Lonzo Ball Signs 4-Year Lakers Rookie Contract

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistJuly 3, 2017

LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 23:  Lonzo Ball #2 of the Los Angeles Lakers talks to the media during a press conference at their training faculity in June 23, 2017 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)
Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images

Lonzo Ball's dream of becoming a Los Angeles Laker came true Monday, as he inked his four-year rookie contract.

The Lakers announced the news after Shams Charania of The Vertical reported it was imminent.

Ball, 19, was the No. 2 overall selection in the June draft. The four-year contract will pay him $33.4 million, assuming the Lakers offer him the full 120 percent of the league's slot value for the No. 2 pickβ€”the maximum allowable and standard operating procedure for most franchises.

Los Angeles has done everything to position Ball as its next superstar. President of basketball operations Magic Johnson called him the "new face of the Lakers" at Ball's introductory press conference and praised his leadership qualities.

"You have to have a great leader and somebody that can make their teammates better and somebody that has incredible basketball IQ," Johnson told reporters. "The IQ is off the charts. He's somebody that can get his teammates to follow."

Ball, who has been overshadowed a bit by his boisterous father, LaVar, arrived with a stellar resume. He's been successful at every level and finished his lone season at UCLA with averages of 14.6 points, 7.6 assists and 6.0 rebounds per game.

A big, offensively brilliant point guard who can stretch defenses beyond the three-point arc, Ball is also viewed by Los Angeles as a potential defensive stopper.

"Lonzo has the ability to be an all-defensive player in his career," Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka told reporters. "He's got great length at the point guard position. If he commits to film work and continuing the endurance training and mentality of defensive toughness, I think he's going to be talked about as a great two-way player."

The hoopla surrounding LaVar and the Big Baller Brand has also cast a huge spotlight on Lonzo, but plenty of people think he's a franchise talent. After they traded D'Angelo Russell for essentially nothing, the Lakers better hope that's the case.


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