The 2020 NBA Draft features no shortage of intriguing prospects. Perhaps none more polarizing than LaMelo Ball, who is currently considered by many experts as being the projected No. 1 pick.
Some experts seem to think that Ball has legitimate star potential and could end up being the best player in this year’s NBA Draft. However, some are not nearly as high on him. This is a key reason why he hasn’t emerged as a clear cut No. 1 pick for the Minnesota Timberwolves.
One NBA scout, who asked to remain anonymous, took the time to speak to NBA Analysis Network about his thoughts on LaMelo Ball as a draft prospect. As one might expect, he sees a variety of positives, but some key negatives to take into consideration.
When discussing the strengths that Ball possesses, he made it clear that Ball has some intriguing attributes that should catch the attention of NBA teams.
“Going up against pro competition in Australia will help LaMelo (Ball) adjust better than most with the quick turnaround after the draft. He sees the floor very well and makes advanced passing reads.
“With him being 6-foot-7, he will be able to make passes that shorter guards are unable to pull off. Those are traits you want in a guard in the NBA.”
The main concern with Ball has been his unwillingness to give a strong effort on defense throughout a full game. This is something many have pointed out about him since his viral clips playing high school basketball.
“Giving a real effort on defense is something LaMelo (Ball) has yet to do on any level in his career. It’s tough to see him changing that after he gets to the NBA. His frame will leave him prone to getting pushed around a bit and he spaces out mentally off the ball sometimes.
“That has to make a GM at least second-guess using one of the top picks in the draft on him. It’s probably not a deal-breaker. It’s just something to keep in mind.”
The passing ability that Ball provides will help an offense but there’s more to consider. He lacks a reliable pull-up jumper and a quick first-step. That gives a defense options to reduce his threat as a passer.
“Primary initiators need to have a respectable pull-up jumper to lead a great half-court offense. LaMelo (Ball) requires a complete overhaul in his mechanics. Not having a quick first-step will make it all the more challenging for him in the NBA.
“It’s going to be important that LaMelo (Ball) lands with a team that can help make changes to his shooting mechanics. He will need to be accepting of that feedback.”
For now, it appears Ball is likely to be draft at least within the top three of the NBA Draft order. He could end up being the No. 1 pick by the Minnesota Timberwolves, the Charlotte Hornets could be enthused, or some team could trade up at one of those spots to take him.
The landing spot for a prospect can play an important role in the success someone experiences in the NBA. LaMelo Ball certainly appears to be no exception to that rule. It will be fascinating to see how he fares at basketball’s highest level.
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