LaMelo Ball’s time overseas may have come to an end. According to reports, the “belief around the NBA” is that the youngest Ball brother will not suit up for the Illawarra Hawks in Australia’s National Basketball League again after suffering a foot injury. Ball is still in a walking boot just weeks away from the end of the NBL season.
Despite the injury, Ball’s time in Australia was an overwhelming success as he fine-tuned his skillset and proved that he can do it all on the court.
Ball set multiple records during his time in Australia and saw his draft stock rise. Currently, there is a belief that Ball will be in the discussion for the No. 1 overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft.
In his latest mock draft, Sports Illustrated’s Jeremy Woo wrote:
The expectation around the league is that Ball won’t play another game for Illawarra after injuring his foot in December. There’s not much reason for him to risk things, and his audition as a top pick has been successful, though his poor shooting percentages seem likely to preclude him from being the No. 1 pick.
LaMelo has been so impressive that one NBL executive believes there is no way the youngest Ball brother will be passed up with the top pick in the 2020 NBA Draft.
“I don’t see any way where LaMelo doesn’t go No. 1. He sees the floor better than anyone, and his passing and shooting is like nothing I’ve seen before,” the NBL executive told Yahoo Sports’ Krysten Peek.
His performance has been so impressive that Ball now finds himself as the top-rated prospect on the DraftExpress 2020 NBA Draft Board. Ball was initially slated as an early second-round pick but has since seen a steady rise up the rankings.