LaMelo Ball Rumors: PG 'Not Performing Very Well' at Predraft Interviews

Jenna CiccotelliCorrespondent IOctober 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. The point guard from California who bypassed college and played overseas is expected to be one of the top picks when the twice-delayed NBA draft is held in November.  (AP Photo/Rick Rycroft, File)
Rick Rycroft/Associated Press

While there's no consensus top pick in this year's NBA draft, much of the conversation has focused on a big three of LaMelo Ball, James Wiseman and Anthony Edwards. But according to the Charlotte Observer's Rick Bonnell, Ball could slip in the rankings following unimpressive predraft interviews with interested teams. 

Here's what Bonnell had to say in an appearance on Charlotte's 102.5 FM WFNZ (6:15 mark): 

"Here is what I'm hearing from the league at large: LaMelo Ball is not performing very well at job interviews. I've heard that from multiple sources. He is not improving his perception via job interview. There are people drafting later in the top 10 who were not preparing for the possibility of Ball still being around and, I'm not saying that he will be a top-three pick. I am saying that I know for a fact that there are teams later in the top 10 who are doing more research on him because they no longer think it's a given he will." 

According to ESPN's Jonathan Givony, Ball hasn't played a competitive game since Nov. 30, when he last appeared for the Australian NBL Illawarra Hawks. There, he averaged 17.0 points, 7.5 rebounds, 6.8 assists and 1.7 steals in 12 games. 

He also posted a 37.7 shooting percentage, hitting just 25.0 percent from beyond the arc. 

Givony reported that the 6'7" point guard met with the Minnesota Timberwolves on Tuesday but did not work out and only participated in an interview with the team's president of basketball operations, Gersson Rosas, and head coach Ryan Saunders. 

In addition to the Timberwolves, who hold the first selection in the Nov. 18 draft, Ball is "tentatively scheduled" to meet with the Golden State Warriors, who will pick at No. 2, next week. The point guard is also expected to meet with the Charlotte Hornets and Chicago Bulls, who hold the third and fourth selections, respectively.

Earlier this month, Ball told ESPN's Jalen Rose and David Jacoby that he had spoken to the Warriors and the New York Knicks, who select eighth. With the latest report on Ball's predraft process, the Knicks' hopes of landing Ball seem likelier to happen.