While the Los Angeles Lakers invited more than 100 prospects to their training center for a pre-draft workout, one of the more curious participants was LiAngelo Ball. The younger brother of the Lakers’ point guard wasn’t projected to be taken in the first or second round of the 2018 NBA Draft.
Nonetheless, the organization saw several draft prospects who were likely candidates to be signed for their Summer League or G League rosters. That’s where Ball figured to slot in with the Lakers in a best-case scenario.
But the day after his workout, it was reported the Lakers didn’t have any intention of selecting him in the draft or signing him to their South Bay affiliate.
Now it also appears Ball will not be signed to play in Summer League for the Lakers, according to ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne:
Lakers officially informed LiAngelo Ball he will not be on their Summer League team last night. They were determined to make this a basketball decision but as one source put it, “obviously there’s more to it than basketball.” In other words— the LaVar effect was real.
— Ramona Shelburne (@ramonashelburne) June 22, 2018
Although LaVar maintained confidence his son would be taken in the draft, he also said the fallback plan was for LiAngelo to latch on with a team for Summer League play.
Heading into UCLA, LiAngelo was considered a fringe candidate to be taken in the draft. It’s unclear how much of an impact withdrawing and playing professionally in Lithuania had on his draft stock.
For his part, LiAngelo felt it better prepared him for the NBA because of the older players he competed against and the style of play more closely resembling what’s seen in the league. He averaged 12.6 points and 2.9 rebounds per game, scoring in double figures in 10 of 14 contests.
While the Lakers won’t sign Ball, they reportedly inked undrafted point guard Joel Berry II, and Malik Newman to a two-way contract.
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