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More likely to have a breakout sophomore season: Markelle Fultz or Lonzo Ball?
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Steve Aschburner: Lonzo Ball. My hunch is based on the tutelage of LeBron James, who has plenty of incentive to invest time and energy into the Lakers’ top pick from a year ago – and who has gotten plenty of other unproven teammates to blossom (Matthew Dellavedova, Tristan Thompson). Fultz has as much or more pressure on him, to justify his No. 1 status from 2017 (and the trade with Boston), but on a team built around other young stars who won’t be mentoring him. I’m not saying Fultz can’t get back to even, but Ball has a better environment in which to thrive.
Tas Melas: Fultz, because there’s a lot more room for improvement. Outside of scoring, Ball had a productive year across the board last season. He fulfilled his promise as a passer, rebounder, and defender — Fultz has yet to meet expectations in any one aspect of his game. What Ball provides as a player was sort of an after-thought when