LiAngelo Ball, the second child of Lavar Ball, has been declared for the NBA Draft. He, unlike the eldest son Lonzo, is not a highly touted player. According to multiple NBA executives, LiAngelo is not even on the list of consideration for teams to draft him in the late second round. Let’s track his journey leading to the upcoming NBA Draft.
LiAngelo Ball declared for the NBA Draft … then he went for 72 in the Big Baller Brand Challenge game.
— ESPN (@espn) March 27, 2018
LiAngelo Ball had a very successful high school career, comprised of a plethora of achievements, including winning the state championship, All-State and All-Area honors, and averaging 33.8 points in his final season. He was set to go to UCLA, just like the rest of his brothers (Lonzo and LaMelo), and was never considered to be a one and done caliber player in college (meaning that he would never go to the NBA after one year). However, after an incident in China where he stole a pair of Louis Vuitton sunglasses, he was suspended indefinitely by the school and never played in a single conference game. His father, not accepting the fact that his son may not play basketball for multiple months, pulled him out of school. He caused more uproars in the basketball world when Lavar’s youngest son, Lamelo, was taken out of Chino Hills after disagreements with the coach. With his father taking the reins to both LiAngelo and Lamelo’s future, things were uncertain for the Ball family. Then, out of nowhere, the idea of playing professionally overseas was brought up; both brothers would be playing in Lithuania together. LiAngelo actually exceeded expectations of many critics with his play overseas, averaging 12.6 points per game. His main highlight of his career in Lithuania would most likely be his 72 point game right after he declared for the draft against a Chinese youth team. Even after the minor success he had with his team in Lithuania, his draft stock did not rise, and many wondered if he even had a chance of getting drafted.
LiAngelo was not invited to the Draft Combine, and instead attended the Pro Combine at IMG Academy, which was basically the combine for players who were not selected to go to the real one. Here, with around 20 NBA representatives watching, he performed well, highlighted by his shooting in the 2 on 2 and 3 on 3 scrimmages. He managed to receive invitations from the Los Angeles Lakers and the Golden State Warriors to perform in workouts with them, and did so for both teams. Now with the draft coming up this week, does LiAngelo actually have a chance of getting drafted? Let’s look the pros and cons of drafting LiAngelo Ball.
The main pro of drafting LiAngelo Ball, in my opinion, would be the amount of attention a certain team would get with him on their roster. His well-known status throughout the basketball world would entice an array of fans to attend their games. Through this, I believe an NBA team would be able to generate lots of sales with tickets and jerseys. On the court, Ball’s ability to shoot the basketball would be his greatest strength. He consistently shot the ball well in high school and in Lithuania.
Ball’s major cons would be his height, ball handling, and defense. He is 6’4, which is quite short for a shooting guard. In addition, Ball likes to go low in the post and try to score his buckets by powering his way into the key. He will have a hard time doing this in the professional league, especially against bigger and stronger players. In addition, his ball handling is subpar, and there are multiple clips of him not being able to handle the ball very well. His defense is also lacking, and it seems like he is a one dimensional player. Not only that, with his father being Lavar Ball, teams may not want to draft him for the outside distractions.
LiAngelo Ball, in my opinion, has a very slim chance of being drafted this year. I believe the most likely situation he will face will be managing to get a summer league opportunity with the Lakers. Besides this, however, I find it difficult for a team to waste a pick on him. He might go in the late second round (Lakers, Warriors, Suns), if a team truly feels like he can benefit them in some way.
- Undrafted, signs with summer league team
- Drafted by: Lakers at #47, OKC at #57, Phoenix at #59, Philly at #60
Check out Julian’s first piece on Lamelo Ball here.