Warriors Increasingly Likely To Draft LaMelo Ball?

Warriors Increasingly Likely To Draft LaMelo Ball?

The Golden State Warriors own the second overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft. Up to this point, the organization has been most closely linked to Memphis big man James Wiseman.

That said, according to Jonathan Givony of ESPN, Ball recently won members of the ownership group, front office and coaching staff over with his tremendous workout.

“While Wiseman has long looked like the safest pick and best positional fit here, he no longer appears to be a lock for Golden State after Ball conducted an impressive workout in front of key members of the Warriors’ ownership group, front office and coaching staff,” he wrote.

“Ball’s talent presents the possibility for special long-term upside, while Wiseman might be better equipped to immediately help the franchise return to the NBA Finals.”

Givony also reported that Golden State is doing its due diligence on the draft’s other notable prospects, including Anthony Edwards out of Georgia.

“The Warriors have continued to do their due diligence by traveling to watch Anthony Edwards work out for a second time in recent days after an initially underwhelming first viewing.”

The Minnesota Timberwolves currently own the top overall pick in this year’s draft, and as of Monday afternoon, have not officially signaled what they want to do with it.

After originally being connected to Ball, the team began taking a closer look at Wiseman – reportedly somewhat enamored by a Twin Towers line-up featuring him and Karl-Anthony Towns. There has also been some chatter of the team going with Edwards, seeing as he does not conflict positionally with any of the young stars currently on the team’s roster.

Minnesota’s eventual selection will obviously have a domino effect throughout the rest of the draft.

The big issue with Golden State selecting Ball is his awkward fit into the team’s current structure. With Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson in the backcourt, it is unclear how Ball’s skills would be utilized. Presumably this pick would be made with the future in mind, and also seen as an insurance policy in the event that history repeats itself and Curry gets hurt again.

Ball is the ultimate high-risk, high-reward prospect. Last year he averaged 17.0 points on 37.5 percent shooting, 7.6 rebounds, and 6.8 assists in 12 games for the Illawarra Hawks in Australia’s National Basketball League.

Throughout his relatively short career, Ball has shown a number of notable strengths: he’s a great ambidextrous passer, excellent ballhandler, underrated rebounder and has good instincts off the ball.

At the same time, he also has some significant weaknesses: incessantly jacking up bad shots, poor shooting mechanics, fear of contact around the rim and shoddy defense. NBA teams will have to assess for themselves how each characteristic matters to them.

Interestingly enough, Ball’s dad suggested in the past that he would not want his son playing for the Warriors because he’d get lost in the shuffle.

“My old man, he’s his own man,” Ball said of his father’s take. “He has his opinions, I have mine. Like I said, I feel like I can play on any team. Anywhere’s a great fit.”

One way or another, all questions regarding Ball’s future will be answered this week. Will the Warriors ultimately end up selecting him? Time will tell.

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Carlos Garcia

A longtime sports reporter, Carlos Garcia has written about some of the biggest and most notable athletic events of the last 5 years. He has been credentialed to cover MLS, NBA and MLB games all over the United States. His work has been published on Fox Sports, Bleacher Report, AOL and the Washington Post.

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