There is a widely held assumption that he’s a shoe-in to be selected with the No. 2 overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft, but Lonzo Ball “didn’t blow the Lakers away or seal any deal in the time he spent with their officials Tuesday and Wednesday,” according to Kevin Ding of Bleacher Report.
Ding put out a larger piece on the Lakers draft intentions, but this tidbit on Ball is the latest sign that he may not be as much of a certainty to end up in the purple and gold jerseys he and his family have thirsted for as previously thought.
To some degree this is expected, and can be seen as a positive. As Ding noted, Ball’s skills aren’t best displayed in a one-on-none workout, and if the team had come out of such a session “blown away” there might have been reason to worry they were valuing a small sample size over Ball’s larger body of work.
It’s also worth noting that there have been reports that the Lakers are trying to convince the league that Ball isn’t a guarantee to be their pick so some other team will try to trade up.
Is this all just smoke, or is there a real chance the Lakers won’t select Ball if they decide to keep their pick? It’s impossible to know until the draft takes place on June 22, although this surely won’t be the last report on how confident the Lakers are in Ball.