father) aside. Lonzo comes across as a gifted athlete who by early accounts, “Gets It”. Despite dad’s early prediction of the Lakers making the playoffs in his son’s first season, Lonzo seems grounded in appreciation for the moment. That’s everything one can ask from a rookie.

Current Pre-Season Odds From South Coast Sports Book:

Snowball’s Chance In H***!!

Brooklyn Nets: +50000

Orlando Magic: +50000

Phoenix Suns: +50000

Sacramento Kings: +50000

Charlotte Hornets: +30000

Detroit Pistons: +30000

Atlanta Hawks: +20000

Send Your $ To Me – I’ll Book These For You

Chicago Bulls: +10000

Dallas Mavericks: +10000

Denver Nuggets: +10000

Indiana Pacers: +10000

Los Angeles Lakers: +10000

Miami Heat: +10000

Minnesota Timberwolves: +10000

New Orleans Pelicans: +10000

New York Knicks: +10000

Philadelphia 76ers: +10000

Portland Trail Blazers: +10000

Utah Jazz: +10000

Fun To Watch – Still Lighting Your $ On Fire

Memphis Grizzlies: +7500

Milwaukee Bucks: +7500

Oklahoma City Thunder: +6600

Toronto Raptors: +5000

Washington Wizards: +6000

Los Angeles Clippers: +3300

If Nothing Else – Interesting

Houston Rockets: +2000

Boston Celtics: +1200

San Antonio Spurs: +1200

“Yawn” – Look Familiar

Cleveland Cavaliers: +300

Golden State Warriors -150

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