LaMelo Ball Believed To Have Edge at No.1
The Minnesota Timberwolves have the No. 1 overall pick in the NBA Draft for the first time since they selected Karl-Anthony Towns in 2015. Since that pick, their luck hasn’t been the greatest in the draft. Minnesota has an intriguing roster with Towns and D’Angelo Russell leading the way. They have a lot of scoring potential on their roster especially with Towns (26.5 PPG), Russell (23.1 PPG), and Malik Beasley (20.7 PPG). Something the Wolves lack within their roster, however, is a consistent playmaker. If the team can’t find the right trade suiter for the No. 1 pick, the best playmaker in the draft, LaMelo Ball, could be the direction the team is headed.
Recent reports have implied that Lamelo Ball would have the edge for the No. 1 overall pick if Minnesota keeps it. Believe it or not, this is absolutely the right move for the Timberwolves. Forget about all the negativity that has surrounded Ball from the time he was 15-years-old. He’s matured, his dad has taken a back seat, and the kid can flat out play. Ball averaged 17 points, 7 assists, and 6 rebounds for the Illawarra Hawks of the NBL in Australia last season. A legitimate professional league in which he took home Rookie of the Year at age 19.
Ball is a dynamic, flashy playmaker that can do it all on the offensive end. Although inconsistent at times, his jumper has limitless range and can catch fire at any given moment. Even when it’s not falling, his willingness to shoot keeps defenses honest and stretches the floor so he can capitalize on his slashing/playmaking style of play. Ball has great size for his position (6’7) and does a great job of controlling the offense. Defense is an area where Ball needs to improve while transitioning to the NBA. All the tools are there for him to succeed on both ends of the court, it’s just a matter of the right coaching and training he receives in the league.
You might be thinking, why would the Wolves want a player like Ball if they already have D’Angelo Russell? Valid question, but even though their styles of play are similar, both guards have potential to be effective off the ball. Ball can compliment Russell in many ways due to his incredible court vision and high basketball IQ. He is also an active off-ball player who makes great cuts and spaces well on the perimeter. The pick/pop offense between Ball and Towns can create a variety of problems for opposing defenses along with the threat of kicking out to shooters in Russell and Beasley.
In a unique draft with no eye-popping, clear cut star studded prospect like a Zion Williamson or Luka Dončić, taking the most talented prospect should be the play. The risk of selecting Ball is absolutely worth the potential reward. What does Minnesota, who hasn’t won a playoff series since 2004, got to lose? Ball is also great for the business side of things, too. The entire Ball family has been in the spotlight since LaMelo was a sophomore in high school. Business would boom in Minneapolis with the celebrity-like vibe he would bring to the city. The Wolves have been seeking national attention as a low market team since the Garnett Era, and Ball would provide that excitement once again. If they don’t find the right trade, Gersson Rosas and the Timberwolves should absolutely draft LaMelo Ball with the No. 1 overall pick. The draft is set to happen on November 18th.