The most talked about player in the upcoming NBA Draft didn’t even play NCAA basketball last season. However, you might remember him from his high school days, where he played alongside his two brothers at Chino Hills, with his loud-mouth father roaming the sidelines. Yes, I’m talking about the youngest of the Ball Brothers, LaMelo Ball.
I think one of the most important things you need to know about LaMelo is how he’s separated himself from anything to do with his father. He’s kept to himself and a team player, nothing like LaVar. Also unlike his father, he can play some serious basketball.
LaMelo Ball spent this last season playing with the Illawarra Slam Hawks of the Australian Basketball League. With the Slam Hawks, he averaged 17.0 points, 6.8 assists, and 7.6 rebounds, and was one of the better players in the NBL. Moreover, he proved he can lead a team at a higher level of competition.
- He could come into the NBA and be one of the top 3 passers in the league
- Has very crafty handles, can combine crossovers with behind the backs with ease.
- Quick first step, can finish up and over defenders
- Gets to the basket well, awesome floater
- Great length, 6’10” wingspan while standing at 6’8″ (both his height and length are unofficial)
- His length could lead to him being disruptive on defense
- His vision is amazing, sees every player on the floor
- Good shooter
- Appears ambidextrous, he uses both hands equally for both passing and dribbling.
- His form is broken: he brings the ball up from his opposite side, both of his elbows are out, his base is never the same, he lands poorly, releases the ball from below his head, and hardly uses his legs on set shots
- He has not shot the ball well from three (only 25%), yet he forces shots up from “Curry Range”
- Most of his defense is bad: he falls asleep off the ball, doesn’t close out on shooters, struggles in transition, doesn’t communicate well on screens, double-teams when he shouldn’t, and doesn’t get back on defense
- Needs to put on some serious muscle
- Strays away from contact while attacking the basket, lowering his efficiency numbers
Much like his brother, LaMelo Ball is a long term project. He has a lot of technical flaws in his game, and I contribute that to LaVar coaching him most of his life. Luckily, his height and capabilities to run the point garner him a lot of attention from scouts and will have him drafted very early on lottery night. I’m not sure he’s the type of player to take your team to the next level and going off of that, his NBA comparison is his brother Lonzo. I believe they’ll both be very good players, but not All-Star caliber. If he can improve on his three-point shot, he could take the next step and become an elite down the road; unfortunately, unless he makes drastic changes to his shooting form, I don’t see him taking that next step.
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Featured Image: CBS Sports