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2017 NBA Draft: Lakers select Lonzo Ball with the No. 2 pick

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The hometown hero gets his wish, and will start a new era for the purple and gold.

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The Los Angeles Lakers have shocked... absolutely no one, making the widely projected call of selecting Lonzo Ball with the No. 2 pick in the 2017 NBA Draft. The UCLA guard was seen as a lock to get his wish and end up with his hometown team from basically the moment the Lakers found out they would get the second overall pick, and his dream is now a reality.

With the Lakers exiling D’Angelo Russell to Brooklyn, Ball will in all likelihood get the opportunity to take the reins of head coach Luke Walton‘s offense from Day 1.

Ball received a similar opportunity with UCLA, where he averaged 14.6 points, six rebounds and 7.6 assists as a true freshman while reviving a Bruins program that had stagnated with a 15-17 record the year prior to his arrival. Ball led the Bruins to a 31-5 record and the second-most efficient offense in the NCAA, according to KenPom.

The Lakers won’t ask Ball to turn them around that quickly, but he will have a huge role right away, whether he’s setting up Paul George and Brook Lopez while gunning for an eighth seed, or just trying to feed Julius Randle and Brandon Ingram as the team tries to show the value of their young upstarts to the rest of the league.

Either way, Ball is going to have a lot on his plate right away, and he’ll quickly get the chance to prove just how much of a Big Baller he really is.

Harrison Faigen is co-host of the Locked on Lakers podcast (subscribe here), and you can follow him on Twitter at @hmfaigen.