18.5 Years Old
6-7 180 Pounds
By Max Feldman
- “Unicorn” style of play
- Positional size – 6-7 pushing 6-8 with elite ball handling skills
- Feel for the game, instinctual playmaker
- Contagious flare
- Overwhelming confidence, superstar personality
- Unforeseen fluidity in his creativity
- Refined triple double threat every game
- Defensive instincts and development
- In depth diverse passing package
- Tempo catalyst – changes the pace the moment he steps on the court
- Delivers a punch on or off the ball
- Three level creative yet effective scoring packages
- Avoids contact
- Lazy defender at times
- Questionable motor
- Immaturity concerns
- Low shot release from his chest
- Narrow frame
LaMelo Ball will be a top 5 selection in the 2020 NBA Draft and is the reigning NBL Rookie of the Year. Everyone knows the character, but that side is polarizing because of what he is on the court. There has never been a prospect like him for a variety of reasons.
Ball was playing with grown men and former NBA players this season, but still maintain nearly a 3:1 assist to turnover ratio with the Hawks. Ball effects the flow of the game each time he steps on the floor and has elevated the performance of his teammates at every level. He has potential as a lead guard or secondary ball handler because of his ability to make plays for others and for himself with consistency. He identifies himself with mentality of getting his teammates theirs first before he turns it on and makes plays for himself. The balance between his flare and creativity combined with the fluidity of it all makes him just as polarizing of a prospect on the court. He has a unique patience about him making him a fit no matter where he lands whether he’s a centerpiece of a rebuild or an addition to a solid core. Ball relies on floater and his touch in the mid-range due to a low, hitched jumper, but is efficient with it. Being fundamental is not who he is at this point and may not ever be who he is, but this is also what makes him so special.
The defensive end will be a question because of his reputation as a lazy, low motor defender, but his brother had a similar reputation with a similar build and is an All-League defender just two seasons later. It depends where he fits and how much load falls on him offensively, but Ball has the potential to guard the 1-3 positions with effectiveness. His instincts allow him to cut passing lanes and pump out solid steal numbers.
LaMelo Ball is a peculiar case in terms of skillset and predictability but is a sure-fire cornerstone regardless of his immediate success. Ball will thrive wherever he lands because of his daunting intangibles. Refining his pull up shooting ability as well as his defensive consistency will make LaMelo is a two-way star.