Report: Potential No. 1 Overall Pick LaMelo Ball Out 4 Weeks with Foot Injury

Megan ArmstrongAnalyst IIIDecember 9, 2019

AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - NOVEMBER 30: LaMelo Ball of the Hawks looks on during the round 9 NBL match between the New Zealand Breakers and the Illawarra Hawks at Spark Arena on November 30, 2019 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Anthony Au-Yeung/Getty Images)
Anthony Au-Yeung/Getty Images

LaMelo Ball's 2020 NBA draft stock may have taken a hit.

According to ESPN's Jonathan Givony, the potential No. 1 overall pick is expected to miss four weeks because of a bruised foot. Givony added that Ball's foot injury occurred during practice last week.

More from Givony's report:

"Decision makers from several NBA teams were expected to be in Australia in the coming weeks to evaluate both him and fellow projected lottery pick R.J. Hampton who plays for the New Zealand Breakers, with the two scheduled to play each other for the third time on December 22nd.

[...]

"The majority of NBA general managers have not yet evaluated Ball in person and will likely need to reschedule their visits to Australia until January when he will make a full recovery."

The 18-year-old guard has been playing this season with the Illawarra Hawks of the Australian NBL.

According to the NBL, Ball has averaged 17.0 points, 7.5 rebounds and 6.8 assists for the 3-10 Hawks so far this season.

Bleacher Report's Mirin Fader took a closer look at the improvements Ball has made in Australia in a profile published Nov. 19:

"Ever since LaMelo landed in Australia, he's been dazzling scouts with behind-the-back passes and uncanny court vision. The hype has increased. One scout has even likened him to Luka Doncic. For good reason: LaMelo has an extremely tight handle and is a gifted passer. He is creative, flashy, an instinctive playmaker.

"'The stuff I see is NBA stuff. His IQ is amazing,' says Aaron Brooks, the 10-year NBA veteran who played alongside LaMelo on Illawarra until he tore his Achilles in late October. 'There's no doubt about it: He's ready for the NBA. His ceiling is so high.'"

Ball lived up to those words in the games following the story's publication date:

Should Ball's bruised foot heal by January as expected, he should remain atop the 2020 NBA draft board.

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