The Los Angeles Lakers are knee-deep in pre-draft workouts as they look for potential role players to complement the roster ahead of the 2022-23 season.
Their recent draft workout group was headlined by Scotty Pippen Jr. and Hyunjung Lee but also included Chicago-Loyola’s Lucas Williamson. Williamson is a tough-nosed defensive prospect who is currently projected to go either late in the second round or undrafted.
Willamson already has ties to the Lakers as he is friends with fellow Chicago native Talen Horton-Tucker and he said it has been cool to see him playing for the iconic franchise. “It’s special to be here,” Williamson said. “It’s special to even be in these walls; the Lakers are obviously a legendary program. I grew up a Kobe guy, me and my dad remember watching the Finals against KG and the Celtics. It’s a dream; it’s crazy. And I got a friend that plays for the Lakers in Talen [Horton-Tucker], so it’s cool.”
Although he did not talk to Horton-Tucker before his workout, he said the two are still close. “No, I didn’t talk to him before the workout, but that’s family.”
Williamson revealed he was present when Horton-Tucker was drafted in 2019 and admitted it is still surreal to see him play in the league. “Everybody has different journeys, and his journey was different than mine, and it’s been a pleasure to see, pleasure to watch.
“Like I was saying, a legendary program like the Lakers, and I was there when he got drafted actually, and it was crazy, and it’s still crazy. So I just continue to hope that he has the best career that he possibly can. A few of my friends are in the NBA, him, Ayo [Dosunmu], and a few others, so it’s just a dream. It’s a blessing to see us as kids compared to where we are now.”
The Lakers could definitely use more perimeter defense on the roster, and Williamson can absolutely add that element if they choose to target him.
Lucas Williamson wants to show off defense in pre-draft workouts
In his final two seasons at Chicago-Loyola, Williamson was named the MVC Defensive Player of the Year, and he said that side of the ball is what he wants to emphasize in workouts.
“I thought it was a good day today, and I thought we had a good group, a familiar group to me. But yeah, for me personally, what I’m trying to show off is No. 1, my defense. That’s who I am as a player; that’s what I hang my hat on, so No. 1 is just showing that I can guard at this level within the space of the NBA; there’s a lot more space.
“But that and then showing a little more of my playmaking ability. Kind of what I improved upon this past season. A lot of teams are bringing me in and having me play the point guard position, which is a transition that I’m willing to make. Just being able to show that I’m not just a defender, that I’m trying to be a two-way player.”