As we move closer to the 2020 NBA draft, perhaps there is no bigger name amongst the potential prospects than LaMelo Ball.
The 19-year-old star, who’s story has been well documented by many since gracing the court with his two older brothers, LiAngelo Ball and New Orleans Pelicans point guard, Lonzo Ball at a young age. Thereafter, decommiting from UCLA after leaving his local high school, traveling to Lithuania before coming back to the states to play at Spire Academy in Ohio, followed by playing a season in Australia before ultimately making the decision to come home for what he hopes to be for good. Now he is on the verge of finally fulfilling his dreams of becoming an NBA star.
According to reports, since LaMelo has entered his name into the draft, he’s been touted as a surefire lottery pick. In multiple reports, the 6-foot-8-inch dynamo is a top-5 selection. One team of which that those had their eye on as a potential landing spot for Ball was the Golden State Warriors. However, LaMelo’s father, Lavar, stated that he felt the GSW would be a bad fit for him. Yet, in Ball’s combine interview in Michigan where’s he’s been preparing, he says that he disagrees with his old man.
“My old man, he’s his own man,” he stated. “He has his opinions, I have mine. Like I said, I feel like I can play on any team. Anywhere’s a great fit.”
Many other teams were mentioned as possible destinations for the former overseas player were the Cleveland Cavaliers, Charlotte Hornets and Phoenix Suns. All destinations in which Ball did not give too much insight to whether or not he has spoken with or is interested in joining the ball clubs since this process has begun. However, there was one team in which he says that he has at least interviewed with has been the New York Knicks, who at this moment and time have the No. 8 pick in this years draft.
In addition, Minnesota has floated around as a potential squad that via reports, if they forego trading the No. 1 selection, could potential use their pick on Ball and team him up with fellow lottery selection D’Angelo Russell. Yet, was rather cryptic in his response if he had been in contact with the team.
“I don’t know… No,” Ball stated.
However, when it comes to the potential of being teamed up together, Russell sounded rather open to playing alongside the potential No. 1 pick on JJ Redick’s Old Man and the Three podcast.
“I wouldn’t mind it, honestly, if that’s what it was and that’s what they see in the future,” ttated Russell. “Man, I’ve been in so many situations, I’d attack it like any other.”
If you’ve watched Ball’s game, he has a great knack for passing and getting his teammates involved. However, when it comes to his jump shot, like his eldest brother, is rather unorthodox. In addition, when it comes to comparisons to his playstyle, you can chalk Lonzo as one of the first names that analyst use to that of LaMelo. However, although Ball is open to that comparison, he wants everyone to know that he’s a genuine article… one of one.
“I think it’s fair, just because that is my brother, but I don’t have to be compared to anybody,” said Ball.
LaMelo also has made it clear that he has no intentions of changing his shot at all once getting into the league. In addition, states that his game will “Fit in Anywhere.” And although he’s not limiting himself to the point guard position, it seems that the soon-to-be rookie wants to play that role predominantly for whatever team he suits up for.
The world traveling hooper will have a new home in just a few short weeks and will have the spotlight on him. However, one thing you can’t deny is that he’s been battle tested and looks ready to play. In addition, even with him being the more well traveled talent as apposed to his peers, Ball says he’d take nothing away from his journey.
“When I was younger, I thought I’d take the traditional route [to the NBA],” said Ball. “But when I made that move to Lithuania, that’s damn near when I grew up. I wouldn’t change anything about [my journey],” Ball said in regard to if he thought his journey would take the path it did.