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LiAngelo Ball Scores 11 Points in Prienu Vytautas' Win; LaMelo Did Not Play

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistApril 12, 2018

BC Prienu Vytautas's LiAngelo Ball in action during the Big Baller Brand Challenge friendly tournament match between BC Prienu Vytautas and BC Zalgiris-2 at the BC Prienai-Birstonas Vytautas arena, in Prienai, Lithuania, Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2018. LiAngelo Ball and LaMelo Ball, sons of former basketball player LaVar Ball, have signed a one-year contract and play their first match for Lithuanian professional basketball club Prienu Vytautas. (AP Photo/Liusjenas Kulbis)
Liusjenas Kulbis/Associated Press

Prienu Vytautas snapped a six-game losing streak Thursday, defeating Kedainiai Nevezis, 96-79.

LiAngelo Ball posted solid numbers off the bench, contributing 11 points, four rebounds and two assists in 18 minutes of play. LaMelo Ball, however, did not play.

It was certainly an efficient performance from the elder Ball, however, who shot 4-of-5 from the field and hit all three of his shots beyond the arc. He also finished plus-12 in the contest, though he did turn the ball over twice.

Still, it wasn't the sort of performance likely to catch the NBA's attention. Ball needs to be flat-out dominating in Lithuania to be a draft selection this summer. Luka Doncic, for instance, is dominating at Real Madrid in the second best basketball league in the world. 

With all due respect to the LKL, Ball isn't facing nearly that level of competition. And it's one reason why analysts have steadily maintained that he likely won't get drafted.

"Ultimately NBA people feel that, again, he shoots the ball well. He has good size. But he cannot put the ball on the floor, and he doesn't defend," ESPN's Jeff Goodman said in late March after Ball declared for the draft. "Not a great athlete, and then you also have the LaVar factor that comes into play. Most NBA people that I've spoken to feel that he will have a pretty good career over in Europe, but he is not an NBA player, will not be drafted this year."

And ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski added in December that Ball wasn't even on NBA radars: 

Adrian Wojnarowski @wojespn

Ex-UCLA freshman LiAngelo Ball has no chance that he'll be drafted in June — and that was true before his shoplifting incident in China. "He's not on any of our scouting lists — even the extended lists," one GM told ESPN.

LiAngelo Ball likely will be playing another season in Europe, be it for Vytautas or another squad. He remains a better long-term NBA prospect than his older brother, though his limited playing time as a 16-year-old in a professional European league at times makes that fact easy to forget. 

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