LiAngelo Ball — the middle brother of NBA lottery picks Lonzo and LaMelo Ball — looks to be continuing his career in the association’s developmental league this season. Per a Twitter report from The Athletic‘s Shamas Charania, the 22-year-old has signed a contract to play in the G League bubble in 2021.
Ball most recently spent the early part of December with the Detroit Pistons, who had inked him to an Exhibit 10 contract. He was subsequently released by the club, though, without having appeared in any of its preseason contests.
Such a deal affords teams the option to retain a players’ G League rights. However, Ball’s signing with the league itself as opposed to being assigned to their affiliate squad indicates that the Pistons elected not to do so when waiving the 6-foot-5 wing.
Although Detroit’s new affiliate squad — the Motor City Cruise — has opted out of participating in the bubble, Ball could have been loaned by the team to one of the affiliates who will be playing.
As relayed by CBS Sports, Charania reported late last month that the NBA’s developmental outfit will be playing a regular-season slate of 12 to 15 games on a bubble campus at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. The truncated campaign is expected to tip-off in February with postseason play scheduled to begin in early March.
Ball has previous experience with the G League, having joined the Oklahoma City Blue as a practice player before signing a proper deal with the team in March of last year. However, he failed to take the court in an actual game before the remainder of the 2019-20 season was called off amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Ball’s only major professional experience to date is limited to the 14 games he played with the Lithuanian club BC Prienai. After withdrawing from the UCLA basketball team without having played for them, he signed with Prienai along with LaMelo for the 2017-18 campaign.
He went on to average 12.6 points and nearly three rebounds in 21.7 minutes per contest, as tracked by RealGM, while connecting on nearly 42 percent of his three-point shots during his brief tenure.
After leaving Prienai, Ball worked out with teams ahead of the 2018 NBA Draft, but was ultimately not selected. Shortly thereafter, he had a productive run in the Junior Basketball Association (JBA), a college basketball alternative founded by his father, LaVar Ball.
He was named JBA Finals MVP after leading Los Angeles to the organization’s first-ever championship with a 58-point performance against Seattle.