NBA

Lonzo Ball.

How Lonzo Ball currently ranks against the best age-20 players in NBA history

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When Lonzo Ball was drafted by the Los Angeles Lakers with the second overall pick in the 2017 draft, many people had the high expectation that he would rock the league and take the Lakers back to the glory days immediately.

However, so far this season, it hasn't been that way, as the Lakers are currently sitting in 15th position in the Western Conference with an 11-26 record with him on the team. Ball has only averaged 10 points, seven rebounds, and 7.1 assists per game as well after 31 games played, averaging 33.9 minutes per game.

Despite what the stats say, Oklahoma City Thunder's Paul George has been impressed by what he has seen by Ball so far in his NBA career. He believes Ball is in the midst of one of the best age-20 seasons in NBA history.

George said, according to Tania Ganguli of the Los Angeles Times: "I got a great impression on him. I think people are kind of down on him because he doesn't wow you statistically. He can every so often, but that's not the caliber of player he is, especially right now. But as far as a basketball player, man, he's at his age, one of the best basketball players that has played this game.

"He just has a knack to play the game the right way. His ability to just make plays without it leading to an assist for him, but just to get the offense going, he's all-around just a great basketball player."

Portland Trail Blazers v Los Angeles Lakers

While this might say more into George's NBA future than Ball's current time in the league (since reports in the past have said George would like to play for the Lakers), let's actually take a look and see how he ranks against the best age-20 players in NBA history.

According to Basketball-Reference, in terms of win shares, LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers had the greatest age-20 season ever in 2004-05, when he averaged 27.2 points, 7.4 rebounds, and 7.2 assists in 42.4 minutes per game in his sophomore year, and a win share of 14.3.

Cleveland Cavaliers v Chicago Bulls

Ball isn't even having the greatest age-20 season ever in Lakers history, as that honor currently belongs to Magic Johnson from the 1979-80 season when he averaged 18 points, 7.7 rebounds, and 7.3 assists in 36.3 minutes per game and a win share of 10.5.

In fact, as of writing Ball's statistics so far in the 2017-18 season only positions him 193 on the list on the greatest age-20 seasons ever with a win share of 0.4, but we must remember he's only around halfway through his first season, so this has time to change.

The player that's having the best age-20 season so far this season is John Collins of the Atlanta Hawks. So far, he has averaged 11.1 points, 7.1 rebounds, and 1.1 assists in 22.9 minutes per game and a win share of 2.5. However, even he is only ranked 85th overall on the list.

Atlanta Hawks v Chicago Bulls

Anthony Davis has the title of having the most recent best age-20 season, as in the 2013-14 season for the New Orleans Pelicans when he averaged 20.8 points, 10 rebounds, and 1.6 assists in 35.2 minutes per game and a win share of 10.4. This puts him in third place on the list.

In conclusion, Ball is having a good season as a rookie, as faults in his game are expected and there's plenty of time to iron them out, but in terms of having one of the greatest age-20 seasons ever, he's nowhere near at the moment. We'll have to wait until the end of the season to see if he is able to change that.

Topics:
Kobe Bryant
L.A. Lakers
Pacific Division
Western Conference
NBA
Magic Johnson
LeBron James
Cleveland Cavaliers
Central Division
Eastern Conference

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