EL SEGUNDO – The idea was tempting, as Ivan Rabb pondered an NBA future in which he would represent the latest one-and-done player intent on basking in earnings and playing time.
Even with the Cal forward projected to become an NBA lottery pick, however, Rabb chose to stay in college for his sophomore season. A year later, Rabb has fallen in NBA mock drafts as a likely late first-round selection. Still, Rabb said he had no regrets about prolonging his college career.
“That helped me with my mentality, just knowing how to prepare myself coming into this year, knowing what to do before games and knowing what to do before practice and after practice,” Rabb said. “Small stuff like that that will help your longevity in the league. I feel like I really needed that year to just realize what I needed.”
Rabb was one of six players to work out for the Lakers on Tuesday, joining Clemson senior forward Jaron Blossomgame, SMU senior guard Sterling Brown, Oregon sophomore guard Tyler Dorsey, Nevada sophomore forward Cameron Oliver and Florida State junior guard Xavier Rathan-Mayes.
Of that group, several NBA mock drafts tabbed Rabb as the most likely candidate the Lakers would select with their No. 28 pick on June 22.
Among the reasons: Rabb finished tied for sixth in the Bears record books for career rebounding average (9.5 per game), and the 6-foot-11, 220-pound forward can defend multiple positions.
“It’s having a nose for the ball and wanting it,” said Rabb, who also had pre-draft workouts with Milwaukee, Orlando, Miami, Boston and Oklahoma City before training next week in Orlando, Chicago and Toronto. “A lot of times, especially with offensive rebounds, you’re tired from setting screens and doing all types of stuff. You have to find the ball. When it hits the rim, beat the ball to the spot and grab it. It’s a mindset.”
Rabb believed he developed that mindset by staying in college for another year, something he argued NBA teams have…