Lonzo Ball missing 30 games last season derailed what was becoming a very promising campaign. Tyler Ennis being his main backup option remains arguably the blackest mark of Magic Johnson and Rob Pelinka’s resumé as heads of the Lakers basketball operation. As the team prepares for the NBA draft, De’Anthony Melton might provide some depth in case Ball misses time again.
According to the OC Register’s Joey Kaufman (who covers USC athletics), Melton has a workout scheduled with the Lakers on June 15. He also has a workout with the Clippers, but really no one cares about the Clippers.
Melton, a 6’4” point guard (with a 6’8” wingspan) has the kind of size ideal for guards defensively in this era of never-ending switching and while he’s rough around the edges on the other side of the ball, this is a decent place to start.
Here’s what our Daniel Flores wrote about Melton:
One player that resembles the role Melton hopes to fill in the NBA is Marcus Smart.
Melton is a pitbull on defense, and will accept the task of guarding the other team’s best player for long stretches and will be asked to hit open three-pointers.
Another player that Melton could emulate is Shaun Livingston.
Like Livingston, Melton is a very unselfish player who can be the secondary playmaker or change help run the second unit’s offense.
Still, teams will have to decide if they can live with a guy that is an average athlete, has limited potential on the offensive end and has a jumper that needs fixing.
If Melton could shoot, the Lakers would have zero chance at drafting him later in the first round. To continue the Smart comparison, he has improved as a shooter so as to become one of Boston’s most valuable role players. Maybe that’s Melton’s trajectory, or maybe he never figures it out, but regardless, he’s definitely worth a look from the Lakers.
A full list of every prospect we know the Lakers have worked out is available here.