There has been a ton of hype surrounding LaMelo Ball these past few weeks thanks to his incredible play overseas in the NBL. At one point, the youngest Ball brother was predicted to be a top 3 pick in the 2020 NBA Draft but now, he is being projected as the first overall pick in ESPN 2020 NBA Mock Draft. Ball has been putting up a plethora of triple-doubles and continues to give his team a chance to win every single night.
According to Jonathan Givony of ESPN, LaMelo’s talent is enough to make him the first pick in the draft although there is one X-Factor that could scare some teams away. Of course, this X-Factor is LaMelo’s father, LaVar. Givony claims he has heard from teams who just aren’t willing to take a chance on LaMelo because of what his dad has done in the past with Lonzo.
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“However, I believe that if the draft were held today, he probably would not be the No. 1 pick,” Givony said. “Of course, that will heavily depend on the team that ends up winning the May lottery. But both Schmitz and I have just received a significant amount of blowback from NBA teams who say that they simply don’t trust Ball enough to hand him the keys to their franchise. They worry about what all the attention around him will do to their team culture, how strong his work ethic is and whether his father, LaVar, could become a distraction.”
Punishing LaMelo for his dad’s actions seems a little harsh but it isn’t all that surprising. There is a ton of money at stake when it comes to these decisions and drafting the wrong player could be a longterm detriment to your franchise.