The curious case of Josh Jackson and his workout schedule just got a little bit more interesting. Less than a day after it was announced he’d cancelled a workout with the Boston Celtics—and reportedly received a promise from another team in the top-three—Jackson is now set to workout with the Los Angeles Lakers for the second time prior to the 2017 NBA Draft.
Multiple reporters in L.A. shared the news via Twitter on Tuesday afternoon.
Lakers confirm that Josh Jackson will work out later today for a private workout. There will be media availability afterwards.— Mark Medina (@MarkG_Medina) June 13, 2017
Lakers just added a second workout for Josh Jackson. It'll be this afternoon.— Mike Bresnahan (@Mike_Bresnahan) June 13, 2017
There are a couple primary ways to interpret this chain of events. The Lakers are probably genuinely interested in selecting Jackson at No. 2, and like every other team in high lotto they want to get more face time with him. They already attended a workout of Jackson’s in Sacramento, but bringing him in-house represents a significant step and as possible confirmation of yesterday’s reported promise.
However, there is reason to believe this is an elaborate smokescreen to fake out somebody behind them. If Jackson’s Boston cancellation had transitioned into him cancelling all of his workouts, it’d be easier to believe he had received the alleged promise from L.A. But he clearly isn’t done working out for teams altogether, and that calls into question 1) whether the promise is real and 2) who made it.
The Lakers are asset depleted and stuck with several terrible contracts on their books, and could use their position at No. 2 to try to amend one (or both) of those problems. The more bullshit they throw at the wall, the harder they will make it for teams to get a sense of their plan and operate in the upcoming draft accordingly.
Philadelphia should be a big beneficiary here, because they can just sit and wait to watch everything unfold without feeling pressure to move up for anything other than No. 1. If that means Ball is on the board at No. 3, they can either select a good fit for their team or turn their good fortune into a course-altering trade.
Whatever the case is, nine days to go. The merciful end of uncertainty is upon us.