In a matter of weeks, the Golden State Warriors will find out where they will land during the NBA Draft Lottery, sharing an equal 14% chance of netting the No. 1 overall pick with the Cleveland Cavaliers and Minnesota Timberwolves. LaMelo Ball was already presented as a shaky option for teams, yet an NBA scout’s latest assertion of his skillset should have the Warriors running for the hills if Ball is their best available option.
According to Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com, Ball’s “broken” shot just isn’t cutting it in the eyes of talent evaluators.
Transcript via HoopsHype:
“I talked to an evaluator that’s been watching LaMelo and Deni Avdija and a lot of these other guys for a number of years now. And the term that was used for LaMelo’s shot was ‘broken,'” said Fedor in the Wine and Gold podcast. “Now this is just one person’s evaluation of it. And then when I asked about Deni, because his shooting percentages were low as well. The person told me that he thought it was fixable.”
Much like the Facebook Watch series: “Ball in the Family,” it appears that a broken shot also runs in the family.
Only three years ago a young Lonzo Ball was drafted with the No. 2 overall pick of the 2017 NBA Draft despite showing clear deficiencies in his jump shot. The same can be said for LaMelo.
A quick look at some of his highlights during his brief overseas stint with the Illawarra Hawks should validate the scout’s concerns.
In this play, LaMelo waits in the left wing and uncorks a successful 3-pointer during a fast-break opportunity. A closer look shows him starting on his left hip, raising the ball and releasing just right above his chest.
But don’t take my word for it, or the scout’s for what it’s worth. Listen to the color commentator at the 1:04 mark of this video:
“His shot needs a lot of work. You have a look at the technical side, shooting it so low and shooting it in front of his face with two hands.”
It doesn’t take a genius to figure out his shot is not up to par with that of NBA players, let alone college players — yet hearing that his shot is mechanically “broken” from a person who is paid to break down every aspect of a prospect, is concerning at best.
The Warriors have shown interest in lower-ranked players like Tyrese Haliburton, as it is a matter of fit for this team more so than yielding the best talent available.
LaMelo’s father, LaVar Ball, has gone on air to say his youngest son doesn’t need the Warriors and doesn’t want to play there.
Golden State doesn’t need any more advice when it comes to draft pick, but they’d be smart to stray away from LaMelo’s broken shot in the 2020 NBA Draft and net themselves better bang for their buck.
LaMelo might be able to fix that broken shot and turn into a better player in due time, but this is a work-in-progress preoccupation a team with championship aspirations doesn’t need at the moment.