Rumor: LaMelo Ball could see stock drop due to LaVar Ball ‘wild card’
The suspension of the 2019-20 NBA season could bring some eye-opening ramifications to the upcoming NBA Draft, as there will be less capacity for teams to scout. Players like LaMelo Ball could suffer and see his draft stock drop, as some executives are concerned about the influence of his father, LaVar Ball, which makes him a major wild card.
LaMelo impressed scouts in Australia, playing 12 games in the National Basketball League before a foot injury ended his season prematurely. His numbers were impressive — 17.0 points, 7.4 rebounds, and 6.8 assists in 31.2 minutes per game — against actual professionals
Yet many NBA executives were hoping to study him in person and find out about the potential involvement of his father, LaVar, who has already left a foul smell around the league during his first go-around with his eldest son, Lonzo Ball.
“You’re still going to investigate all that, but I’d want to meet with the kid and the dad, personally,” an Eastern Conference general manager told Ric Bucher of Bleacher Report. “The dad is such a wild card.”
Ball had issues with turnovers and shot quality during his brief stint overseas, but the major question remains the looming shadow that LaVar could have on his career.
Lonzo’s draft night three years ago was marred with proclamations of grandeur, a self-started (and since-failed) shoe line, fighting words against some of the best players, and little product to back it up. The elder Ball had a hideous shooting season in his rookie year and one equally as poor in his second season, though he has started to turn things around in Year 3.
If LaMelo is bound for the same treatment, he could drop from a top-three prospect to a top-10 target in the upcoming NBA Draft — a slide that could cost him millions, along with a huge NBA opportunity.