Paul George: Lonzo Ball Is 'One of the Best' to Have Played in NBA at His Age

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistJanuary 3, 2018

Los Angeles Lakers guard Lonzo Ball (2) in the first half of an NBA basketball game Saturday, Dec. 2, 2017, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
David Zalubowski/Associated Press

Leading up to Wednesday's game against the Los Angeles Lakers, Oklahoma City Thunder star Paul George had high praise for rookie Lonzo Ball.

"As far as being a basketball player, at his age, he's one of the best basketball players that has played this game," George said, via Shahan Ahmed of NBC Los Angeles. "He has a knack to play the game the right way."

George was linked as a potential trade candidate to the Lakers while playing for the Indiana Pacers, though he told Erik Horne of the Oklahoman on Tuesday he's happy about being dealt to the Thunder:

“There wasn't a gun pointed to the head ‘send me here.' I just stated somewhere I wanted to go play. You ask 80, 70 percent of the guys in the league if they'd love to go back home and play for their city, for their home ... that's all I stated. I would have loved to go back home and play for my city. So, no regrets at all. I thought this trade that went down was a win-win for both sides, and I'm happy we both moved on.”

Ball has missed each of the Lakers' last five games with a sprained shoulder he suffered during a Dec. 23 game against the Portland Trail Blazers. 

Despite being cleared to practice, the Lakers have already ruled Ball out against the Thunder. The 20-year-old is averaging 10 points, 7.1 assists and 6.9 rebounds per game. 

Ball has struggled with his shooting consistency, hitting 34.9 percent of his attempts this season, but he ranks third in the NBA among point guards in rebounds and sixth in assists. 

George has helped the Thunder get off to a 20-17 start, though they have lost their last two games following a six-game winning streak. The Lakers' 11-25 record entering Wednesday's game is the worst in the Western Conference. 

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