This is the first installment of the draft series. This a something that I have wanted to do for a while now. The draft is coming up and I wanted to focus on the prospects and where they should end up. Today it’s the draft: LaMelo Ball. I’m not going to lie. This is probably the biggest fear I have as a Knicks fan. I will flat out admit that I do not want him on my team. For basketball reasons and LaVar Ball. I give LaMelo credit, he’s been very successful and I think all college prospects should follow his example. He’s getting paid, and he owns the team he played for last season! I’m all for guys getting their money.
A high school phenomenon from California. He’s most known for putting up 92 in a game. He’s a very lanky guard 6’8 and looks like he is 180 pounds. That is a tall drink of water. There has never been a player who has taken the route to the league that he has had. It’s mainly, because of his father who was marketing and profiting from his sons (they also got money out of it too, but you know what I mean.) The NCAA said (paraphrasing) you will not make money under our watch. After playing in some really small leagues in Europe, he’s here. So let’s get into The draft and Lamelo Ball
The Draft: LaMelo Ball: Strengths
The draft, LaMelo Ball, and where the players might get drafted will be unpredictable, to say the least, because there is not a true number one pick. He can handle the ball like a true point guard and he can be a good playmaker and a very good passer. He can move very quickly with the basketball and can drive to the basket. He’ll already be one of the tallest guards in the league. He’d be perfect for a team all the teams in the top eight not named Golden State. He’d be an instant starter from day one out of the draft. Each one of those teams needs a guard that can control the ball with the potential to score a lot of the time as well as making plays for other teammates.
The Draft LaMelo Ball: Oh Boy…
Now I just talked about the positives. Trying to name more positive attributes about his game was very difficult to do because he mainly is an offensive player. But… oh boy. There are just so many flaws in his game that would hesitate any general manager to pick him early in the draft. LaMelo is known for his amount of shooting. In the 12 games, he played in Australia. He took about 17 shots a game and shot 37% from the field. I have not heard a guard shoot this poorly for a guy that shoots as much as he does. Ok, I lied, probably Russell Westbrook. He’s also a 72% free throw shooter. He does not shoot well enough and scores well enough like Curry to overlook his lack of defensive awareness.
LaMelo is playing overseas but it’s not like he was playing in China or Spain. He played in Australia last season. That’s the BEST league he’s played in. At least Luka played in arguably the best league outside the NBA. LaMelo played what I like to call European AAU in Lithuania with his brother, and his father was the coach so yeah just like AAU. And who could remember the JBA? It was a good concept at first until one of the guys working with LaVar was in prison for embezzlement. The JBA was basically all offense and no defense and was as successful as a Blockbuster in 2020 (There’s only one of them left in the world. In Bend, Oregon. Fun facts and jokes yeah I got em!) So yeah the JBA did not go so well.
What Might Be Best for LaMelo
In the draft, LaMelo Ball does not need to go to a big market with a target on his back. If he goes to a big market, he will most likely have the same problem his brother did when he played with the Lakers. LaMelo needs to be in a small market where no one really his to look at him for a few seasons. He has been in the spotlight since he touched a basketball, but in order to save his career the best move for him is to start small.
The best fit I believe for Ball will be the Atlanta Hawks. He is the best fit because he can help Trae Young even more. The Hawks do not have another guy that can do what Young does. The team was very disappointing last season. To be more direct, Cam Reddish. He played starter’s minutes and only put up ten points a game. I believe Atlanta has the right pieces and what’s great about it, is that their expectations are low and no one is really expecting them to make the playoffs.
LaMelo Ball: A Nightmare Scenario
I couldn’t talk about LaMelo without bringing up the Knicks. Just imagine if this scenario happened. The Knicks hire Tom Thibodeau and they draft LaMelo Ball. Me saying that out loud just sounds insane, like Ben and Jerry’s putting out an ice cream mix of dirt and sewer water. Not very tasty indeed. Then add LaVar ball sitting sideline half the season and just saying Thibodeau can’t coach every time the Knicks lose a game. Keep in mind the Knicks are being ran by agents currently. The president of the Knicks is an agent and was not an actual basketball executive before this. This would be like the Powerpuff Girls but take away the sugar and spice and everything nice and just replace all that with chemical x.
The LaMelo/Barrett backcourt would be interesting because they both have great potential on the offensive end. The Knicks are looking for a star. LaMelo is being considered to be the number one overall pick. I just don’t see that in him. He wouldn’t be the best player on the team on day one. I’d probably take him between picks 6-10, but no he should not be number one. His potential on the offensive side is great. I’m not buying into his hype, his path into the league was interesting. Look at the leagues, he’s played, and it’s like oh… Uh ok. LaVar’s mouth got him into trouble with Lonzo it ruined his confidence and is part of the reason why he’s not a Laker today. Will he get LaMelo into trouble? Hopefully, that doesn’t happen. I was LaMelo all the best. He just doesn’t need to be in New York.