NBA Rumors: Pistons Express Interest In LaMelo Ball, Reportedly Considering Trading Up In Draft

LaMelo Ball of the Illawarra Hawks dribbles the ball during an Australian National Basketball League (NBL) game.
Anthony Au-Yeung / Getty Images

According to a recent report from ESPN, the Detroit Pistons are considering moving up in the 2020 NBA Draft later this month, thus giving them a better chance of selecting one of this year’s top rookie prospects — Illawarra Hawks point guard LaMelo Ball.

On Thursday, Pistons general manager Troy Weaver spoke to the publication, revealing that moving up from the No. 7 pick is “definitely an option.” He also discussed the possibility of drafting Ball, who has been training nearby “throughout the pandemic” and is represented by manager Jermaine Jackson Sr., a Detroit native who used to play for the Pistons.

According to Weaver, the team is planning to schedule an interview with Ball ahead of the draft, which is scheduled to take place on November 18. The executive also commented positively on how the 19-year-old recently organized a free basketball camp for children aged 8 to 13 in Rochester Hills, Michigan.

“I’m always happy to hear players embrace our organization, our city. That never goes unnoticed. I know people around him. His trainer is a Detroit native, so I’m sure he’s been here for a while working out.”

Several Detroit Pistons players celebrate during a game against the Boston Celtics in 2020.
  Maddie Meyer / Getty Images

So far, Ball has had meetings with the teams that own the first two picks in the upcoming draft. He was recently interviewed by the Minnesota Timberwolves and took part in a virtual meeting with the Golden State Warriors officials, per Sports Illustrated. Rumors have suggested that the young point guard “has not been performing well” in the aforementioned interviews. This could potentially cause his stock to drop, thus increasing the chances that teams like the Pistons will be able to pick him.

“He is not improving his perception via job interview. There are people drafting later in the top ten who were not preparing for the possibility of Ball still being around,” Charlotte Observer reporter Rick Bonnell remarked on a Sports Radio WFNZ appearance, as quoted by the publication.

Over the past few months, there have been a few ideas proposed that would, in theory, allow the Pistons to select Ball, including one that suggested trading Blake Griffin to the Warriors in exchange for the No. 2 pick. However, Weaver told ESPN that the Pistons are keeping their options open, even if this year’s rookie class doesn’t seem to have any can’t-miss prospects like Zion Williamson (New Orleans Pelicans) and Ja Morant (Memphis Grizzlies) last year. He hinted to the outlet that there are “guys in the draft that we really like,” stressing that the yearly event serves as an opportunity to add players who could help “shape” the team’s culture.