Josh Jackson worked out for the Los Angeles Lakers last Wednesday. Considering that there were no sourced reports about how he was unable to win the team’s decision makers over, or how out of shape he looked, it’s probably an indication that the day went well.
But was it enough for the Lakers to promise Jackson they’ll select him with the second overall pick?
According to John Gambadoro of Arizona Sports 98.7 FM (the flagship station of the Phoenix Suns), it’s quite possible.
Gambadoro tweeted that Jackson has indeed received a promise from a team, and believes it’s either the Lakers or the Sixers. He points to the Lakers as the likely suspect due to the fact that Jackson just worked out for them, and he’s yet to make his way to Philadelphia for a visit.
Josh Jackson has been promised - has worked out for Lakers in LA. Has not worked out for Phoenix yet. It could be Philly but likely Lakers.— John Gambadoro (@Gambo987) June 12, 2017
I believe it's the Lakers - only reason is that is the only team I know he worked out for. Not ruling out Philly its possible.— John Gambadoro (@Gambo987) June 12, 2017
For those wondering what Gambadoro’s credibility is, he was first to break the news of Steve Nash’s trade to the Los Angeles Lakers, so he certainly has a proven track record.
Whether it be the Lakers or the Sixers, promising a player 10 days before the draft would be a bit of a bizarre move, especially considering the reported trade interest in those top picks.
Based on the news that has emerged over recent weeks, no team seems keen to make a move up the draft board for Jackson, so it’s unlikely that word of a promise would be leaked in order to bait a team into a trade.
If we were to read the tea leaves (which typically isn’t recommended during pre-draft season), it’s starting to look like the Lakers are indeed focused on selecting Jackson at two. The word that emerged from Lonzo Ball’s two-day trial with the Lakers was primarily negative, and ESPN’s Chad Ford wrote that Jackson has a lot of people in his corner within the Lakers organization.
Jackson has always been another favorite in the organization. While the feeling is that Ball is a good fit with the Lakers offensively, Fox and Jackson are gritty defenders and vocal leaders on the court, something the Lakers feel the team is lacking. Jackson in particular seems to have some strong supporters in the organization who think defense should be the priority.
Perhaps the Lakers decided to leak out word of Ball’s poor workout as a way of backhandedly trying to convince the public that Jackson should be the guy.
Maybe they truly like Jackson. Maybe it’s posturing, or quite possibly just straight up BS.
We’ll just have to wait until June 22nd to find out.