LaMelo Ball Falling Out Of Top 3 In 2020 NBA Draft?

LaMelo Ball Falling Out Of Top 3 In 2020 NBA Draft?

LaMelo Ball is the biggest name available in the 2020 NBA Draft. For a period of time, it looked like he would be the player the Minnesota Timberwolves ultimately select with their top overall pick.

Unfortunately, things seem to be trending in the wrong direction for the highly-touted 19-year-old. According to Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer, Ball “is not performing very well at job interviews.”

“Here is what I’m hearing from the league at large,” he said on 102.5 FM WFNZ in Charlotte. “LaMelo Ball is not performing very well at job interviews. I’ve heard that from multiple sources. He is not improving his perception via job interview.

“There are people drafting later in the top ten who were not preparing for the possibility of Ball still being around and, I’m not saying that he will be a top three pick, I am saying that I know for a fact that there are teams later in the top ten who are doing more research on him because they no longer think it’s a given he will.”

Right now any one of five players can go No. 1 overall in the looming draft. There is a reasonable case to be made for Ball, Anthony Edwards out of Georgia, James Wiseman out of Memphis, Deni Avdija out of Maccabi Tel Aviv and Obi Toppin out of Dayton. Each guy comes with a very specific set of strengths and weaknesses, and none are viewed as immediate franchise-changers.

Ball is a high-risk, high-reward option. He has a nice jumper that he can get off at any time, but needs to improve its accuracy. He also has great ball-handling and court vision, but will almost certainly be a defensive liability at the start of his career.

Throughout an abbreviated 12-game stretch with the Illawarra Hawks in Australia’s National Basketball League, Ball averaged 17.0 points on 37.5 percent shooting, 7.6 rebounds, and 6.8 assists. It was a strong overall performance that left many excited about the prospect’s professional potential.

That said – not everyone is excited about the youngest Ball brother. A few months back, an anonymous NBA scout absolutely ripped him to shreds.

“LaMelo is a very dangerous choice,” the scout said.

“A very high risk-reward. All the baggage that comes with a decision like that is not what the Knicks need. Honestly, Lonzo [Ball] was a horrific shooter. He did manage to change his shot mechanics and now is a pretty good shooter. It’s very unusual but he did it and possibly LaMelo could, too.”

Right off the bat, part of that critique appears to be unfair. LaMelo is already a much better shooter than Lonzo was at the beginning of his career. (Plus, Lonzo made more threes than Devin Booker this year.) But that is the perception that is out there among some.

At this point in the year, it’s always tough to get a clear read on what’s real and what’s fake. People could be bashing Ball because they want his draft stock to fall so they can scoop him up later, or the criticism could be totally legit.

One way or another, an answer regarding Ball will come sooner rather than later. Will the Timberwolves ultimately take him No. 1 overall? Time will tell.

Related: Warriors Trading No. 2 Pick To Magic For Nikola Vucevic?

Anthony Amador

A graduate from the University of Texas, Anthony Amador has been credentialed to cover the Houston Texans, Dallas Cowboys, San Antonio Spurs, Dallas Mavericks and high school games all over the Lone Star State. Currently, his primary beats are the NBA, MLB, NFL and UFC.

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