LaMelo Ball Reportedly Met for Interview with Timberwolves Ahead of NBA Draft

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistOctober 29, 2020

LaMelo Ball of the Illawarra Hawks brings the ball up during their game against the Sydney Kings in the Australian Basketball League in Sydney, Sunday, Nov. 17, 2019. (AP Photo/Rick Rycroft)
Rick Rycroft/Associated Press

Minnesota Timberwolves president of basketball operations Gersson Rosas and head coach Ryan Saunders reportedly met Tuesday with LaMelo Ball, one of the top prospects in the 2020 NBA draft class.

ESPN's Jonathan Givony reported Thursday the meeting with the Wolves, who own the first overall selection, is one of several for Ball before the Nov. 18 draft. He's also scheduled to meet with the Golden State Warriors (No. 2 pick), Charlotte Hornets (No. 3) and Chicago Bulls (No. 4).

His meeting with Minnesota didn't include any on-court basketball activities, per Givony. The pre-draft process has been reworked because of the coronavirus pandemic, with the combine being moved into a mostly virtual format allowing players to remain close to home.

Ball previously told ESPN's Jalen Rose and David Jacoby he'd already spoken with the Warriors and New York Knicks (No. 8) as of mid-October:

Georgia shooting guard Anthony Edwards is the most popular choice for the Wolves in mock drafts, but this time around there isn't a locked-in No. 1 choice like Zion Williamson last year.

Video Play Button
Videos you might like

Ball is part of a select group trying to overtake Edwards as the top choice in the final weeks. It also includes Deni Avdija and James Wiseman.

Minnesota has the potential for a quick turnaround if it makes the right choice thanks to a foundation that already features Karl-Anthony Towns and D'Angelo Russell.

Meanwhile, Ball is a virtual lock to land inside the top five, even if he isn't the Wolves' choice.

The 19-year-old point guard took a unique route to the NBA with stops with BC Prienai in Lithuania and the Illawarra Hawks in Australia over the past two years. He averaged 17 points, 7.6 rebounds, 6.8 assists and 1.6 steals across 12 games for the Hawks.

He possesses an intriguing combination of playmaking ability and size (6'7", 181 pounds) that should allow him to make an instant impact in the NBA.

Like his brother, the New Orleans Pelicans' Lonzo Ball, he must work to become a more efficient scorer to maximize his potential, though. He shot just 37.5 percent from the field, including 25 percent on threes, during his time in Australia.