The Los Angeles Lakers hosted another group of 2018 NBA Draft prospects on Tuesday morning at UCLA Health Training Center, with perhaps none of the six piquing more interest than LiAngelo Ball.
He of course is the younger brother of Lonzo Ball, who watched the Lakers pre-draft workout in its entirety. “He didn’t tell me too much,” LiAngelo said of advice received from Lonzo. “He just said to be ready and be prepared. That’s a given. You’ve got to come into these workouts ready to go, not slacking.”
LiAngelo felt his workout went well, adding it was a “good experience and fun to go about with all these guys and get better.” He was unmoved by having Lonzo watch the entire two-hour session.
“It was good that he was here but if he wasn’t here, I would do the same thing,” LiAngelo said.
But he does value insight Lonzo is able to provide. “It’s good having an older brother in the league, obviously,” LiAngelo said. “He’ll tell you certain stuff about the NBA that you might not hear if you don’t have a brother in the league. It helps a lot.”
Aside from pressure that comes with having a relative already in the NBA, LiAngelo also is the son of a boisterous father who has made decisions that caused some to scratch their heads. Not LiAngelo, however, who enjoyed playing professionally in Lithuania.
“I think it prepared me a little better as far as going against grown men that care about their job every day,” he explained. “If you’re not going out there and producing, they’ll fire you quick. Every game is hard out there.
“They play a lot more pro style, so I improved a lot as far as setting screens and coming off of screens, sets and stuff. In college, you just do a little bit of that. They don’t focus too much on it. “It was a big change but I adapted and got better from the experience. It was good for me.”
LiAngelo averaged 12.6 points and 2.9 rebounds per game, scoring in double figures in 10 of 14 contests.
The Lakers almost assuredly would not use the 25th overall pick on Ball, and taking him in with their second-round selection (47th overall) is also a stretch. Ball is confident he’s capable of playing in the NBA and has the “right tools to be a great defender,” with proper coaching.
He’ll next work out for the Golden State Warriors and potentially other teams as well. Ball also said he’ll play in the Las Vegas Summer League but wasn’t certain for which team.
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