LaMelo Ball 2020 NBA Draft Profile

Out of the 60 prospects who will hear their names called on draft night, there are very few more enticing than NBL standout LaMelo Ball. The 6’7″ guard for the Illawarra Hawks is projected by most to be a top-five pick in the upcoming draft. While he has the potential to one day become a star in the NBA, he has some very prominent flaws that could hold him back.

2020 NBA Draft Profile for LaMelo Ball

Professional Career

Ball began his professional career back in 2018 during his senior year in high school. He announced that he was signing with Prienai of the Lithuanian Basketball League. Ball had a rough time here and received very little playtime which eventually led him to withdraw from the team in April. He finished his time in the league averaging just 6.5 points and 2.4 assists in only 12.8 minutes per game.

On May 4th, 2018, Ball officially announced he was joining the Los Angeles Ballers of the Junior Basketball Association. This league was created by Ball’s father as an alternative to college basketball. He quickly became the star player of the league averaging 39.6 points, 14.6 rebounds, and 11.5 assists per game. While he posted impressive numbers, the talent level at which he was playing against was subpar to many different leagues. Ball left the JBA in order to return to high school for his senior season.

On June 17, 2019, Ball announced that he would be joining the Illawarra Hawks of the National Basketball Association. This was a place where he was able to sustain great success while also being able to play against a high level of competition. He finished the season with impressive numbers, averaging 17 points, 7.4 rebounds, and 6.8 assists per game. He was also named the NBL Rookie of the Year for his impressive style of play.


  • Elite ball handler who maneuvers his way around defenders well
  • Has incredible vision which shows when driving towards the basket
  • Very crafty as a scorer with a plethora of techniques for finishing
  • Willing to go up and get rebounds even as a smaller player
  • Has almost perfected his floater which will be deadly at the next level
  • Has incredible burst and acceleration when driving towards the hoop
  • Flashy and accurate passer who hits his teammates in stride
  • Able to score from all areas of the court with a developing jump shot
  • Very high basketball IQ on the offensive side of the ball
  • Has the potential to completely take over games on occasion
  • He has perhaps the highest ceiling of any prospect in the upcoming draft


  • Lacks physicality and technique on the defensive side of the ball
  • Has a thin frame for a player of his height
  • A very inconsistent shooter from range shooting only 25% from deep
  • Lacks energy when he doesn’t possess the ball
  • Is a very streaky player and struggles to maintain consistency
  • His defensive technique could take a long time to develop in the NBA
  • While he has a very high ceiling he has a very low floor

NBA Player Comparison

If Ball is able to improve in his areas of weakness such as defense and his off-ball motor he could potentially evolve into a player like Washington Wizards guard John Wall. They both have incredible vision, craftiness, and passing ability. If he does not improve in these key areas he will likely be no more than a bench warmer for the majority of his career.

NBA Draft Projection

LaMelo Ball may have his fair share of flaws, however his strengths will garner the interest of just about every team in the NBA. His unique offensive skillset and limitless potential will intrigue teams enough to make him a top-three pick in the upcoming draft. He is quite possibly the biggest boom or bust prospect in this year’s draft.

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