NBA Rumors: Scouts Permitted to Evaluate R.J. Hampton, Eventually LaMelo Ball

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistOctober 7, 2019

DEVONPORT, AUSTRALIA - SEPTEMBER 22: Lamelo Ball of the Hawks looks on during the NBL Blitz pre-season match between Melbourne United and the Illawarra Hawks at Derwent Entertainment Centre  on September 21, 2019 in Hobart Australia. (Photo by Darrian Traynor/Getty Images)
Darrian Traynor/Getty Images

The NBA will allow scouts to attend National Basketball League team practices in the United States for preseason games, reversing a previous decision sent to teams.

Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium reported the news, which came after ESPN's Jonathan Givony reported NBA teams were informed they were not allowed to send representatives to New Zealand Breakers practices this week.

The Breakers are playing at the Memphis Grizzlies on Tuesday and at the Oklahoma City Thunder on Thursday during their preseason.

Breakers guard R.J. Hampton and Illawarra Hawks guard LaMelo Ball are slated to be part of the practices. Both are projected high lottery picks in the 2020 draft.

Givony's report noted that because the two have not officially declared for the NBA draft, they are subject to the league's no-contact rules. 

The decision seemed a little odd, with Givony highlighting the fact that numerous teams will already be in Memphis this week for a pro day for projected top overall pick James Wiseman.

Like Hampton and Ball, Wiseman has also not declared for the 2020 draft. However, teams will be permitted to attend his pro day because of an agreement the NBA has with the NCAA.

NBA teams are not permitted to attend regular team practices for college basketball players. Teams are permitted to attend international practices between international teams. Scouts have long been able to attend all sanctioned games.

Ball and Hampton are not considered international prospects because they have not resided outside the U.S. for three years. This reversal of course could signal the NBA's acknowledgement that the basketball landscape has changed. 

In the past, Givony reported NBA teams would travel overseas without asking the NBA's permission to scout American players who are playing overseas in a one-and-done situation. The practice has gone unpunished, but the Breakers traveling to the United States for exhibition games resulted in a rules clarification. 

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