NBA Draft 2020: Expert Predictions for LaMelo Ball, Top Point Guard Prospects

Jake RillSenior Analyst IIIMay 22, 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 may not be the only member of his family who is a starting NBA point guard by next season.

LaMelo Ball, the youngest of the three Ball brothers, is set to be one of the top picks in the 2020 NBA draft. It's possible he could be selected earlier than Lonzo, who went No. 2 overall to the Los Angeles Lakers in 2017 and now plays for the New Orleans Pelicans.

Ball isn't the only talented point guard in this year's draft class, with numerous playmakers primed to be drafted early and make quick impacts in the NBA.

Here's where experts are predicting several of the top point guards in this year's class to get drafted.


LaMelo Ball, Illawarra Hawks

When part of a scouting report says that a player "passes like he's on the Harlem Globetrotters," fans should know that player is going to be exciting to watch.

That's how The Ringer's Kevin O'Connor described Ball's playmaking ability while also noting that the 18-year-old point guard has "pinpoint accuracy and omnidirectional vision." O'Connor is high on Ball, projecting that he'll be taken with the No. 2 overall pick by the Cleveland Cavaliers. Sure, the Cavs already have some talented young guards in Collin Sexton and Darius Garland, but if they have the chance to take Ball, perhaps they will draft based off pure talent.

Some other mocks don't have Ball going quite as early, although it's clear he will be at least a top-five pick. The Athletic's Sam Vecenie has Ball going to the Chicago Bulls at No. 3, while Krysten Peek of Yahoo Sports has him going to the Detroit Pistons at No. 5.

One other potential scenario that might not be reflected in some mocks is the possibility of a team trading up to draft Ball. Perhaps the New York Knicks, who greatly need a franchise point guard, will offer an enticing package to a team with a top pick, should they not be fortunate in the lottery, and move up to draft Ball.

Wherever Ball gets drafted, he has the potential to develop into an even better offensive player in the years to come and could become a major piece of a successful squad.


Killian Hayes, 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

One of the best international prospects in this year's draft class, French point guard Killian Hayes is likely going to be a top-10 pick and has the potential to be one of the best point guards to emerge from this draft.

"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. He has a real shot to turn into a starting point guard in the NBA at some point."

Vecenie has Hayes going to the Washington Wizards at No. 9, which could turn out to be a great move for the team if former All-Star John Wall can't return to form upon his return from a ruptured left Achilles tendon.

Although O'Connor has Hayes as the No. 1 player on his big board, he must not think NBA teams will feel the same way. He doesn't have Hayes getting drafted until the San Antonio Spurs are on the clock with the No. 11 pick. That scenario could make the Spurs a fun team to watch, as they already boast one talented young guard in Dejounte Murray.

Peek also has Hayes falling a bit, going to the Phoenix Suns at No. 10 (which is also where Stadium's Jeff Goodman is predicting him to go). That's spot makes a lot of sense, as the Suns need a franchise point guard to take over the starting job from veteran Ricky Rubio sooner or later.


Tyrese Haliburton, Iowa State

AMES, IA - DECEMBER 12: Tyrese Haliburton #22 of the Iowa State Cyclones drives the ball in the first half of play against the Iowa Hawkeyes at Hilton Coliseum on December 12, 2019 in Ames, Iowa. The Iowa Hawkeyes won 84-68 over the Iowa State Cyclones. (
David K Purdy/Getty Images

This draft class is filled with talented guards, and it's possible that North Carolina's Cole Anthony could be the second or third point guard to come off the board. It could also be Iowa State's Tyrese Haliburton, who has a bit more experience than some of the other top players at the position in this class.

Haliburton spent two seasons with the Cyclones, and he emerged as a top draft prospect in his second year, when he averaged 15.2 points, 6.5 assists and 2.5 steals in 22 games. Goodman wrote that the 20-year-old is "a high-character, cerebral point guard with size and length that has shown the ability to make his teammates better and also take care of the ball."

O'Connor and Peek believe that Haliburton could be drafted just outside the top five, both having him going No. 6 to the Knicks. New York will likely draft a point guard, but it will be interesting to see which one it ends up taking.

Other mocks have Haliburton going a bit later, as Vecenie predicts he'll go No. 10 to the Suns, while Goodman has him getting taken No. 11 by the Spurs. Neither of those would be a surprising landing spot, so it could just be a matter of who is available when these teams are on the clock.