2020 NBA Draft Profile: LaMelo Ball
Guard, Illawarra Hawks (Australia)
**DISCLAIMER: The following is an aggregate of player analysis from various media outlets and does not reflect the views of the Minnesota Timberwolves.**
NBA.com(click to read full analysis):
LaMelo has been on the basketball radar since his freshman year at Chino Hills High School in California when he won the state crown with his brothers LiAngelo and current NBA player Lonzo. Since then his game and his body have developed significantly. Having grown to 6-foot-7 with good length, he has the tools to be able to make a variety of passes over the top of the defense. This couples with his most NBA ready skill which is his ability to see and read the floor at a level beyond his years. Much of this development arguably came as a result of him opting to play professionally after his junior year of high school. He first played in the Lithuanian league, then back in the United States before going to Australia to suit up for the Illawarra Hawks in the National Basketball League (NBL). On the back of huge performances at the NBL Blitz preseason tournament where he poured in 19 points, 13 rebounds and seven assists, LaMelo’s NBA draft stock rose.
ESPN/Draft Express (click to read full analysis):
Projected role: Franchise point guard
The Ringer (click to read full analysis):
- Ambidextrous passer with pinpoint accuracy and omnidirectional vision. He sees everything on the court, creating opportunities for teammates that most players simply don’t see or can’t pull off thanks to his innate ability to manipulate defenders.
- Excellent ball handler who uses hesitations to put defenders on skates. He uses advanced moves but always remains in control, dictating the pace like a drummer would a song’s tempo.
- Elite touch. Though he attempts too many floaters and shys away from contact, his ability to score creatively with either hand suggests he could develop into a finisher at the rim.
- Attentive off-ball player who cuts and adjusts to space well behind the arc.
- Great rebounder for his position like his older brother Lonzo. His instincts pop up here when tracking down boards.
- Versatile defender. He’s quick laterally and quite large for a point guard. He has the size to comfortably switch onto wings.
-- Kevin O’Connor
NBADraft.net (click to read full analysis):
6-6 point guard … Good size and length, especially for position … Can shoot off the catch or dribble. Shoots it well from deep and has good arc on shot, most of his makes find the bottom of the net. Hits shots from the NBA 3PT line and is a threat to score from literally anywhere in the half court. His jump shot keeps the defense tense and they must guard him tight away from the basket. Good free throw shooter … Gets to the rim off the dribble, using an effective crossover. Good variety and craft as a finisher. Finishes very well in the paint and in traffic, uses glass when appropriate. Good touch on floater … Good ambidexterity, doesn’t hesitate to use either hand dribbling, passing, or finishing. Creative playing style. Very good ballhandler. Creates for himself and others naturally … High basketball IQ. Tremendous instincts, read and reacts, never hesitates or second guesses himself. Supreme self-confidence. Finds the open man when the help defense comes. Tremendous court vision, passing, and playmaking ability, top of his class. Always knows where all four teammates are. Hits teammates in stride and when they’re in position to score. Can run the pick and roll/pop. Throws accurate outlet passes. Pushes the ball after rebounds, steals, and every other opportunity. Thrives in an up-tempo style but can also play in the half court … Good defender when committed both on and off the ball. Has a nose for the ball, gets clean steals when going for double teams. Good anticipation, jumps passing lanes very well to start instant offense. High steal count … Smooth. Quick hands and light on his feet. Good body control as a ballhandler and in the air. Changes speed and direction very well with the ball … Unselfish. Impacts the game without scoring, isn’t ineffective playing alongside other scorers, and compliments the talent around him. Sometimes he’s quick with the trigger but never forces his scoring or hunts for his shots. He tends to add points in bunches as needed or they accumulate as the game progresses … Rebounds very well on both ends for position … A triple-double threat in high school and impacts the game in multiple statistical categories … Nonchalant demeanor, doesn’t rattled under pressure … Has a lot of experience competing against grown men. Younger for his class, will turn 18 in August after high school. A full year younger than quite a few players who played in the high school all-star circuits. In one case, two full years younger … -- Evan Tomes