LiAngelo Ball, the middle child in the Ball clan, has chosen to declare for the 2018 NBA draft.
Per a recent report from ESPN, LiAngelo’s agent, Harrison Gaines, leaked the news on Tuesday.
Ball, who is one of the siblings of Los Angeles Lakers’ point guard Lonzo Ball, has reportedly completed the juvenile stages of the process. According to Yahoo Sports’ Shams Charania, Gaines revealed that LiAngelo filed early-entry paperwork for this summer’s draft.
Based on what Charania’s report indicates, LiAngelo is expected to work out for several NBA teams. Additionally, the 19-year-old will get a chance to showcase his worth to NBA scouts later this spring at the Pro Basketball Combine in Florida.
LaVar Ball’s middle child has had an interesting last few months to say the least. Bleacher Report’s Mike Chiari recollects what happened to LiAngelo this past December. Slated to play for UCLA, LiAngelo got into trouble with the law due to shoplifting in China. Because of the incident, LiAngelo was suspended indefinitely by the prestigious school.
Thankfully for LiAngelo, not too long after he left UCLA, his basketball career did not go down the drain. Eduardo Gonzalez of the Los Angeles Times reminds readers that LiAngelo has been playing internationally. He and his younger brother, LaMelo, have been playing for Lithuania’s Vytautas Prienu since January.
The former of the two has been doing well in his overseas career thus far. Per the New York Daily News’ Brett Bodner, LiAngelo has been averaging 15.7 points and 2.9 rebounds a night. In the points department, that mark is currently tops in the league.
Larry Brown Sports’ Steve DelVecchio goes on to reveal that LiAngelo has been shooting the ball at a decent clip from behind the arc. By hitting 45 percent of his shots from that distance, LiAngelo has demonstrated that he is no slouch. Given that the NBA values outside shooting so much, teams may be willing to look more intently at LiAngelo.
While the 6’5″ Ball brother has been performing well, indeed, other reports suggest he may not be fit for the NBA. Dan Gartland of Sports Illustrated happens to be among that particular crowd. Gartland implies that the teenager’s odds would be a tad higher if he suited up for UCLA. The same report unveils that even LaVar acknowledged at one point LiAngelo is not a lock to make it to the big leagues.
This says a lot because of how outspoken and cocky LaVar tends to be. Via USA Today’s Tom Schad and Jeff Zillgitt, the famous dad has made it public that he hopes all three of his sons play for the Lakers one day. Thus, such acknowledgements illustrate that LaVar is not completely out of his mind.
Tim Cato of SB Nation similarly believes LiAngelo is a long shot to be in the NBA. The best case scenario, according to him, would be LiAngelo joining a G-League squad. However, Cato thinks that the likelihood of that occurring is not too great. He, in fact, asserts that it would be “an insult” to G-League prospects who are worthier of attention.
It is not to say that LiAngelo is not talented. Be that as it may, the NBA is much different than international competition. It is simply a different animal.
According to Gartland’s article, Lonzo Ball’s youngest brother, LaMelo, has a better chance to be in the NBA than LiAngelo. LaMelo, formerly a five-star talent, cannot enter the NBA draft for another three years, though.
Charania notes that let alone LiAngelo’s shooting abilities, his sheer size could elevate his stock. Moreover, he discusses that the combo guard/forward has become a leader in the locker room for Vytautas.
Despite it being LaVar’s dream to have LiAngelo play alongside Lonzo in Los Angeles, the odds are incredibly slim. All indications suggest that it would be miraculous if LiAngelo got drafted at all, let alone by the 16-time world champs.