Realistic Expectations for D’Angelo Russell’s Rookie Season with the L.A. Lakers

The Los Angeles Lakers shook up the 2015 NBA draft lottery by selecting Ohio State's D'Angelo Russell at No. 2, and now they hope to send shock waves around the Western Conference with their new prodigy.

In an era that increasingly values playmakers and backcourt versatility, the one-and-done Buckeye is this year's shiniest point guard prize by far.

Russell wasn't viewed as a top-five draft prospect to begin his freshman year. However, the 6'5" savant quickly displayed his lofty pro potential and torched opponents with his poise and smooth skills.

General manager Mitch Kupchak picked him second overall in hopes of him growing into a full-fledged star. If he blossoms as expected, he'll take the torch from Kobe Bryant and team up with Jordan Clarkson in a dynamic, interchangeable backcourt.

In the meantime, what can we expect from him as a rookie?

Russell is gifted beyond the vast majority of one-and-done guards in recent years, boasting an exceptional blend of quarterbacking instincts and perimeter scoring.

It's not often you see teenagers piling up 20 points and five assists per game against top competition, but that's exactly what he did against Big Ten foes last year. He also shot 40 percent from distance in conference play.

One of the main reasons he excelled in college and will make an immediate imprint on the Lakers is his vision. Even though it may take a few games to adjust to the speed of the NBA, Russell's hawk-like eyes will help him find opportunities.

"He’s just one of those guys where the game comes very easy to him," one NBA scout told's Ryen Russillo. "(He) sees things. One of the best passers we have seen in college basketball in a long, long time. There are plays where he sees two passes ahead."

Zach Harper of also notes Russell's elite knack for manipulating opponents in the pick-and-roll:

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