Lamelo Ball is an American basketball player who recently played for the Illawarra Hawks of the NBL. He has two brothers (Lonzo) who plays for the New Orleans Pelicans of the NBA, his other brother (Liangelo) who just got a contract from the G League and is a player for the OKC Blue.
Lamelo Ball bio:
Lamelo Ball has had one of the more interesting prospect journeys ever, a prep career then went from scoring 92 points in a high school game and then went on winning a state championship with that same team (Chino Hills), to a failed mission to play in Lithuania professionally with his brother Liangelo, then he went back to high school to play for Spire Prep Academy in Cleveland, Ohio. All of that was just considered "high school" years. With his NCAA eligibility up in the air because of his failed "pro career" and his own BBB signature shoe, Ball then went on The Jump and broke the news that he would go play basketball in Australia in 2019.
He only played 12 games in the NBL, he easily made a lasting impression on NBA scouts. With his height at 6'8 and an estimated wingspan at 6'10, Ball is easily one of the more skilled and intriguing prospects of the past few drafts. I think he is easily the most intriguing prospect the NBA has seen other than Zion Williamson in the past 7 years.
What is the NBL?
The National Basketball League is a men's professional basketball league in Oceania. It is currently composed of 9 teams, 8 in Australia and 1 in New Zealand. It is the premier professional men's basketball league in Australia and New Zealand. It has over 45 former NBA players that played in the 2019-2020 NBL season. The players average salary is 126,000 US a year.
Other available draft picks:
Anthony Edwards played for Georgia last year, he averaged 19 points, 5.2 rebounds and 2.8 assists per game. Anthony is 6'5 225 pounds.
James Wiseman played for Memphis last year, he averaged 19.7 points, 10.7 rebounds and 3.0 blocks per game,(he only played in 3 games due to a scandal) James is 7'1 240 pounds.
Obi Toppin played for Dayton last year, he averaged 20 points, 7.5 rebounds and 2.2 assists per game, Obi is 6'9 220 pounds.
Deni Advija played in Europe last year, he averaged 12.3 points, 5.9 rebounds and 2.4 assists a game, Deni is 6'7 210 pounds.
Why Lamelo is the better prospect:
Lamelo is a terrific passer that can make every read you want a point guard to make out of ball-screens with either hand, and he has the height to see those passes over the defense. His feel for the game and basketball IQ are elite. He’s been an inconsistent and inefficient shooter throughout his career, but he’s always been a good free throw shooter and while he certainly needs to work on his mechanics, some of those low percentages can be explained away by the difficulty of the shots he is taking. Not only is Melo one of the youngest players in this draft, he is also considered a late-bloomer. He’s still growing into his frame, he’s definitely going to get stronger and more athletic as he matures physically and gets into an NBA strength/weight training program. When that happens, it should help his explosiveness and ability to handle physicality. There are risks here, but I don’t think it’s crazy to say he has the highest ceiling of anybody that are 2020 draft eligible and easily can become a superstar in the league. He is averaging 17 points, 7 rebounds, 6.8 assists and 1.6 steals on 37% shooting per game against veteran NBA players and veterans in the NBL. He's way younger than every other lottery pick, Obi Toppin is 22 and just started putting up great numbers, Lamelo has been doing that since he was 17… that goes for all of the other prospects. Lamelo Ball is playing in a way tougher league with older and smarter veteran basketball players. As a 18 year old kid coming into a league like the NBL and putting up amazing numbers I just don't see how he isn't the number 1 pick. He's putting up All Star numbers in a league that is harder and smarter than the NCAA, in his time with the hawks he is learning how to play against smart veteran players, learning how to become a professional and how to take over a game, that's impressive! He is the best play maker and the most ready for the NBA season for all the above reasons.
If you haven’t been paying close attention, you might have missed the come up for LaMelo Ball. The youngest member of the Ball brothers has not only become the tallest of the bunch but he also may have the highest ceiling.
LaMelo stands at 6’8″ and has ball-handling of a point guard. He is very crafty with his decision making and never fails to embarrass eager defenders. His lanky arms and long strides help him to slide past the defense for easy layups.
Ball has a high potential to be a scorer at the NBA level. He has a natural feel for the game and is very creative when initiating the offense. In the NBL.
Above all else, he has phenomenal court vision. Ball keeps his head up at all times and is never afraid to make the home run play. This creates a ton of open looks for teammates and helped Ball rank among the league leaders in assists as a rookie.
There is no doubt that he can be efficient from the 3-point line when he is on fire. However, he needs to become better at picking and choosing his looks from beyond the arch.
Ball also needs to add some muscle. He has a very thin frame and will be targeted by bigger and stronger guards on the defensive end. This is already an area of concern for Ball who has not shown to be an engaged defender through his young career. All I just said was Ball needs to become smarter with his shots and put on body weight, if those are the only cons scouts can find on the basketball court than Lamelo Ball cons are really easy to fix.
The 3 point argument. Lamelo has all the confidence in the world to chuck up shots from anywhere, he is already figuring it out in the NBL which shots to take and not. He came to the NBL shooting crazy from anywhere but as the season went on he started to figure out when and where to shoot, meaning he already has that con figured out when he joins the league, that won't be a problem.
The mass problem. Lamelo has the same body type as his brother Lonzo. When Lonzo was Lamelo's age he struggled with putting weight on as well, but when he came into the league he gained weight rapidly. Lonzo was 178 pounds coming into the league, after one season he became 190 pounds, now playing with the Pelicans he is around 203 pounds. Lonzo is one of the best defenders in the NBA today. Lamelo and Lonzo have the same body type, meaning it won't be a problem for Lamelo to gain weight when in the NBA.
Both cons are easily fixable.
Why drafting Lamelo is a smart move from a ownership standpoint:
Lamelo has always been able to fill seats, he will boost merchandise sales and ticket sales for the team. He is a pass first player meaning other players want to play with him, which means the better the players the more fans.
To sum it up Lamelo Ball is a amazing player on the court and off. He is already a household name who can easily sell out crowds and sell merchandise easily. Lamelo will bring more "buzz" around the team he gets drafted to.
Lamelo Ball is a 6'8 point guard who can do it all on and off the court.