NBA Draft: Maryland’s Dez Wells worked out with Lakers & Celtics

His workouts gave Dez Wells an early crash course on something besides gauging if he can thrive in the NBA.

The Maryland senior guard also received his first history lesson on the NBA’s biggest rivalry, his workouts first starting with the Boston Celtics and then the Lakers.

“Those are the two most prestigious franchises in the NBA,” Wells said about the Celtics and Lakers. “I got those out of the way. Now I take it in stride from here on it. I’m excited.”

There have been exceptions, the most notable ones including Bill Sharman, Rick Fox and Brian Shaw. But rarely will you find anyone willingly becoming members of either team. Yet, Wells does not have much of a choice, most mock drafts projecting him as a second-round pick.

“I don’t want to get into comparing these two franchises,” said Wells, who will work out next week with Indiana. “I’ll stay neutral.”

The Celtics lead the Lakers, 17-16, in total NBA championships won. Yet, Boston has not won since 2008, which ended a 21-year drought. The Lakers recently won in 2010, though six of their titles happened in Minneapolis before the franchise moved to Los Angeles. Boston has beaten the Lakers in nine out of 12 NBA Finals series, though the Lakers have won three of the past four matchups.

“Right now it means everything I’ve seen on TV,” Wells said of the Lakers. “These guys put a lot of hard work into this franchise. It’s a lot to live up to, but you just have to come in and put your hard hat on each and every day.”

Wells represented one of six project late first-round to second-round prospects that worked out at the Lakers’ practice facility on Tuesday, which entailed various drills and interviews. After averaging 15.1 points and 5.3 rebounds his senior season with the Terrapins, Wells wanted to show skills with his athleticism, defense and floor spacing.

But if the Lakers draft Wells, he would have to navigate a bigger test. That would include both learning from and embracing Kobe Bryant’s demanding leadership style.

“It would be pretty intense,” Wells said about playing with Bryant. “But he pulls his pants on the same way I put my pants on. I would just go out there and try to compete. If I do, I can’t wait to go up and play against him, compete against one of the greatest and receive instruction from him. That way I can bring up the game to another level and see how I can help him, too.”


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