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#pounditSunday, January 16, 2022

LaMelo Ball’s draft stock could be hurt by inability to conduct interviews?

LaMelo Ball

NBA teams are going face serious obstacles with scouting prospects ahead of the June 25 draft because of the coronavirus pandemic, and that will almost certainly impact the future of some players more than others. That may be the case for LaMelo Ball, who could stand to gain plenty during an interview process that may not take place.

Ric Bucher of Bleacher Report spoke with NBA executives who said they would feel more comfortable drafting Ball if they could first meet with him to discuss what role his father, LaVar, is planning to play in LaMelo’s professional career.

“You’re still going to investigate all that, but I’d want to meet with the kid and the dad, personally,” one Eastern Conference general manager told Bucher. “The dad is such a wild card.”

The spotlight on LaVar Ball is not nearly as bright now as it was before Lonzo Ball was drafted by the Los Angeles Lakers, but that could change as the draft draws nearer. LaMelo is in contention to be the No. 1 overall pick and many view him as a better NBA prospect than Lonzo, so there will soon be plenty more opportunities for LaVar to make a fool of himself.

LaVar has created a name for himself and the Ball family in large part by making outlandish claims, and he proved recently that he has not grown tired of doing that. His presence has the potential to be a distraction for an NBA franchise, so it makes sense that team executives would prefer to discuss that with LaMelo before investing a top pick in the 18-year-old.


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