In his first season in the NBA, Lonzo Ball has had an up and down campaign with the Los Angeles Lakers but the signs are hugely encouraging.
He has endured shooting struggles throughout the year due to his unorthodox shot but the rest of his game has been impressive.
The rookie came out of college with a reputation as a playmaker and he has shown his terrific court vision all season long.
The 20-year-old's numbers are more than respectable with averages of 10.2 points, 7.2 assists, 6.9 rebounds and 1.7 steals per game.
Ball has suffered a huge amount of criticism but the truth is, he's enjoyed a solid start to his career in the league.
Aside from his shooting - 36 percent from the field and 30.5 percent from three-point range - it's hard to fault him for anything else on the floor as he's had a big impact on the Lakers.
The Purple and Gold have continuously insisted that Lonzo will be their point guard of the future and they haven't changed their view on that.
Head coach Luke Walton has been singing the praises of the UCLA product all year and was recently asked for his assessment of Ball's campaign.
“Luke Walton was asked about how he’d evaluate Lonzo Ball’s rookie year based on his expectations (which were high), and said he’s absolutely ‘thrilled.’
"Loves how he plays, how he’s handled everything on and off court. Couldn’t be higher on Ball’s future.”
As the floor general for Los Angeles, the offence runs through the hometown man and he has largely excelled at implementing Walton's style.
With his whole career ahead of him, the young guard will only get better and has all the tools to become a star for the franchise.
Unfortunately for him, there's a doubt about how many more games he can play this season after he suffered a knee injury against the Dallas Mavericks in their last outing.
It is believed to be a minor issue but with just eight games to go, the Lakers will not be in any rush to get him back on the court.
Speaking after the game, Ball didn't sound too concerned and played down the fears of fans.
“I’m not [concerned],” Ball said, per Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN. “Think it is just a bruise to the back of my leg. Should be OK. I have [experienced this before], it is like a dead leg but not in the spot that I have it right now.”
There's a big summer ahead for L.A. as they seek to attract at least two marquee free agents but regardless of who they acquire in the offseason, they have a bright future ahead with a talented young core to build around.
Listen HERE to the first episode of the new GiveMeSport NBA podcast, featuring former Cleveland Cavaliers General Manager David Griffin.
Enjoy, and please subscribe for all future episodes.News Now - Sport News