Report: LaMelo Ball Declares for 2020 NBA Draft After One Season in Australia

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistApril 29, 2020

FILE - In this Nov. 17, 2019, file photo, LaMelo Ball of the Illawarra Hawks carries the ball up during their game against the Sydney Kings in the Australian Basketball League in Sydney.  LaMelo Ball's bone bruise on his left foot is expected to keep him out of the Illawarra Hawks lineup for the remainder of the National Basketball League season in Australia. The 18-year-old American, who joined Illawarra as part of the NBL's Next Stars program, is expected to be a first-round pick in this year's NBA draft.(AP Photo/Rick Rycroft, File)
Rick Rycroft/Associated Press

There will apparently be two Ball brothers in the NBA during the 2020-21 campaign.

On Tuesday, Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium reported LaMelo Ball declared for the 2020 NBA draft after he played for the Illawarra Hawks of the Australian NBL for one season. Charania noted Ball was included in the "professional" category of the list of early entry candidates that NBA teams received Tuesday.

Ball's older brother, Lonzo, was the No. 2 overall pick of the Los Angeles Lakers in the 2017 NBA draft and now plays on the New Orleans Pelicans.

LaMelo appeared in 12 games for the Hawks and averaged an impressive 17.0 points, 7.6 rebounds, 6.8 assists and 1.6 steals a night but only shot 37.5 percent from the field and 25.0 percent from three-point range.

The stat line underscores his ability to impact the game in a number of ways by distributing when defenders collapse on his penetration and battling for boards from the backcourt. However, one source described his shot as "broken" to Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com, while another raised concern about his effort on the defensive end.

Even with those potential issues, Ball is a candidate to be the No. 1 overall pick because of his playmaking ability.

That may not be the case if the Golden State Warriors land that top pick, though, as Connor Letourneau of the San Francisco Chronicle reported they "aren't believed to be high" on Ball. Golden State has the worst record in the league at 15-50 and is well-positioned to end up with the No. 1 pick in the draft.

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Bleacher Report's Jonathan Wasserman projected Ball as the No. 3 overall pick in a March mock draft.

"Ball's signature strength early will be playmaking, but there is still plenty of scoring upside to unlock from his creativity, floater game, finishing package and confident three-point shot-making," Wasserman wrote.