The 2017 offseason has turned into a crucial changing of the guard for the Los Angeles Lakers, with a revitalized front office and two crucial first-round picks to work with in the upcoming 2017 NBA Draft. Wednesday was no different for the Los Angeles brass, with UCLA product Lonzo Ball set for his private workout.
A day after his private dinner with Magic Johnson, Rob Pelinka and head coach Luke Walton, Ball had a chance to demonstrate his talents on the court. While his father, LaVar Ball, usually does all the talking, Lonzo has taken a quiet demeanor and insists his game will do the talking.
At the conclusion of his workout, Ball sat down for media availability, taking questions from the large draw of media members. One question that gained steam was Ball’s versatility on the defensive end, with Lonzo stating that he can guard three different positions, via Chris McGee of Spectrum SportsNet:
Lonzo says he will be "fine" defensively… "can guard 1 through 3"… we will have entire interview on show tonight
— Chris Geeter McGee (@geeter3) June 7, 2017
The 6’6″, 190 lbs. prospect has shown his athletic prowess on many occasions, even earning comparisons from Johnson himself. The comparisons to both Johnson and Jason Kidd are somewhat warranted, with a high basketball IQ and ability to make his teammates better.
He averaged 1.8 steals and 0.8 blocks per game during his freshman campaign, with a lateral quickness and light feet that work to his advantage. He has already demonstrated an intelligent approach to the game, taking pride in the fact that his game does the talking.
Ball hasn’t backed down from the Los Angeles media during his workout on Wednesday, stating that he can be the leader the Lakers need. He also emphasized a desire to add strength to his frame, which will help him acclimate to the NBA style and improve his defense.
During his lone season at UCLA, Ball averaged 14.6 points, 6.0 rebounds and 7.6 assists, with a 55.1 field goal percentage and 41.2 three-point percentage.