Brooklyn keeping a close eye on LaMelo Ball
The Brooklyn Nets are joining in the LaMelo Ball bandwagon.
The 6-foot-6 guard recently made his professional debut for the Illawara Hawks of the Australian-based National Basketball League. Ball played as good as advertised in his regular season debut against the Brisbane Bullets. The 18-year old recorded a double-double on Sunday with 12 points and 10 rebounds. He rounded out his all-around performance with five assists, four steals, and three blocks.
LaMelo is rising through the draft ranks with his impressive play internationally. In fact, some people around the Association believe he could become the first overall pick in next year’s NBA draft. His performance yesterday will only spike up his draft stock.
As for Brooklyn, there is no clear path on how they could land LaMelo through the draft, especially now that he’s projected to be a high-lottery pick. According to Nets Daily, Brooklyn won’t have a pick in the top-20 next year. While they don’t have their own pick, they currently have the Philadelphia 76ers’ lottery protected pick and the Golden State Warriors’ top-20 protected pick.
It’s highly unlikely as well that they will make a move just to acquire the rights to draft Ball. The Nets have championship aspirations for the next four seasons with both Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving signing four-year max contracts with them this off-season.
However, their journey towards a championship will be put on hold for at least this season. Durant is projected to miss the entire 2019-20 season as he recovers from an Achilles tear he suffered from the 2019 Finals.