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LaMelo Ball Abruptly Withdraws From NBA Combine

LaMelo Ball Abruptly Withdraws From NBA Combine

LaMelo Ball abruptly withdrew from the remainder of the NBA Combine on Wednesday.

Ball, 19, is widely regarded as one of the three best players available in this year’s NBA Draft.

Although it is fairly standard for top-tier players not to stick around the NBA Combine for too long, Ball is a unique case. He has not played at the collegiate level and his time overseas came to an unexpected end when he got hurt.

Over the course of 12 games for the Illawarra Hawks in Australia’s National Basketball League, Ball averaged 17.0 points on 37.5% shooting, 7.6 rebounds, and 6.8 assists. It was a strong – albeit brief – showing that left many excited about the prospect’s professional potential.

Ball did not meet with any teams in an official capacity this week, but did confirm that he had spoken to the New York Knicks prior.

When pressed on whether he had any conversations with the Minnesota Timberwolves, the team with the top overall selection in the 2020 NBA Draft, Ball played it coy.

“I don’t know,” he said.

Ball also used the opportunity this week to clear the air on his views regarding the Golden State Warriors, who hold the second overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft.

Previously, Ball’s father, LaVar, insisted that he did not want his son ending up there.

The 19-year-old pushed back on his dad’s comments.

“My old man, he’s his own man,” he said.

“He has his opinions, I have mine. Like I said, I feel like I can play on any team. Anywhere’s a great fit.”

Earlier this week, reports emerged that the Wolves were really struggling with who to spend their top pick on.

“According to a Western Conference executive, word around the league is Minnesota isn’t leaning one way at No. 1, sounds ‘confused’ and feels pressure after ‘messing up last year by trading for Jarrett Culver,’” Jonathan Wasserman of Bleacher Report revealed.

“The belief is that Minnesota’s priority is to trade, realistically down the board assuming an established star won’t become available.”

The pressure Minnesota is feeling is completely understandable in light of recent events.

Last week, a report emerged that Karl-Anthony Towns was “as good as gone” from the team if things didn’t change in a hurry.

Based on how little time Ball spent at the Combine, it is safe to assume that he will continue to remain the enigma that he has been up to this point. A team will either bite the bullet and risk it all for him, or decide that he simply isn’t worth the gamble.

One way or another, given the historically weak nature of this year’s draft, he is going to go high.

How high? That remains to be seen.

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Charles Kruger

Charles Kruger has been credentialed to cover two Super Bowls, four NBA Finals, and one World Series. A 20-year veteran in the sports world, he has sources spanning the NBA, MLB, NFL, UFC and NASCAR. Currently residing in Los Angeles, Calif., he is Game 7's go-to source for rumors surrounding the Lakers, Clippers and Dodgers.

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