Former UCLA Bruins guard Lonzo Ball is currently the top favorite to become the second overall pick in the 2017 NBA draft. He recently had a private workout with the Los Angeles Lakers in which reportedly “went well.”
In the past months, Lonzo Ball had expressed his strong desire to play for the purple and gold. He openly stated that he would rather join the Lakers than being the No. 1 overall pick. However, the Lakers didn’t give Ball any assurance that he’ll be drafted at No. 2. According to Kevin Ding of Bleacher Report, Ball’s performance during the workout is good but didn’t blow away the Lakers.
“Lonzo Ball was fine. He shot the ball well on the court. He very well might be the Los Angeles Lakers’ draft pick in two weeks’ time. Yet Ball also didn’t blow the Lakers away or seal any deal in the time he spent with their officials Tuesday and Wednesday, according to sources,” Ding reported.
2017 NBA Draft: Other options for the No. 2 pick
As of now, the Lakers keep all their options open for the No. 2 pick. Names of Josh Jackson and De’Aaron Fox emerged as top options if the Lakers pass on Lonzo Ball. Ding revealed that the Lakers are also intrigued by Markelle Fultz.
Fultz is considered the best player in this year’s draft. However, the Boston Celtics are already preparing for his arrival and potentially pairing him with Isaiah Thomas in their backcourt. This leaves the Lakers with Jackson, Fox, and Ball. With Ball’s inability to impress the Lakers, Jackson proves to be the second best option.
Jackson is a two-way player who can boost the Lakers’ defense. In his lone season with the Kansas Jayhawks, he averaged 16.3 points, 7.4 rebounds, and three assists. His workout with the Lakers reportedly went great and some members of the Lakers front office are rumored to be fans of his game.
Why did Lonzo Ball fail to blow away the Lakers?
Lonzo Ball isn’t the type of player who’s skills can be maximized in a one-on-one workout. He’s known for his incredible passing and leadership skills in which the Lakers need to perform better next season. Ball believes he can play alongside D’Angelo Russell as the Lakers’ backcourt starter. If Ball joins the Lakers, there is higher possibility that Russell will move at the shooting guard position.