The Minnesota Timberwolves met with potential Top pick LaMelo Ball last Tuesday. According to reports, Ball met with Timberwolves President of Basketball Operations Gersson Rosas and Wolves head coach Ryan Saunders. The meeting took place in Southern California and did not feature any basketball activity.
— CBS Sports NBA (@CBSSportsNBA) October 29, 2020
Earlier this month, the NBA relaxed its restrictions on in-player interviews and evaluations, allowing the teams to interview prospects from October 16-November 16. The NBA’s 2020 Draft will be held virtually on November 18th.
Aside from his meeting with the Wolves, Ball is also expected to meet with the Golden State Warriors next week. The Dubs are picking 2nd overall in the upcoming draft. LaMelo is also rumored to be meeting with the Charlotte Hornets and Chicago Bulls who pick third and fourth, respectively.
Ball is one of the top prospects in the 2020 NBA Draft along with Anthony Edwards, James Wiseman, Obi Toppin, and Deni Avdija.
Resume Unlike No Other
Aside from the fact that he is Lonzo’s brother and Lavar’s son, LaMelo is an intriguing prospect because he has a resume like no other. For most U.S. basketball stars, the path to the NBA draft begins in high school and ends in college. For LaMelo, he went from high school directly to the professional ranks.
LaMelo Ball is the biggest mystery of the NBA Draft.
Would you take him with the No. 1 pick?
— Ballislife.com (@Ballislife) August 20, 2020
LaMelo played alongside brothers Lonzo and LiAngelo at Chino Hills High School. As a freshman, the Ball brothers helped the team win the state title and they gained national fame. But before LaMelo’s junior season, his dad pulled him from Chino Hills and took him to Lithuania to play professionally for the Prinei team.
In 2018, he played for the Junior Basketball Association, a league that Lavar created. Ball returned to high school as a senior with SPIRE Institute in Ohio. But the former 5-star recruit and UCLA commit decided to forego college and play for the NBL in Australia.
Ball played 12 games for the Illawarra Hawks and averaged 17 points, 7.4 rebounds, 6.8 assists, and 1.3 steals per game in 31 minutes of playing time per outing. He was named the NBL’s Rookie of the Year during the 2020 season.
More Than Lonzo’ Brother
A lot of people think of LaMelo as simply Lonzo’s kid brother or one of Lavar’s sons. However, this is an 18-year old who has forged his own identity by finding success at one of the most respected pro leagues in the world. Many felt that he was overrated at Chino Hills because Lavar ran the show there. But by winning NBL Rookie of the Year, LaMelo proved that he is wise beyond his years and more talented than what everyone thought.
LaMelo Ball’s journey has been unique.
Does he have a higher ceiling than Lonzo?
Will he be the No. 1 overall pick? 👇 pic.twitter.com/XmqvECmcsy
— CBS Sports HQ (@CBSSportsHQ) August 20, 2020
The 2020 NBA Draft is considered a weak draft, with no consensus top pick. Anthony Edwards and James Wiseman emerged as the early contenders for the top pick. But as the draft has gotten nearer, it’s LaMelo’s name who has been most talked about and it’s not because of Lavar.
LaMelo’s size ( he’s 6-7), terrific ball-handling ability, improved shooting, and court vision are a unique combination that could make a successful NBA career. The NBA game has changed over the years with unicorns and ridiculous three-point shooting reigning supreme. With LaMelo’s ability to shoot and be a primary playmaker at the same time, he’s going to find a niche in the NBA.
Second in the Odds Board
Earlier this month, LaMelo raised some eyebrows when he withdrew from the Draft Combine after participating in the standard league video interview and media session. Despite that, his stock continued to rise on the odds boards.
Not so long ago, LaMelo was third behind Anthony Edwards and James Wiseman. However, he’s risen to second lately and is currently listed next to Edwards in the latest SportsBetting.ag odds board at +100 to be picked first overall on November 18th. The same sportsbook has also put up an over/under bet for Ball with the Under 2.5 currently pegged at -200.
If the online sports betting sites are to be believed, Ball is likely ending 1st or 2nd in the draft. That means that it’s either going to be the Minnesota Timberwolves or Golden State Warriors who will pick him, but not necessarily for themselves. He already met with the Wolves and he’s scheduled to interview with the Warriors next week. But will LaMelo really go this high in the 2020 NBA Draft?
Steve Richardson started writing content online in 2013 and has yet to slow down. Since joining our team at GamblingSites.org, he has covered sports, casino news, gambling laws, and much more! …