Josh Jackson working out for the Los Angeles Lakers signals that Lonzo Ball getting drafted by his favorite team is not a slam dunk. The Lakers have decided to look into their options headed into the upcoming NBA draft. This past Tuesday served as either proof that the Los Angeles Lakers are not completely sold on Lonzo Ball or they want all of the information they can find on the players at the top of next week’s draft.
The Lakers’ search for a young star continued when they brought in Kansas guard Josh Jackson for a pre-draft visit, according to the team website.
Not only was Jackson on hand for a workout with the Los Angeles Lakers, but according to the Los Angeles Daily News, so was Kentucky point guard De’Aaron Fox. It is arguable that the Lakers’ biggest area of need is a prolific scoring point guard. This may immediately give Fox and Ball the advantage on the rest of the competition.
Josh Jackson, who plays the same position as last year’s top draft choice Brandon Ingram, said what he could to dismiss the idea that the could not play together.
“When it’s winning time, there is no five-man (center) on the court. There is no four-man (power forward) on the court. There is pretty much forwards and guards all playing at the same time. I don’t really think me and Brandon playing in the same position would cause any problems. I think it would be really special.”
Does Jackson’s lack of box-office appeal rule him out of the discussion as the Lakers’ No. 2 overall pick?
The argument against Josh Jackson is the opposite for Lonzo Ball, whom most people see the Los Angeles Lakers taking. Jackson has a better all-around game, but Ball is a floor general who can take and make big shots. Those abilities give Ball the edge on Jackson in terms of star power. However, there are some rumors regarding Lonzo Ball’s workout with the Lakers.
Lonzo Ball was reportedly out of shape (courtesy of Yahoo Sports) during his bid to impress the Los Angeles Lakers. This started NBA draft rumors about the Lakers reconsidering using the No. 2 pick on Ball.
Any slippage during a workout with the top players in the draft being this close in talent could cause a prospect to fall from first to seventh. In Ball’s case, it can be the difference between getting drafted by the Los Angeles Lakers or the Sacramento Kings. The Kings would love it if he fell to them at No. 5.
One of the NBA rumors that was beginning to make the rounds was that the Lakers had made a promise (courtesy of Silver Screen and Roll) to Josh Jackson regarding taking him at No. 2. The rumor was eventually shot down, but it has stirred up some speculation involving the top of the NBA draft.
NBA rumors about the No. 2 pick could be a smokescreen, or the Lakers could simply be on the fence about Lonzo Ball. It could also mean that a trade might be in the works.
If the Lakers are not sold on Ball, they could trade out of the No. 2 pick with a team such as the Phoenix Suns or the aforementioned Sacramento Kings. Both teams pick fourth and fifth respectively.
Conducting a trade with the Suns gives the Lakers a shot at Ball if he begins to fall in the draft. They can also get a young veteran player in the process. The same thing could happen with the Kings, where the Lakers can get the fifth pick and have a shot at a few other players who may pique their interest. The options do not disappear if the Lakers decide to trade down.
Lonzo Ball will have another chance to get on the Los Angeles Lakers’ good side with another workout. If he is impressive, Ball will be taken by the Lakers with the No. 2 pick. If he is not, look for a trade early in the draft, as the rumored promise Josh Jackson was given was likely meant for another NBA team.
[Featured Image by Jamie Squire/Getty Images]