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#pounditTuesday, May 17, 2022

LaMelo Ball

Malik Monk willing to give up his jersey number to LaMelo Ball?

LaMelo Ball

LaMelo Ball is trying to finesse Malik Monk for his jersey number, and Monk seems receptive.

Ball wears jersey No. 1, but Monk has worn that number during his three seasons with the Charlotte Hornets. That presented a conflict for LaMelo, who was selected third overall by the Hornets in Wednesday’s NBA Draft.

Lonzo, who is LaMelo’s oldest brother, tried to get the ball rolling on behalf of LaMelo. He tweeted Monk suggesting the former Kentucky star might want to switch back to No. 5, which is what the guard wore in college.

Monk responded on Friday by saying he couldn’t do a switch.

However, things changed a day later.

Nic Batum, who wore No. 5 in Charlotte, was waived by the Hornets via the stretch provision on Saturday to make room for Gordon Hayward’s contract. After that news came out, Monk wrote back to Lonzo and said he was willing to work something out for the jersey number swap.

Now everyone can be happy. Monk can get his college number back, while LaMelo can get his No. 1.

A jersey number may not seem like much of a big deal, but it’s important in marketing for the Balls, who are fairly tied to their numbers.

Now that the number issue appears to be worked out, we need LaVar and Michael Jordan to play 1-on-1 next.

LaMelo Ball has funny response to idea of LaVar-Michael Jordan 1-on-1

LaMelo Ball

After years of LaVar Ball calling out Michael Jordan, his son LaMelo now ironically plays for the team Jordan owns, forcing LaMelo to be diplomatic.

The 19-year-old star had his introductory press conference on Friday after being selected by Jordan’s Charlotte Hornets with the No. 3 overall pick in the draft. LaMelo was asked about the possibility of the much-awaited LaVar-Jordan 1-on-1 coming to fruition.

“I don’t think it’s gonna happen,” said LaMelo. “And I think we know how it would turn out to be honest. I don’t really know too much. But I mean, that is my pops and my boss. So I’m on both sides now, you feel me?”

LaVar rose to prominence for his outlandish boasts, perhaps most notably that he could beat Jordan 1-on-1. He even got Jordan to respond to him.

As for LaMelo, he was also once roped into his father’s claims about Jordan. Now that LaMelo plays for Jordan’s team though, it’s a much more delicate balancing act (even if he sounds convinced Jordan would win pretty easily).

Lonzo Ball was really tucked away at LaMelo Ball’s draft party

Lonzo Ball

Lonzo Ball was not at all trying to take away the spotlight at his brother’s draft party.

LaMelo Ball was taken No. 3 overall by the Charlotte Hornets during Wednesday’s NBA Draft. He and his family had people over for a draft party that was shown on TV. While LaMelo was surrounded on his couch by his parents, brother Lonzo was shown standing guard in the corner.

Lonzo already has a big name and was the No. 2 overall pick by the Lakers in the 2017 draft. He was traded to the Pelicans last year and developed nicely with him. Three years later, his brother became the No. 3 pick. That’s a pretty nice success for his family and proves father LaVar was not too crazy when he predicted big things for his sons.

The Balls become the first ever siblings to be drafted in the top three picks.

Photo: Erik Drost/Flickr via cc-by 2.0

Report: Michael Jordan has given LaMelo Ball ‘stamp of approval’

Michael Jordan

There appears to be increasing reason to think the Charlotte Hornets may be zeroing in on LaMelo Ball ahead of Wednesday’s NBA Draft.

According to The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor in his latest mock draft, Hornets owner Michael Jordan has given the front office his “stamp of approval” to allow them to select Ball. It remains possible that the Hornets may move up to No. 1 to select James Wiseman, but Ball is clearly in play at No. 3.

Obviously, Jordan’s approval is big for a lot of reasons. He’s not just the owner, but he’s also an icon. It’s a big endorsement for Ball.

There’s a bit of history between Jordan and Ball’s father. That said, Jordan is smart enough to not let something like that dissuade him from picking Ball if he really believes doing so would change the course of the franchise.

Michael Jordan wants to draft LaMelo Ball?

Michael Jordan

LaMelo Ball may have one heck of a believer ahead of this week’s NBA Draft.

Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer reported Tuesday that there are people within the Charlotte Hornets front office, possibly even owner Michael Jordan himself, who want Ball. The Hornets hold the No. 3 overall pick.

