After working out De’Aaron Fox earlier in the day, the Lakers are hosting another top-five prospect for a private workout this afternooon. The team announced today that former Kansas forward Josh Jackson will be in town for an audition (Twitter link). It will be the second time the Lakers have gotten a first-hand look at Jackson, having met with him in Sacramento last week.
Jackson’s workout with the Lakers comes on the heels of a Monday report indicating that he cancelled a workout with the Celtics, who have the No. 1 overall pick in the draft. There has been speculation that Jackson received a draft promise, but Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders tweets that the Lakers have told agents that haven’t made any promises to anyone.
If Jackson received a guarantee from a team drafting third or later, it’s not clear why he would cancel a workout with the Celtics, but not with the Lakers, so there could be another explanation for his decision. As our Dana Gauruder speculated on Monday night, perhaps Los Angeles is simply Jackson’s preferred landing spot.
We also heard a month ago that some agents may be reluctant to let their clients work out for the Celtics, since Boston already has a deep, talented lineup — a rookie who lands with the C’s, even a top prospect, is less likely to have a major role right away than he would with another lottery team.
Regardless of Jackson’s intentions or his workout schedule, the ex-Jayhawk is considered a lock to come off the board within the first few picks of this year’s draft. As for the Lakers, they’re viewed as a likely landing spot for Lonzo Ball, but they’re doing their homework on top prospects like Fox and Jackson as well, and have yet to make any final decisions.