According to the Orange County Register, the Los Angeles Lakers were impressed with UCLA frosh Lonzo Ball’s skills at the team’s draft workout last week, but were not happy with the shape he was in.
“Many qualities have made the Lakers impressed with Ball, including his leadership potential, passing and scoring,” wrote ocregister.com’s Mark Medina. “They are not impressed, however, with his level of conditioning.”
“Some observers of Ball’s workout thought he came in out of shape,” Medina added. “Ball acknowledged that the ‘drills get you tired, so you got to stay focused.’”
If the Lakers, who own the No. 2 overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft, somehow don’t wind up selecting Ball, it could potentially reshuffle the entire draft.
However, Ball is just too good and I would be shocked if he slips past the Lakers.
Ball, a 6-6 point guard, led the nation in assists this season, averaging 14.7 points, 7.6 assists, and 6.1 rebounds for UCLA, while guiding the Bruins to a 31-5 record (15-3 Pac-12) and the NCAA Tournament’s Sweet 16..
Ball was the only freshman named to the All-American First-Team.
“He’s got range that can change the geometry of an offense, he can bend the pace of the game to his own whims, and he makes the game easier for everyone else on the floor,” wrote SI.com’s Andrew Sharp of Ball. “That’s why Ball is the most interesting player in the draft.”
“The ceiling is a superstar that the NBA has never really seen before,” Sharp added.
ESPN’s No. 4 ranked recruit in the 2016 high school class, Ball averaged a triple-double of 23.9 points, 11.3 rebounds, 11.5 assists as a senior at Chino Hills (CA).
Ball, along with his brothers, 6-5 junior shooting guard LiAngelo Ball and freshman LaMelo Ball, led USA Today No. 1 ranked Chino Hills to a 35-0 record and the California CIF State Open Division Championship in 2015-16.
He was also named the 2016 Morgan Wootten Player of the Year.
Most analysts are predicting that Ball, whose game has been compared to NBA greats Magic and Jason Kidd, will be the No. 1 or No. 2 pick in the 2017 Draft.
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