Isaiah Thomas says Lonzo Ball has “tools to be special” but jump shot can’t be fixed

NBA: Los Angeles Lakers at Denver Nuggets
Mar 9, 2018; Denver, CO, USA; Los Angeles Lakers guard Lonzo Ball (2) and center Ivica Zubac (40) help guard Isaiah Thomas (3) up in the first quarter against the Denver Nuggets at the Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Even in a season with LeBron James on board, one of the main story lines for the Los Angeles Lakers will be the development of Lonzo Ball. The point guard had a divisive rookie season, filling the stat-sheet and showcasing his high basketball IQ but being limited by his lack of scoring ability.

Former teammate Isaiah Thomas, who signed with the Denver Nuggets this summer after spending half a season with the Lakers, recently spoke on CBS Sports Radio about Ball’s potential, in particular taking note of the UCLA product’s unorthodox and infamous jump shot:

I mean Lonzo’s a great kid. I mean I don’t think you’re going to be able to fix his jump shot but you can work with him and get it better than how it is right now. He’s a talented, talented young player that’s going to be special in this league because he has the tools to be special.

Thomas is just one year removed from being an MVP candidate and the point guard knows how difficult it is to succeed in the NBA with a specific disadvantage as he has had to deal with being smaller than everyone else in the league. So it should be a positive sign that Thomas believes in Ball’s potential.

That said, it’s incredibly difficult to be a great offensive player in today’s NBA without enough of a shooting ability to keep defenders honest. Ball managed to have a strong showing in year one but in order to truly achieve his potential, he will have to become markedly better in the margins.

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