By: ZACH McGOWAN
The 2020 NBA Draft is scheduled to take place less than a month on November 19. The second overall pick is held by the Bay Area’s team, the Golden State Warriors. Yes, they were the worst team in the league this past season, but that was due to the injuries of Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, plus the recovery of the loss of Kevin Durant in free agency. But with a now healthy core of Stephan Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, Andrew Wiggins, and their future 2nd overall pick, the Warriors look like one of the most dangerous teams heading into next season. One option for that second pick is LaMelo Ball.
LaMelo Ball is one of the most exciting prospects heading into the draft. At just 19 years old, he would be the 2nd Ball brother to enter the NBA (behind Lonzo Ball of the New Orleans Pelicans). He currently plays for the Illawarra Hawks of the Australian National Basketball League. During his time in Australia, Ball has shown that he is a wonderful playmaker. He excites crowds with his flashy passes and impossible finds. He averaged about 7 assists per game this NBL season. That would put him in 14th place on the assists per game list out of all the players in the NBA if he played in it last season. Ball is also a very crafty scorer. He uses quick and showy dribble moves to get around his defender and goes for the nice reverse or cradle layup at the rim. He also has a nice 3-pointer, despite his odd shooting form.
Steve Kerr, the coach of the Warriors, might have a hard time figuring out how to run Ball and Curry at the same time, because both of them are playmaking point guards. The Warriors could try to run Klay Thompson at small forward and create one of the best playmaking backcourts in the league. Because of this point guard problem, Ball might not be the best fit for the Warriors. They could use him as a nice backup to Curry and let him grow off the bench to become the next face of the franchise if Curry decides to take a backseat later in his career.
Another downside of LaMelo Ball coming to the Warriors is his father, Lavar Ball. He values his son’s success in a way that interferes with the team. Bruno Manrique of Clutchpoints.com sums it up nicely “LaVar ain’t telling any lies there, but it’s his outspoken and charlatan nature that often acts as a fat stain for a bright prospect like LaMelo, just like Lonzo [Lamelo’s brother] once was. Whether it is the pressure to perform up to expectations, capitalize on marketing opportunities, or simply the struggle to make his name in the league, those normal NBA responsibilities are often marred with LaVar’s propensity to open his mouth at the wrong time.”
So, Ball would have some downsides, and he may not be the most perfect fit for the Warriors, but he would provide a great style of play to whatever team he goes to.