Danny Ainge confirms Lonzo Ball won’t hold workout with Celtics
The Boston Celtics hold the No. 1 overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft. But one of the top — not to mention controversial — prospects will not grace them with his presence ahead of the June 22 draft.
Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge confirmed Thursday on a Boston radio station that Ball has informed the team there will be no workout with the team.
Danny Ainge says on @Toucherandrich that Lonzo Ball has informed the Celtics he will not work out for them prior to draft.
— Chris Forsberg (@ESPNForsberg) May 25, 2017
It’s not ideal,” Ainge joked, as transcribed by CBS Boston. “We’ve drafted guys who wouldn’t come in for workouts before. It’s not the end of the world.”
While the 19-year-old former UCLA standout undoubtedly has some say in matters such as these, it’s all but certain that his father Lonzo Ball is pulling the strings behind the scenes. While it’s the Celtics do not have a strong need to add a guard like Ball to the roster, any leverage the team could have gleaned with threat of drafting Ball is all but lost.
The fact that LaVar Ball all but proclaimed Lonzo will play for the Lakers — who have the No. 2 overall pick in the draft, the younger Ball’s decision not to work out with the team is a disappointing development.
“They’re making their priorities. Sometimes they don’t want to come in not because they don’t like you, but they see our roster and would prefer to go to another team,” Ainge said.
“We tried to get him in for a workout and they politely declined,” Ainge added, saying no reason was given.
It almost goes without saying that the elder Ball goes above and beyond in promoting his sons, including Lonzo (more on that here). However, seemingly on a daily basis Ball delivers some outlandish comment or act that arguably brings with it the kind of notoriety that can be good at times but is mostly unfavorable.