Ball hopes to follow in the footsteps of older brother Lonzo, who was the second overall pick in the 2017 draft.
LaMelo, though, played overseas instead of in college, most recently for the Illawarra Hawks of the NBL in Australia. He averaged 17 points, 7.6 rebounds and 6.8 assists per game, and was the league’s Rookie of the Year.
Ball has not played since early December, after he suffered a bruised foot and ultimately decided to shut himself down for the rest of the season. By then, he had done enough to cement his status as a high-lottery draft pick.
Ball is a pure point guard because passing is his greatest strength. With a 6-foot-7, 190-pound frame and 6-10 wingspan, Ball also brings terrific size to the position.
Ball is not just a creator for others because of his excellent handle and court vision. After manipulating the defense with the ball, he routinely rips off highlight-worthy passes.
Ball’s size means he is already a great rebounder for his position and has the potential to be a versatile defender.
Right now, Ball’s greatest flaw is his shooting efficiency. He made only 25 percent of his 3-pointers, which can be contributed to iffy shot selection and mechanics.
Like many young players, Ball also has a long way to go on defense. And, like Anthony Edwards, some wonder if Ball is a “winner.” Illawarra was the worst team in the NBL, though the talent around Ball was not stellar.
Still, Ball has superstar upside. Even if a team near the top of the lottery has an entrenched starting point guard, it might be tough to pass on Ball.
Top 5 overall
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- Yoeli Childs, F, BYU
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–Field Level Media (@FieldLevelMedia)