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NBA trade news: Lakers star makes Ball claim, Leonard announcement, Celtics prediction | Other | Sport

Los Angeles Lakers star Michael Beasley has hailed Lonzo Ball, claiming the point guard gets unfair criticism.

Ball averaged 11 points, seven assists and seven rebounds per game last season – and Beasley has backed the 20-year-old to shine this season.

“I’m a big Lonzo fan. I don’t understand how Lonzo gets so much criticism, averaging almost 11 points, seven rebounds, seven assists, a steal and a block per game,” said Beasley.

“Granted, his percentages were low, but you all think Russell Westbrook can shoot, and he’s got the same three-point percentage.

“Two years ago, Malcolm Brogdon won Rookie of the Year with 10 points and three rebounds a game, but now Lonzo is 11-7-7 and he’s a bust?

“I’m a Lonzo fan.

“I think if you just let him play and not worry about if he can shoot or not, I think you will see a player that knows how and wants to play a complete game of basketball.”

Beasley will link up with Ball this season after joining the Lakers this summer.

Kawhi Leonard has thanked the San Antonio Spurs after being traded to the Toronto Raptors.

In a letter sent to the San Antonio Express-News, Leonard wrote: “I have been going back and forth the last few weeks trying to figure out the right things to say, and it comes down to two simple words: THANK YOU!

“Through all the ups and downs – I’m glad there were many more ups! I’ll never forget what we have shared and accomplished together,” Leonard wrote.

“While I’m looking forward to the next chapter in my career, I’ll always remember the city and the people of San Antonio!”

Leonard and Danny Green were traded to the Raptors for DeMar DeRozan, Jakob Poeltl and a protected 2019 first-round pick.

Jaylen Brown says the Boston Celtics will reach the NBA Finals this season.

He said: “Oh, we’re getting to the Finals. No question about it.

“I hate how everybody is like, ‘Oh, LeBron’s gone in the East,’.

“I know he did have a strong hold on the East for the last seven years, but he barely got us out of there this year.

“And our mindset was like, ‘Man, he’s not beating us again’.”

On the Celtics roster, Brown added: “It’s important for us to stay grounded and just continue to play ball. Continue to play the way we played this past season.

“We got like a lot of, we got a lot, a lot of talent on this team.

“And we’ve got some real good mindsets, and it’s a pleasure playing with them all.

“But we have to be on one page if we want to be successful.”


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