For the second time this offseason, the Lakers hosted a draft workout for six more prospects Saturday morning, which included:
- James Akinjo (Baylor)
- Tyrese Martin (UConn)
- Drew Peterson (USC)
- Quenton Jackson (Texas A&M)
- Keon Ellis (Alabama)
- Cole Swider (Syracuse)
After the session, the media spoke with Drew Peterson and Keon Ellis.
Peterson started his college career at Rice before transferring to USC in the summer of 2020 for his final two seasons and received an NCAA relief waiver to be eligible to play immediately. The 6’9 guard started in all 34 games for the Trojans where he averaged 12.4 points and 6.2 rebounds.
He led the team in assists (113), second in three-point percentage (41.2), and was third in FG percentage (46.7) and in steals (23).
Peterson understands that his size is slightly above average for the guard position, but that hasn’t stopped him from trying to impress any of the teams knowing the game’s evolvement.
“The way the game is trending is position-less basketball,” Peterson explained. “I think I can bring a great dynamic of a 6’9 guard and being able to handle. Shoot. Pass. Rebound. Anything the team needs. That’s my biggest asset looking at the next level.”
This marked Peterson’s fifth workout this offseason and was the seventh workout Alabama product Keon Ellis has taken part in. The 6’6 guard noted that most workouts tend to have the same plan when it comes to preparing prospects for scouts and it’s important to focus on the matter at hand no matter the team.
“The first [workout] is the time to get the jitters out and get going,” Ellis said. “After that, you can’t really be shell shocked because you’ve done this already. It would be easy, especially working out for the Lakers, to get caught up in the moment but I’m here for a reason and I wouldn’t be here if I wasn’t capable.”
In his final season at Alabama, Ellis earned SEC All-Defensive Team honors for his two-way playmaking abilities and made all 33 starts for the Crimson Tide. He led the team in rebounding (6.1), three-point percentage (36.6), steals (1.9), and averaged 12.1 points on 43.9 percent from the field.
Both players remarked on the possibility of hearing their name called on draft night but also know that while the moment would be nothing short of spectacular, the undrafted storyline carries almost significant meaning.
“There is a good side to it if you’re able to choose your team,” Ellis illustrated. “Even if it happens to be myself, you can’t get too down on it or overthink it. There’s been guys who have gone undrafted and come back with great stories.”
Peterson, a Chicago native, added that former Laker Alex Caruso’s story is enticing and emphasized how Caruso was able to develop within the Lakers organization.
“An important thing for me is to get into a program that has proven they can develop role players,” Peterson said. “I’m willing, as one of those guys, to buy into any situation I need to be in. I want to do whatever I can to help a team win.”
Stay tuned for more draft coverage as the team plans for a third workout for prospects in coming months.