Will LaMelo Ball be taken first overall in the NBA Draft?
Many know of LaMelo Ball from his brothers’ success and his father’s antics. But beyond all of that, there’s some skill that puts LaMelo in contention to be the first pick taken in the 2020 NBA Draft.
It was immediately evident to those in Southern California and around the basketball world that the youngest Ball was special. As a freshman his team was undefeated, and he won a state title, alongside teammates and brothers Lonzo and LiAngelo. LaMelo skipped junior year and part of his senior year to play professionally, making him ineligible to become a McDonald's All-American, or play in college.
Since 2018, he’s played in various professional leagues, including in Lithuania, and in the short-lived Junior Basketball Association founded by his father, LaVar Ball.
Ball excelled in Australia
Most recently, he played for the Illawarra Hawks of Australia’s National Basketball League. Through 12 games in the NBL, he averaged 17 points, 7.4 rebounds, and 6.8 assists per game. He was named the league's Rookie of the Year, and returned to the United States to prepare for the 2020 NBA Draft.
Now Bell sits at +200 to be the first overall pick in the draft. He’s a 6-foot-7 guard who would make an immediate impact in nearly any backcourt.
2020 NBA Draft - 1st Overall Pick (void if Rockets pick first)
Thu, October 15 2020, 12:00 AM
Kerry Blackshear Jr.
Tre Isiah Jones
Ball would be a good fit on any number of rebuilding teams
Though his path to the league was non-traditional, his appeal has become apparent. The Atlanta Hawks have already said they’re not drafting based on positional need, and the Cavaliers continue to be in full rebuilding mode, with Ball presenting a viable option for immediate improvement.
The LaVar factor
One thing always worth considering when a front office is looking to draft a son of LaVar Ball is the added media attention and potential front office headaches that come along with his father.
He’s been highly critical of Lonzo’s teams, most recently saying his eldest son would still be with the Lakers if he played with LeBron James. And issues with the family’s Big Baller Brand has brought even more distraction.
But aside from the off-the-court gamble, LaMelo Ball looks like he could be one of the two most impactful guards in this draft, along with University of Georgia freshman Anthony Edwards. His playmaking and court vision put him atop most teams’ draft boards and near the top of BetAmerica’s odds to go first in the 2020 NBA Draft.