During his high school career, LaMelo Ball generated immense hype like very few other players were able to do so. After witnessing his older brother Lonzo Ball get drafted by the Los Angeles Lakers, the pressure was on LaMelo to follow his footsteps to the NBA.
Despite being a bright prospect, LaMelo's ranking was hindered by his unconventional path, signing with Prienai of the Lithuanian Basketball League and then joining the Junior Basketball Association for a short stint. With concerns regarding his eligibility for the NCAA, LaMelo opted to skip the college basketball experience by inking a contract with the Illawarra Hawks in the National Basketball League.
LaMelo is now receiving consideration as the potential No. 1 overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft, as per ESPN's latest mock draft.
"If he keeps this up, I don't see any way he isn't in the conversation for the No. 1 overall pick," said an NBA executive to ESPN's Jonathan Givony.
"He completely changed my perception of the type of prospect he is, and all of the background info I gathered here from his coaches and teammates paint a very different story of what I thought about him off the court as well," added the NBA executive in regards to LaMelo's rise as a prospect.While some questioned LaMelo's decision to pursue another overseas stint, it's already paying off for the 18-year old who jumped more than 20 spots in ESPN's latest 2020 NBA mock draft. He has had some brilliant showings in the 2019-20 NBL pre-season, including a near triple-double of 19 points, 13 rebounds, and 7 assists against the Perth Wildcats.
"He reminds me of Luka Doncic. Just in terms of his size, his feeling and his creativity," revealed an NBA scout to ESPN.
The scout also noted that LaMelo could become the NBL's Most Valuable Player once the season gets underway. LaMelo has never shied away from voicing his wish to be selected with the No. 1 overall pick of the 2020 NBA Draft. As of now, the only prospects ranked higher are James Wiseman and Anthony Edwards, both of whom have the advantage of playing in the NCAA this upcoming year.
It also remains to be seen whether LaVar Ball will be as highly involved with his son LaMelo as he had been with Lonzo. In a recent episode of Ball in the Family, LaVar was very complimentary of the former, while referring to the latter as "damaged" goods, as previously reported by The Inquisitr. With these remarks, there is tremendous hype surrounding LaMelo from the family and media members, as he continues to raise his draft stock.