We already knew that LiAngelo Ball would work out for the Los Angeles Lakers ahead of the 2018 NBA Draft, and we now also know that workout will happen on Tuesday, May 29, according Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports.
LiAngelo — the younger brother of Lakers rookie Lonzo Ball — seems to understand that there will be some controversy for any team that brings him in for workouts, but he says that he’s watched the way his older sibling has dealt with that kind of adversity and is ready to face it head-on during his pro career (via Charania):
“I’ve been training since I was little, and I’ve seen how Zo has got it done preparing himself,” Ball told Yahoo Sports. “So I felt if we did the same things, I should get there the same way. I’ve always wanted to play professionally, and I take it seriously. I don’t base how I play based off people hating or doubting. I try to show what I can do. Going in, I know I can produce. I train for this sport, so I knew I wanted to produce and be one of the highest scorers on the team this year, and that’s what happened.
“I know how much I have to work to get to where I want to be. I just let people talk. People don’t really have an effect on me, because anybody can say anything. It doesn’t affect my preparation. I just want to stay focused and grinding.”
LiAngelo will need that focus, not just to ignore whatever noise occurs should the Lakers or another NBA team bring him in, but also to handle the inevitable schadenfreude produced in the likely event he doesn’t get drafted at all.
And make no mistake, that event is likely. Charania reported the NBA executives don’t see LiAngelo as guaranteed to be selected in the draft, a possibility is reinforced by the fact that Jonathan Givony of ESPN doesn’t have LiAngelo in his list of the top 100 prospects in the 2018 draft class either.
All that is without mentioning that teams may be more willing to deal with LaVar Ball’s antics for a player of Lonzo’s caliber, and less enthused to do so for a fringe player like LiAngelo.
Still, LiAngelo going to get a shot to show the Lakers and a few other NBA teams that he should get drafted, or at the very least be given a chance to prove himself in either the Sacramento or Las Vegas Summer Leagues. We’ll see if he can make the most of it.
Update: The Lakers confirmed LiAngelo's workout and announced which players would work out with him.
Joining LiAngelo will be the following players— Harrison Faigen (@hmfaigen) May 26, 2018
Jaylen Adams – St. Bonaventure
Thomas Welsh – UCLA
Devon Hall – Virginia
Tyus Battle – Syracuse
Dusan Ristic – Arizona
All stats per sports-reference.com. A full list of every prospect we know the Lakers have worked out is available here. You can follow Harrison on Twitter at @hmfaigen, or support his work via Venmo here or Patreon here.