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Friday, April 20, 2018

Articles tagged: LiAngelo Ball

LaVar Ball: LiAngelo should be a lottery pick

LiAngelo Ball

LiAngelo Ball has officially filed paperwork to declare for the 2018 NBA Draft, and the general consensus seems to be that he would be fortunate if a team took a chance on him in the second round. Not surprisingly, Ball’s father thinks that is absurd.

On Tuesday, LaVar Ball told Lithuanian basketball reporter Donatas Urbonas that he is going to take a much different approach with LiAngelo than he took with Lonzo heading into the draft. He also said he believes LiAngelo could be a lottery pick if not for politics.

In other words, LaVar thinks LiAngelo is one of the best pro prospects in the draft but will not be drafted accordingly because of the negative publicity the Ball family gets. Any scout you talk to would disagree.

LiAngelo may have boosted his stock slightly by playing in Lithuania, as he’s averaging a league-leading 15.7 points and has showcased some versatility by hitting 45 percent of his shots from 3-point range. Still, he was never considered a strong NBA prospect when he played at UCLA. Though LaVar has routinely downplayed it, LiAngelo’s infamous shoplifting incident in China isn’t going to improve his image for NBA teams, either.

LiAngelo Ball declares for NBA Draft

LiAngelo Ball

LiAngelo Ball has been playing professionally in Lithuania since he made the decision to leave UCLA late last year, and the middle Ball brother is hoping the next stop for him will be the NBA.

Ball’s agent, Harrison Gaines, told Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports on Tuesday that LiAngelo has submitted early-entry paperwork to enter the NBA Draft. He is expected to work out for several NBA teams when his season with Vytautas Prienu concludes, and Ball also plans to take part in the Pro Basketball Combine at IMG Academy in May.

While Ball was never really considered a strong NBA prospect during his time at UCLA, he may have boosted his stock by playing in Lithuania. He’s averaging a league-leading 15.7 points and has showcased some versatility by hitting 45 percent of his shots from 3-point range.

We all know where LaVar Ball expects LiAngelo to end up next year, but he may end up very disappointed. LiAngelo is not considered a top draft prospect, and his infamous shoplifting incident in China certainly isn’t going to help.

LaVar Ball says Lonzo won’t re-sign with Lakers if they don’t sign LiAngelo, LaMelo

LaVar Ball Lakers

LaVar Ball made a controversial decision when he decided to pull his youngest son LaMelo out of high school and have his middle son LiAngelo withdraw from UCLA, but the Ball patriarch apparently believes he knows a way he can make sure all three players end up with the Los Angeles Lakers.

While speaking with Lithuanian basketball reporter Donatas Urbonas this week, Ball basically said he is planning to force the Lakers to draft and/or sign both LiAngelo and LaMelo by using Lonzo as leverage.

LaVar’s plan might not be quite as easy to execute as he is making it sound. Lonzo is basically under team control with the Lakers through the 2021-2022 season. The Lakers have club options for him in 2019 and 2020, and they can make him an unrestricted free agent in 2021 by extending a qualifying offer. If LaVar intends to have Lonzo threaten to leave L.A. should the Lakers not sign the point guard’s brother, he can’t really threaten them with Lonzo’s departure until 2022.

It’s still too early to see if LaMelo will turn into an NBA prospect, but some NBA executives have already been critical of LiAngelo’s game.

Reason why Ball brothers passed on Croatia emerges

LaMelo Ball

Younger Ball brothers LiAngelo and LaMelo are currently taking over highlight reels in Lithuania for club BC Vytautas. However, Croatia might have been the European country to land them if not for one big sticking point.

In the latest episode of their Facebook reality show “Ball In The Family” (Season 2, Episode 11), father LaVar was shown in a throwback scene speaking with family agent Harrison Gaines. In the scene, the two were shown deciding which country the two teens would sign in to play professionally. The scene revealed that Croatia was one of the two finalists along with Lithuania. But there was one deal-breaker: Gaines broke the news to LaVar that Croatia wanted LaMelo to sign a three-year deal.

“Wow,” the Ball family patriarch reacted. “I don’t even like the sound of that.”

Both LiAngelo and LaMelo would ultimately sign one-year deals in Lithuania instead are now getting heavy exposure as teammates on Vytautas. A three-year commitment might not sound like that big of a deal given that LaMelo is only 16 (as opposed to LiAngelo who is already 19). But such a deal probably would have messed up the timeline of LaVar’s grand vision for his three sons.

LaVar Ball predicts all three of his sons will be on Lakers by 2020

LaVar Ball Lakers

The Big Baller braggadocio is already on full display in Lithuania.

Speaking with the Lithuanian media at a press conference on Friday, LaVar Ball was asked by a local reporter to sign his Los Angeles Lakers cap with the date he believes all three of his sons will be playing for the purple-and-gold. In response, the Ball family patriarch made clear that he thinks Lonzo, LiAngelo, and LaMelo will be together on the Lakers just two years from now in 2020.

Indeed, 2020 is the year that youngest son LaMelo, who is 16, will be eligible for the NBA Draft. Of course, LaVar has in fact been vocal in his belief that all three boys will land on the Lakers, and he’s a third of the way there with eldest son Lonzo already on the team. But with middle son LiAngelo a questionable NBA prospect at best (not to mention the headaches LaVar has already caused in Los Angeles), the Lakers may just decide that one Ball brother is enough.

Ball brothers’ arrival sparks media circus in Lithuania

LiAngelo Ball

The two youngest Ball brothers, accompanied by their father LaVar, are set to arrive in Lithuania on Wednesday, and they have quite the arrival awaiting them.

LiAngelo and LaMelo Ball are preparing to start their professional basketball careers overseas with Prienu Vytautas in Lithuania. If there was any question as to whether anyone in the country would care that much, it’s been shown to be quite clear that, based on the gaggle of media present at the airport in Vilnius, they’ll get plenty of attention.

At least according to their new coach, the Ball brothers will be playing “a lot” together. We also expect we’ll be hearing from LaVar a lot about their exploits.

Lithuanian coach says Ball brothers will play ‘a lot’

LiAngelo Ball

The coach of the Lithuanian team where LiAngelo and LaMelo Ball are set to ply their trade has assured them that they will get their share of playing time.

Prienu Vytautas head coach Virginijus Seskus said through his son Edvinus, a guard, said that he hoped he could help the Ball brothers get better.

“They are young, but I can promise that they will play a lot and I hope we will help them to get better and they will help us to win more games,” Seskus said, via ESPN’s Jeff Goodman. “We are waiting for them. Don’t worry, they will play!”

Seskus admitted that their playing time will depend on game situations.

“They will play, but how many minutes it depends how they will play in the game,” Seskus said. “But still they will play, and they will also play in the Lithuanian league.”

Seskus apparently has quite a reputation in Lithuania. Perhaps he’ll be able to bring out something in the brothers.

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