Ever since the Los Angeles Lakers landed the second overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft, just about every rumor has linked them to UCLA guard Lonzo Ball. Neither Lonzo nor his father LaVar, have been shy about their hopes to land with the Lakers.
It was revealed on Tuesday that the Lakers will work out Lonzo on June 9 in what will be an individual workout, but there have been questions about whether the Lakers would be able to bring in Ball against another one of the top point guard prospects such as Markelle Fultz or De’Aaron Fox.
When asked previously, LaVar said that he would be open to his son working out against any of the other top players, but according to Shams Charania of The Vertical, Lonzo never considered a one-on-one workout:
Ball had always planned to conduct only a private individual workout because of his success in his lone season at UCLA and never considered a one-on-one workout against another top prospect, league sources said.
Despite Fultz being the near consensus top overall prospect, the player most wanted to see Ball matched up against was Fox. The Kentucky product is one of the quickest, most explosive athletes in the draft and scorched Ball in the Sweet 16 for 39 points.
One of the main concerns for Ball surrounds his defense and how he will deal with quicker players who are more superior athletes. Showing well in a one-on-one workout with someone like Fox, or even NC State’s Dennis Smith would quell some of those concerns.
Doing such a thing, however, would also be a huge risk as a bad showing could see his stock fall. Top prospects rarely do anything other individual workouts for that exact reason which is why it’s not a surprise that Ball declined to do so. There was hope that Ball could be the exception, but that turned out not to be the case.
Regardless it will be up to Ball to solidify his spot at his individual workout. A good showing there could practically guarantee that he ends up where he had always hoped, in purple and gold.