LaVar Ball Says LaMelo Will Be No. 1 Pick in 2020 NBA Draft: 'He's That Good'

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistJune 17, 2019

LaVar Ball reacts after watching his sons in 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

Lonzo Ball was traded to the New Orleans Pelicans in the blockbuster Anthony Davis deal, which has given his father, LaVar Ball, a reason to be trotted out on sports talk shows like First Take to offer up his outrageous opinions.

His latest? That his youngest son, LaMelo Ball, will be the top overall pick in the 2020 NBA draft.

Marc Stein @TheSteinLine

@NBL LaMelo Bell said this weekend on Instagram: "Decision Coming Soon." LaVar Ball, his father, has said China and Australia are the main destinations LaMelo is considering for next season

LaVar Ball is no stranger to outlandish claims, and this is one of them. ESPN's Jonathan Givony and Mike Schmitz don't have LaMelo Ball among the top five prospects for next year's potential draft class:

They instead had LaMelo Ball dropping to the second round in their May mock draft, going 33rd overall to the Phoenix Suns.

And SI.com's Jeremy Woo didn't list him among his top 10 prospects for 2020 either, with James Wiseman, Anthony Edwards, RJ Hampton, Deni Avdija, Theo Maledon, Jaden McDaniels, Cole Anthony, Isaiah Stewart and Nico Mannion instead making the cut.

Granted, it's possible that Ball could play his way into the lottery or late first round with a strong year overseas. He was considered the No. 22 player overall in the Class of 2019 in 247Sports.com's Composite Rankings and a 5-star player, making him the sort of prospect NBA teams monitor. He was also ranked as the No. 3 point guard in the Class of 2019, behind only Mannion and Tre Mann.

Ball will be playing in Australian next season:

If he tears it up there, Ball could increase his stock dramatically. He's been playing professional ball as a teenager in Lithuania, so he shouldn't have major issues making the adjustment this time around. 

But it's hard to imagine Ball will be the top player off the board in next year's draft. With talents like Wiseman, Edwards, Anthony and Hampton to consider, among others, Ball's ceiling is likely a low-lottery selection, and he realistically is looking at being a late-first or second-round pick.