Despite multiple reports suggesting that the Lakers aren’t sold on the idea of using the No. 2 overall pick on Lonzo Ball, NBA executives are skeptical. As Adam Zagoria of ZagsBlog.com writes, several execs told him that they don’t buy those reports, and one suggested that the Lakers may be trying to convince teams they like Josh Jackson in the hopes that someone will trade up to No. 2 for Jackson and allow the Lakers to move down while still landing Ball or De’Aaron Fox.
I’m also skeptical that the Lakers would pass on Ball, though I think the explanation could be simpler than that. While Magic Johnson has said publicly that Ball’s outspoken father LaVar Ball won’t affect the team’s decision at all, it’s possible that the club has some private concerns. In that scenario, it could make sense to leak word of those concerns in the hopes that LaVar, not wanting to alienate the Lakers, will dial back on his public comments a little.
While we wait to see how Ball’s meeting with the Lakers goes this week, let’s round up a few more draft-related items…
- Pittsburgh wing Jamel Artis has workouts on tap with the Spurs, Clippers, and Mavericks this week, league sources inform Michael Scotto of Basketball Insiders (Twitter link). Ian Begley of ESPN.com adds the Knicks to the list of clubs Artis will audition for in the coming days, writing that Artis and UVA’s London Perrantes are scheduled to work out for New York on Friday.
- Kentucky’s Isaiah Briscoe has a busy pre-draft workout schedule, according to Jessica Camerato of CSNPhilly.com (Twitter link), who says sessions with the Trail Blazers, Pistons, Bulls, and Lakers are still on tap for Briscoe. Camerato also adds the Raptors and Rockets to the list of teams Briscoe has already auditioned for.
- Camerato also provides workout details for a couple more prospects who visited Philadelphia today, reporting that Derrick White (Colorado) will audition for the Pelicans, Jazz, and Hornets, while Melo Trimble (Maryland) will work out for the Rockets, Trail Blazers, Pelicans, and Knicks (Twitter links).
- The Kings will work out Duke’s Harry Giles on Tuesday, Marc J. Spears of ESPN.com tweets. The 6’11” center, whose lone college season was marred by knee injuries, is ranked No. 12 overall by ESPN’s Chad Ford, though he’s just No. 33 on DraftExpress’ board. Sacramento holds the No. 5, No. 10 and No. 34 picks in the draft.