Although he’s not considered a top prospect, the latest Los Angeles Lakers pre-draft workout at UCLA Health Training Center was headlined by LiAngelo Ball. He of course is the younger brother of Lakers point guard Lonzo Ball, and is fighting to carve out his own path to the NBA.
He faces more of an uphill battle than Lonzo, who was an unquestioned top-five selection leading up to the 2017 Draft. But LiAngelo, who was removed from his freshman year at UCLA and played professionally in Lithuania, doesn’t have the same playmaking ability or upside.
So it was somewhat curious when the Lakers announced he would be among the six players participating in a workout for the team. The assumption was perhaps a tremendous showing could lead to the Lakers selecting LiAngelo with their second-round pick (47th overall) or potentially view him as an option for Summer League and/or their G League roster.
But according to Marc Stein of the New York Times, the Lakers don’t have much, if any, plan for LiAngelo:
A dribble of draft scuttle for those interested: The Lakers had LiAngelo Ball in for a well-chronicled workout this week but there is pessimism in the extreme coming out of L.A. today that the Lakers have any intentions for him … G-League or otherwise
— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) May 30, 2018
As LiAngelo and others were concluding the workout, Lakers president of basketball operations Magic Johnson said the team has a responsibility to turn over every stone during the draft process.
Next for the 19-year-old is a workout with the Golden State Warriors, and possibly additional teams after that. Ball averaged 12.6 point and 2.9 rebounds per game in 14 contests with Vytautas.
While many questioned LaVar Ball’s decision to remove his son from UCLA, LiAngelo believes playing against professionals overseas better prepared him for the NBA. He also admitted having a brother in the league afforded him with unique insight that most others aren’t able to obtain.
After his workout, Ball said he intended to play in Summer League but wasn’t certain for which team that would be with.
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