All signs have been pointing to Lonzo Ball eventually wearing the purple and gold for the Los Angeles Lakers. The team has been linked with the UCLA star for months with Ball wanting to play for his hometown squad while also potentially addressing a need at the point guard for Los Angeles.
Last Thursday, Ball went through an individual workout with the team at the Lakers practice facility in El Segundo. The highly anticipated workout is expected to give Los Angeles a better sense of whether they should draft the 19-year-old at No. 2 in the NBA Draft or go in another direction with another player or potential trade.
According to Mark Medina of the OC Register, Ball had his moments that impressed the Lakers brass, but conditioning appeared to be something that was sorely lacking from the floor general:
Many qualities have made the Lakers impressed with Ball, including his leadership potential, passing and scoring. They are not impressed, however, with his level of conditioning.
Some observers of Ball’s workout last Wednesday thought he came in out of shape. Ball acknowledged that the “drills get you tired, so you got to stay focused.”
With less than two weeks remaining until the Lakers have to make a decision on their No. 2 pick in the draft, there’s bound to be plenty of talk and speculation about whether the team will ultimately go with the hometown product from Chino Hills.
Ball seems to check a lot of boxes for the Lakers in terms of needs on the basketball floor, but cons may end up outweighing the pros, especially if other prospects impress the team’s front office in the workouts to come.
Magic Johnson and company have already gotten a look at Josh Jackson out of Kansas and have scheduled a workout with Kentucky point guard De’Aaron Fox next Tuesday. Los Angeles is also reportedly looking into bringing in Markelle Fultz out of Washington. Duke’s Jayson Tatum could also be a player the team looks at and considers at No. 2 overall.