NBA Draft 2020: Big Board 1.0

(Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
(Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Cassy Athena/Getty Images)
(Photo by Cassy Athena/Getty Images) /

There’s a not-impossible chance LaMelo Ball ends up in the top-five conversation. He’s a genuine, special talent. The ambiguity of his development, weird situation and undeniable baggage, however, leave me a tad skeptical.

Ball, for reasons not fully within his control, spent a few key developmental years in a negative space. He spent time in a Lithuanian league, where he played against inferior competition on a team tailored to showcase his flash, not develop his skills. Then he spent time in the Big Baller league, which was … yeah.

But at 6-foot-7, Ball is a unique athlete with elite passing chops and deep range. He’s a more versatile scorer than his brother and has real potential as a live-dribble creator. Given his gravity as a pull-up threat and impressive vision, expect Ball to thrive in pick-and-roll actions.