Lakers work out defensive ace Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, five others

T.J. McConnell, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson

Arizona guard T.J. McConnell, left, and forward Rondae Hollis-Jefferson celebrate during the second half of their rout of Oregon State on Jan. 30.

(Rick Scuteri / Associated Press)

The Lakers resumed draft workouts on Monday, hosting six players for a morning session.

The team auditioned Arizona’s Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, Texas’ Jonathan Holmes, Louisiana State’s Jordan Mickey, Kentucky’s Aaron Harrison, Massachusetts’ Cady Lalanne and Boston College’s Olivier Hanlan.

Hollis-Jefferson is projected to be a first-round pick, possibly in the lottery (top 14), as one of the best perimeter defenders in his class.

“Defense is well respected,” said Hollis-Jefferson.  “I see that being my calling card.”


The 20-year-old, 6-foot-7 small forward averaged 11.2 points a game for the Wildcats as a sophomore.  His defense on Ohio State guard D’Angelo Russell helped Arizona advance to the Sweet 16.

Russell was scheduled for an afternoon individual workout with the Lakers, as a candidate for the team’s second overall pick.  The Lakers also own the 27th and 34th picks.

Hollis-Jefferson needs to develop a jump shot at the next level.

“They know my shot was always broke.  It has gotten better,” he said.  “From my freshman year coming into college until now, it’s gotten a lot better.”


His ability to defend may take him off the board before the Lakers’ pick comes up at 27.

Holmes, a 22-year old, 6-foot-9 senior, said he can play either forward position, but acknowledged he needs to show he can be a more consistent shooter.

Holmes averaged 10.3 points with 6.1 rebounds last season, but shot just 38.9% from the field.

He said he enjoyed his workout for the Lakers.

“This was probably one of the most competitive [workouts] I’ve had so far, so it was a lot of fun,” said Holmes.  “A lot of guys out here are NBA ready.  It was really good talent.”

Mickey is confident he’ll crack one of the top 30 selections on June 25.

“I am a first-round pick,” he said.

The 6-foot-8 sophomore power forward averaged 15.4 points with 9.9 rebounds and an impressive 3.6 blocks per game.


“My defense always stands out to people,” said Mickey.  “One of the question marks people had against me was would I be able to score -- or would I be able to hit the mid-range shot.”

Harrison, a 6-foot-6 sophomore shooting guard, averaged 11.0 points a game while shooting 39.5% from the field for Kentucky.

He didn’t get much of a chance to catch up with Lakers forward Julius Randle, his Wildcats teammate a year ago.

“I saw him but he was working out,” said Harrison.  “When he finished we started, so I didn’t talk to him too much.”

Lalanne insisted he’s a stretch four, despite shooting just 16.7% from three-point range on 0.6 attempts a night as a senior.

“I was always able to shoot the ball, but it just didn’t fit our offense,” he said.  “Shooting the ball wasn’t really the best thing for the team.”

The 6-foot-10 forward-center averaged 11.6 points, 9.5 rebounds and 1.9 blocks a game. 

In addition to shooting, Lalanne believes he’s a defensive stopper who can also score closer to the basket.


“I also rebound the ball at a high level and do some work in the post,” he said. 

Hanlan said he learned a lot about the game from former Lakers guard Steve Nash, through their connection with the Canadian national youth teams.

“Whenever he sees me he just talks about my game and gives me pointers,” said Hanlan of Nash.  “It’s big because he had some pretty amazing years in the NBA.”

The 6-foot-4, 22-year-old guard averaged 19.5 points and 4.2 assists a game as a junior.

“I’ve played point all my life,” said Hanlan.  “I’m comfortable with both, so whatever the coaching staff and coach needs me to do.”

The Lakers will continue holding draft workouts throughout the week.

Email Eric Pincus at and follow him on Twitter @EricPincus.

Get our weekly Lakers newsletter