LaMelo Ball: The future of the NBA


Photo taken from Wikimedia.

LaMelo Ball and Justas Sinica Vytautas at a game.

The youngest of the Ball brothers is making a statement by playing in Australia as a part of the NBL (National Basketball League). Averaging 13.38 points per game, 6.7 rebounds per game and 5.7 assists, LaMelo has done more than impress scouts. Before this year, many believed that he was too skinny and had too low of a basketball IQ to succeed at a higher level. He has quickly proved them wrong, improving his draft pick projections from late first round to lottery pick. I believe that scouts have seen LaMelo’s older brother, Lonzo’s skills on display in the NBA and think that he can be just as good and probably even better because of his ability to shoot the ball, which Lonzo doesn’t have.

LaMelo Ball has improved a lot since playing at Chino Hills High School and being in his brothers’ shadows. His jump shot isn’t great yet, but it is enough to keep defenders on their toes when guarding him around the three-point line. He brings “pizzazz” to the court with his unique ball-handling skills and great looking passes, while simultaneously handling pressure well. LaMelo’s height also enables him to be a great finisher at the rim for a point guard, and his left hand is just as strong as his right. Most of his shots come from beyond the arc or mid-range jumpers/floaters. LaMelo brings swag to the court that most other players don’t have and plays without fear, which gives his teammates confidence.

Although the good outweighs the bad, Ball still has areas of his game that need improvement. It is clear that LaMelo has worked on his strength, but he still lacks explosiveness and won’t be able to finish against big centers in the NBA if he doesn’t bulk up. He also doesn’t seem to be as concerned about the defensive end of the ball as much as the offensive end. Although he is averaging 1.88 steals per game, his size can lead to easy blow by’s by smaller quicker guards, and he doesn’t always hustle back on fast breaks. His lack of defense could be exposed in the NBA.

I believe LaMelo’s ceiling is becoming another version of Stephen Curry with better finishing abilities. His floor is a rich man’s Austin Rivers. In his rookie year, I predict LaMelo averages between 12 and 13 ppg with 4 assists and 5 rebounds to go along with it. I don’t think he’ll be the rookie of the year with players like Cole Anthony and Anthony Edwards in the same class as him, but I do think he will be in the race. Eventually, I think he will be better than Lonzo and be remembered as the best of the Ball brothers.

Overall, LaMelo will sell tickets no matter what. There are plenty of people who are on the edge of their seats waiting to see what kind of impact the last Ball brother can have in the NBA. LaMelo Ball is currently projected to go 3rd overall in the latest 2020 NBA mock draft by Bleacher Report.