The 19-year-old Ball, a 6-foot-7 point guard, is probably the best-known prospect of the entire 2020 draft class. That said, Charlotte’s two leading scorers last season were a pair of point guards in Devonte’ Graham and Terry Rozier. But they would still be hard-pressed to pass on Ball if he is available when they are on the clock.

There is no guarantee of that though, as Ball could fit well in Minnesota or Golden State, the two teams with the picks ahead of the Hornets. But Jordan’s supposed interest in Ball is certainly something, especially considering his past beef with Ball’s father.

LaMelo Ball had private workout with Timberwolves

LaMelo Ball

The Minnesota Timberwolves are picking first in next week’s NBA draft, and they met with one of the top contenders for the pick.

According to Draft Express’ Jonathan Givony, Ball conducted a private workout for the Timberwolves on Wednesday in Southern California, which is where Ball is from.

Givony says this was Ball’s first private workout for a team. He says he was told Ball shot the ball well.

Talk surrounding the draft, which takes place on Nov. 18, is heating up. Givony has previously said it’s looking like Ball will go No. 1. The Golden State Warriors have the No. 2 pick, and there has been some chatter about whom they will take.

Will LaMelo end up in Minnesota? It’s not on his dad’s preferred list, but it would be hard to argue with going No. 1.

LaMelo is a 6-foot-7 point guard. The 19-year-old was once set to go to UCLA, but never ended up playing in college.

Report: NBA front offices expect LaMelo Ball to go No. 1 overall

LaMelo Ball

There appears to be growing consensus around who will be the No. 1 pick in next week’s NBA Draft.

According to ESPN’s Jonathan Givony, the majority of NBA front offices believe LaMelo Ball will be selected first overall in the draft. There is still some question whether the Minnesota Timberwolves will make the pick, or whether another team will trade up to take Ball.

The Chicago Bulls, Detroit Pistons, and Oklahoma City Thunder have been named by NBA executives as teams that might be willing to trade up to No. 1 to select Ball.

For all the chatter about a mediocre pre-draft process, Ball seems entrenched at the top of the draft. This makes it sound like the only question is which team he’ll go to, not which pick. The Timberwolves have made no secret of the fact that they’re open to a trade. For now, though, nothing appears close.

LaVar Ball shares what team he wants to draft son LaMelo

LaVar Ball

LaMelo Ball is one of the most well-known prospects in this year’s NBA Draft, and his outspoken father has made it clear where he wants his son to go.

Ball appeared on “The Pascal Show” for an interview that was published last week. In the interview, LaVar was asked where he wants his son to be drafted.

“I want him in either New York or Detroit,” LaVar says.

The host was surprised LaVar didn’t want LaMelo with the Lakers.

“The makeup that they have right now — that’s not good,” LaVar said.

LaVar believes “the key is to have the right coach behind him.”

LaVar never felt oldest son Lonzo had the right coach behind him with the Lakers. That is why he wants LaMelo going to the right place. He also doesn’t want LaMelo going to the Warriors, but that’s for a different reason.

LaMelo is considered one of the best prospects in the draft and expected to be among the top five picks. The Pistons have the No. 7 pick and the Knicks have the No. 8 selection. Either team might have to trade up if they want LaMelo.

Report: LaMelo Ball is at top of Cavs’ draft board

LaMelo Ball

The Cleveland Cavaliers’ mantra for the upcoming draft might as well be “Ball don’t lie.”

Cleveland.com’s Chris Fedor reported this week that star guard LaMelo Ball is at the top of the team’s 2020 draft board. Deni Avdija from Israel and Isaac Okoro from Auburn are reportedly next on their preference list.

We have known since the summer that the Cavs are high on Ball. But they already used their last two straight lottery picks on guards (Collin Sexton in 2018 and Darius Garland in 2019). The Cavs also hold the No. 5 pick, so Ball may be off the board by the time that they are on the clock.

There may still be hope for Cleveland though. At least one team ahead of them in the draft is apparently likely to pass on the 19-year-old Ball.

Report: LaMelo Ball withdraws from rest of NBA Combine

LaMelo Ball

LaMelo Ball has apparently shown NBA teams all he intends to show them.

According to Jeremy Woo of SI.com, Ball has withdrawn from the remainder of the NBA Combine and will not do any interviews with teams.

Bear in mind that this doesn’t necessarily mean Ball won’t be talking to any more teams. The league will still allow teams to conduct their own private pre-draft interviews, so anybody who hasn’t spoken to Ball yet will get their chance.

Ultimately, Ball’s draft destination may already be decided. Perhaps that’s playing into his thinking as he skips the rest of the event.