From being drafted second overall to winning Summer League MVP, Lonzo Ball’s first offseason has been quite the success.
More accolades came his way on Tuesday, this time from members of his own draft class, who participated in the NBA’s annual rookie survey.
Ball’s fellow rookies clearly expect success for years to come, as 18.4 percent of them voted that he will have the “best career” of the class, tying with Boston’s Jayson Tatum for first in that category.
The rookies also see him putting on a show in the short run, as he took 20.0 percent of the vote for the “Rookie of the Year” prediction, placing him behind only Dallas’ Dennis Smith Jr. (25.7).
It’s easy to pinpoint what about Ball’s game makes him so impressive to fellow rookies.
His world-class passing — which led the NCAA in assists last year and broke the Summer League assists record — also led them to naming him the class’ “best playmaker” with a whopping 71.8 percent margin.
That percentage is the second-highest of any question in the history of the rookie survey. Only Stephen Curry drew higher (79.4) in 2009’s “best shooter” category, and it’s obvious how that prognosis turned out.
Second place was taken by Philadelphia’s Markelle Fultz, though the top draft pick only took 7.7 percent.
A fellow rookie told survey takers: “(Ball’s) basketball IQ is very high. He knows where to be, he knows where his teammates need to be, and he knows what’s going on at all times. He’s the type of guy that anybody would want to play with.”
Ball wasn’t the only Laker to earn some praise from his classmates, as Kyle Kuzma placed in several categories.
The 27th pick tied for fourth in “Rookie of the Year” voting (5.7), making him the only non-lottery pick among the top five.
Kuzma — who hit 48.0 percent on 3-pointers at Summer League — also tied for fourth on the “best shooter” question (5.4) and was deemed fifth in the “biggest steal” category (9.5).
Like Ball, Kuzma is also expected to thrive for years, as he was among those who received votes for “best career.”