Potential No. 1 overall pick LaMelo Ball has declared for the NBA draft, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic. The declaration is simply a formality as Ball was expected to enter the 2020 draft for quite some time.
The 6’7″ point guard opted not to go the traditional route on his journey to the league, playing in Australia rather than suiting up for a team in the NCAA. Ball only appeared in 12 games while playing for the Illawarra Hawks because of a foot injury, though he did well enough to earn the league’s Rookie of the Year award.
Ball, who averaged 17.0 PPG, 7.5 RPG, and 7.0 APG in the NBL, with multiple triple-doubles, is viewed as a near-lock to be a top-five pick in the 2020 NBA draft, as our own Luke Adams recently explained. He’s currently the No. 2 overall prospect on ESPN’s big board and has reportedly tabbed Roc Nation for his representation.
In total, 205 early entrants declared for the 2020 draft, according to the NBA, though more than half will likely withdraw before draft day. Ball and fellow NBL prospects RJ Hampton and Kouat Noi aren’t counted among those 205 early entrants, having been listed in an “also eligible” section in the memo sent to teams by the league, tweets ESPN’s Jonathan Givony.