NBA Draft 2020 Prospects: Expert Mock Predictions for LaMelo Ball, Top Guards

Jake RillSenior Analyst IIIMay 3, 2020

LaMelo Ball of the Illawarra Hawks, left, lays up around Andrew Bogut of the Sydney Kings during their game in the Australian Basketball League in Sydney, Sunday, Nov. 17, 2019. (AP Photo/Rick Rycroft)
Rick Rycroft/Associated Press

Lonzo Ball is the starting point guard for the New Orleans Pelicans. LiAngelo Ball is in the NBA G League. And their younger brother, LaMelo Ball, is soon going to be drafted by an NBA team.

The youngest of the Ball brothers is a top prospect in the 2020 NBA draft after having success while playing in Australia. The 18-year-old is a talented, 6'6" point guard who should be one of the first players selected this year.

Here's where experts are predicting Ball and the other top guards in this year's class will be drafted.


LaMelo Ball, PG, Illawarra Hawks

Could LaMelo Ball be the first player selected in this year's NBA draft? Kyle Boone of CBS Sports believes so.

In his latest mock draft, Boone is projecting Ball to go No. 1 overall to the Golden State Warriors, who could incorporate the 18-year-old in a guard rotation that already includes Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson.

"LaMelo Ball would give them another gunner who can make plays and read defenses to complement the core already in place," Boone wrote. "He's a high-level passer and creator who perfectly fits where the NBA game is going."

Not everybody is predicting Ball to be the first player selected in this year's draft, though. The Athletic's Sam Vecenie has him going No. 3 to the Chicago Bulls, while ESPN's Jonathan Givony and Mike Schmitz are predicting he will go No. 4 to the Minnesota Timberwolves.

It's unlikely that Ball falls much lower than that, though. He should be a top-five selection and will likely be the first point guard selected from the year's class.


Anthony Edwards, SG, Georgia

Jeff Roberson/Associated Press

One of the more popular picks to go No. 1 overall is Georgia shooting guard Anthony Edwards, who had a tremendous year in his only season with the Bulldogs.

Although Schmitz acknowledges that Ball could be a good fit for the Warriors, he has them using the top selection on Edwards, writing that the Georgia product "would add instant offense to an already high-powered nucleus with his ability to get downhill and rise up from anywhere on the floor."

Edwards might be the No. 1 pick even if the Warriors don't own that selection. In Vecenie's mock, he has Edwards getting drafted by the Detroit Pistons with the first pick. However, Vecenie doesn't think Edwards would necessarily be the top selection no matter what, as he's heard Edwards, Ball, James Wiseman, Deni Avdija and Obi Toppin as potential No. 1 picks in "conversations with teams and internal evaluators."

If Edwards doesn't go No. 1, though, he likely won't have to wait long to hear his name. In Boone's mock, he goes No. 2 to the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Cavs already have some talented young guards in Collin Sexton and Darius Garland, so adding Edwards would further strengthen its core.


Killian Hayes, PG, Ratiopharm Ulm

ULM, GERMANY - MARCH 08: (BILD ZEITUNG OUT) Killian Hayes of Ratiopharm Ulm controls the Ball during the EasyCredit Basketball Bundesliga (BBL) match between Ratiopharm Ulm and MHP Riesen Ludwigsburg at ratiopharm Arena on March 8, 2020 in Ulm, Germany. (
DeFodi Images/Getty Images

While Ball and Edwards are the clear top two guards in this class and will most likely be the first ones selected, numerous counterparts are in contention to be next one off the board. One option is French point guard Killian Hayes, who has a lot of potential to have success in the NBA.

Boone has Hayes going No. 3 overall to the Pistons, but that is an outlier. Vecenie projects Hayes to go No. 9 overall to the Washington Wizards, while Givony and Schmitz have him getting drafted by the Phoenix Suns at No. 10.

"He is a terrific ball-handler with elite feel for the game who has come into his own in his first professional season as a starter in Europe," Vecenie wrote. "His ability to make plays as a passer off of his live dribble is special."

Vecenie also noted that Hayes has a "real shot" to develop into a starting point guard in the NBA. So don't be surprised to see Hayes as a top-10 pick and showcase some of that potential when he arrives in the league.