LiAngelo Ball Joins Thunder's G League Affiliate OKC Blue as Practice Player

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistDecember 29, 2019

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

If LiAngelo Ball is ever going to play on the same NBA team as brothers Lonzo and LaMelo, as his father envisions, he has a long way to go.  

Joe Mussatto of the Oklahoman (h/t Dorian Craft of USA Today's Thunder Wire) reported the middle Ball brother is now a practice player for OKC Blue, the NBA G League affiliate of the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Mussatto noted Ball was seen at the team's game on Sunday, and a spokesperson confirmed he is a practice player but not an official member of the Blue.

The Thunder apparently had interest in Ball earlier this year.

Nick Friar of Thunder Wire noted in September that LiAngelo appeared on the family's reality show Ball in the Family and said Oklahoma City was one of the teams considering him for a Summer League roster spot before he underwent surgery on his ankle.

While Ball was a 3-star recruit in the class of 2017 who committed to play at UCLA, per 247Sports' composite rankings, he never played collegiately. He was suspended for an incident in China and eventually withdrew prior to taking the floor.

Craft pointed out he was most recently a member of the Los Angeles Ballers of the Junior Basketball Association, which is a league his father, LaVar, founded.

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LiAngelo's long-term prospects aren't on the same level as Lonzo's, who was the No. 2 overall pick in the 2017 NBA draft and is a member of the New Orleans Pelicans. LaMelo could be the No. 1 pick in the 2020 draft.

Bleacher Report's Jonathan Wasserman projected LaMelo to go No. 3 in his latest mock draft.