The Golden State Warriors, in a recent CBS Sports’ 2020 NBA Mock Draft, chose LaMelo Ball with the No. 1 overall pick. You read that correctly.
Gary Parrish, who made the pick for the Golden State Warriors, called LaMelo Ball the “best playmaker” in the draft. Given his vision and length to go along with his height for a guard, Ball is a highly-coveted prospect.
However, No. 1 to the Warriors seems like a long shot as the Warriors have many other needs they should address. The player projected to be atop their big board right now is Memphis center James Wiseman.
Ball skipped college and instead went to play for the Illawarra Hawks of the NBL, a professional basketball league in Australia. It was a business move for the star guard that didn’t want to deal with the drama associated with the NCAA while also finding a way to make money overseas.
It obviously didn’t tear down his draft stock. Ball, although going No. 1 in this draft, isn’t expected to be the top pick but should be among the first five taken off the board whenever the currently-scheduled mid-June draft takes place.
According to basketball-reference, Ball played 12 games with the Hawks.
He averaged 17.0 points, 7.6 rebounds, and 6.8 assists per game. While those are solid numbers, the 6-foot-7 point guard shot just 37.5% from the field and 25% from downtown. Those are concerning numbers, and his efficiency could be an issue early on in his career.
Combine that with the fact that the Warriors have a two-time MVP at point guard, and it doesn’t seem overly reasonable for them to want Ball at No. 1, assuming they win the NBA Draft Lottery which has been postponed from its mid-May date due to the coronavirurs.
Ball is a terrific prospect, but the Warriors are in win-now mode with other prospects filling a much larger hole. That’s why Obi Toppin, James Wiseman or Anthony Edwards make far more sense.