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LaMelo Ball shuts down NBL season to rehab foot and prepare for 2020 NBA Draft

LaMelo-Ball

The 2020 NBA Draft’s projected top-three overall selection LaMelo Ball is shutting down his season with the Illawarra Hawks of the National Basketball League in Australia to rehabilitate his foot and prepare for the upcoming draft, according to ESPN’s Jonathan Givony.

A bone bruise, which LaMelo Ball suffered in early December, has sidelined him for 12 games into the season, and he’s now run out of time to complete the required recovery process before the season ends.

“Melo’s foot is totally healed, but the doctor’s policy is if you’re out for six weeks, you must rehab for six weeks,” said Ball’s manager Jermaine Jackson in a text. “He’s starting court work tomorrow.”

The Illawarra Hawks have six games remaining in the regular season, which will come to an end on Feb. 14.

Ball’s decision to shut down his season will not come as no surprise to NBA teams, as very few anticipated thought the 6-foot-7 point guard would risk any further setbacks.

The 18-year-old talent was peaking prior to his injury, putting up back-to-back triple-double efforts in his final two games with the Hawks. Ball finished his first NBL season averaging 17.0 points, 7.5 rebounds, 6.8 assists, and 1.7 steals in 31 minutes per game — stats that put him in the conversation for being the potential No. 1 pick in the 2020 NBA Draft thanks to a rare mix of size, creativity, handles, and innate passing instincts.

Givony’s latest mock draft has Ball going third overall to the Golden State Warriors.