Leading up to the draft, Lonzo Ball will work out for the Lakers, who have the second overall pick, and he will not work out for the Boston Celtics, who have the first overall pick, Celtics general manager Danny Ainge told a Boston radio station.
Although it’s possible the Lakers will be Ball’s only workout, he has not yet ruled out working out for other teams, according to a source who asked for anonymity because they were not authorized to speak on the matter.
Ball’s preference is to play for the Lakers.
“Obviously, making it to the league is my dream, my goal, so once I get there I’ll be grateful for whoever I play with,” Ball told The Times last month. “It’s just the fact that the Lakers are in L.A., that’s where all my family is. That’s the only thing that kind of separates them from the rest.”
Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka has communicated with Ball’s agent, but the sides have not scheduled his workout with the Lakers yet.
The Lakers had the third best odds in last week’s draft lottery, and the Celtics had the best odds because of a trade with the Brooklyn Nets. Philadelphia picks third, Phoenix fourth and Sacramento fifth. Most of those teams have at least question marks at point guard. The Celtics do not. Boston notched the best record in the east behind diminutive but dynamic point guard Isaiah Thomas.
Thomas is the Celtics’ primary ball handler, a role in which Ball excelled at UCLA, leading the NCAA in assists.
Ainge told Boston’s WBZ-FM (98.5), the Sports Hub, that Ball’s camp did not give a reason for declining to work out for the Celtics.
“We’ve drafted guys that wouldn’t come in for workouts before,” Ainge said. “It’s not the end of the world. We’ve watched them play a ton. We’ve got a lot of information on them. It’s not like skipping a draft workout, they’re snubbing their nose at you or anything like that. They’re making their priorities known. Sometimes players don’t want to come in, not because they don’t like you. They see our roster and they’d prefer to go to another team.”
Times staff writer Ben Bolch contributed to this report.
Follow Tania Ganguli on Twitter @taniaganguli