Top Prospect LaMelo Ball Sidelined With Foot Injury

LaMelo Ball had recently been gathering momentum for the top pick in the 2020 NBA draft as a result of his strong play in Australia’s National Basketball League, but evaluators hoping to take a closer look at Ball will have to delay those plans until the new year.

According to a press release issued by the Illawarra Hawks, Ball’s NBL team, the guard suffered a bruised foot in practice and is expected to miss approximately four weeks. The Hawks’ season doesn’t end until mid-February, so the club will look to get Ball back in its lineup for the home stretch.

Ball has impressed scouts by averaging 17.0 PPG, 7.4 RPG, and 6.8 APG through 12 games as an 18-year-old in one of the world’s most competitive basketball leagues. While he has struggled a little with his shot (.377 FG%, .250 3PT%), Ball has boosted his stock and is a contender for the No. 1 pick in 2020.

According to ESPN’s Jonathan Givony, several NBA decision-makers had been planning to visit Australia in the coming weeks to get an in-person look at Ball and fellow projected lottery pick R.J. Hampton, who is a member of the New Zealand Breakers. Hampton is dealing with a health issue of his own — Givony hears from a source that the young guard is day to day with a hip flexor injury.

In other Illawarra news, the Hawks announced in a press release that they’ve signed 22-year-old forward Billy Preston. Preston started the 2018/19 season on a two-way contract with the Cavaliers, but was released by Cleveland last December.

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5 thoughts on “Top Prospect LaMelo Ball Sidelined With Foot Injury

  1. dimitrios in la

    Another Ball who struggles with his shot and will command a near top pick. Buyers beware!!

  2. He’s still young but putting up inefficient numbers on a losing team isn’t really where you want to invest a high lottery

  3. I believe shooting ability is innate, but FG % isn’t. The latter is impacted as much by repetition and shot selection as touch. Most young players are challenged by these, and shoot poor percentages (relative to their career percentages) in their early years at any level. In Ball’s case, the difference in the FIBA court and rules (from the American game) might also be in play. Because of these and his age (18), I might overlook these percentages, particularly if his FT % has been good (above 70%) over a decent sample size.

    What I would be less likely to forgive is his family lineage (which might be unfair) or his uneven effort and low attention span. He’s a far different player than Lonzo in terms of skill set, but they are each their father’s son.

  4. Dan Harmon

    I can’t believe this GM’s consider this guy the top pick. I don’t dislike him, but he his a polished player.
    The NBA takes this guys and the game becomes a developmental league because they struggle with the fundamentals

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