LaMelo Ball, the youngest of the Big Baller Brand clan, has taken an unorthodox path. After being withdrawn from high school by his father and traveling overseas to turn pro in Lithuania, LaMelo eventually returned to the states to finish his high school career in Ohio.
Unfortunately, LaMelo’s dreams of playing in college were dashed by his brief pro stint, so he made the move to Australia to continue his professional career.
But despite all of his detours, LaMelo will be eligible for the 2020 NBA Draft and many believe he could be an early first-round pick. In fact, some NBA executives believe LaMelo could surpass his older brother Lonzo by becoming the No. 1 overall pick.
“If he keeps this up, I don’t see any way he isn’t in the conversation for the No. 1 overall pick,” an insider told ESPN.com. “He completely changed my perception of the type of prospect he is, and all of the background info I gathered here from his coaches and teammates paint a very different story of what I thought about him off the court as well.”
Another scout added: “He plays with incredible pace. He’s never sped up. He’s never rattled by anything that’s thrown at him. You’re expecting something magical to happen every time he has the ball. He sees everything. He can make every pass with either hand off a live dribble. His style of play is tailor-made for the NBA game, especially if you surround him with shooting and better finishers.”
If that wasn’t impressive enough, LaMelo has also drawn comparisons to current NBA star Luke Doncic.
LaMelo is currently playing for the National Basketball League Illawarra Hawks.
The revelation comes in ESPN’s latest NBA mock draft. Currently projected as the No. 3 overall pick, LaMelo has jumped more than 20 spots towards the top of the first round.