LaMelo Ball Rumors: Top Prospect Was in Boston to Meet with Puma, Not Celtics

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistSeptember 17, 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

It turns out highly regarded LaMelo Ball reportedly did not meet with the Boston Celtics after all.

According to Jonathan Givony of Draft Express, Ball met with the sneaker company Puma and not with the Celtics when he was in Boston. Givony explained "in-person pre-draft workouts/meetings with teams are not permitted at the moment," so a meeting with the Celtics would have been notable.

The report comes after Chris Grenham of Forbes reported Ball was in Boston on Wednesday to meet with the Celtics.

Barring a trade, Boston likely will not even be able to draft Ball.

After all, it doesn't pick until No. 14 in the 2020 NBA draft, and it only has that selection because of a trade with the Memphis Grizzlies. Ball is on the shortlist of contenders to be the No. 1 overall pick and surely won't still be on the board by that point of the draft.

Bleacher Report's Jonathan Wasserman projected the point guard to go No. 2 overall to the Golden State Warriors but cautioned it is a potential trade spot in his most recent mock draft.

Boston landing someone like Ball would be a case of the rich getting richer.

The Celtics are in the Eastern Conference Finals against the Miami Heat thanks in large part to a backcourt featuring Kemba Walker and Marcus Smart. Ball would be another option who could facilitate to Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown while also creating his own shots.

Video Play Button
Videos you might like

As for the meeting with Puma, Ball confirmed he signed a shoe deal with the apparel company that also counts Kyle Kuzma, Marcus Smart, R.J. Barrett, Kendrick Nunn and Michael Porter Jr. among its clients.