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#pounditThursday, January 20, 2022

LaMelo Ball

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.

LaMelo Ball disagrees with father LaVar about Warriors

LaMelo Ball

LaMelo Ball is not paying much attention to his father’s thoughts on his NBA career.

LaVar Ball made clear several months ago that he does not want to see his son landing with the Golden State Warriors. LaVar felt that his son would be a bad fit as he would have to potentially wait behind Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson for playing time.

LaMelo addressed those comments on Monday, and it’s fair to say he’s not taking the stance his dad is.

It’s a good answer, and an accurate one. LaMelo has confidence in himself. Plus, time has shown that the NBA world just doesn’t pay much attention to what LaVar says.

Ultimately, the entire discussion may be irrelevant. It sounds like a different team has set its sights on the youngest Ball son.

Report: LaMelo Ball expected to go first overall if T-Wolves don’t trade

LaMelo Ball

The Minnesota Timberwolves hold the first overall selection in the upcoming NBA Draft, and some believe they will trade the pick. If they don’t, the youngest of the three Ball brothers could become a No. 1 pick.

Multiple sources told Bleacher Report’s Jonathan Wasserman that they expect the Timberwolves to draft Ball first overall if they keep the pick. However, one Western Conference executive says he has heard the T-Wolves are “confused” and are not sold on any player at No. 1. They also feel pressure not to make a mistake after they made a trade for Jarrett Culver in last year’s draft.

Most analysts agree that Ball is a lottery pick, but he could go anywhere in the top five. Some feel Georgia’s Anthony Edwards would be a safer pick at No. 1, but Wasserman reports that teams are concerned about his “drive and enthusiasm for winning.

Ball, 19, is the biggest name in the draft for obvious reasons. If he doesn’t go first overall, we already have reason to believe he is not going second.

There are questions about whether Ball would be a good fit with D’Angelo Russell and Karl-Anthony Towns, though those same questions will exist for almost any team. Unlike past years, there is no consensus top overall pick this year. That is likely why the Timberwolves are strongly considering trading out of No. 1.

Report: Warriors likely to pass on drafting LaMelo Ball

LaMelo Ball

Those hoping for LaMelo Ball to become the third Splash Brother in Golden State are probably out of luck.

Connor Letourneau of the San Francisco Chronicle reported Friday that the Warriors will likely pass on drafting Ball. Letorneau also mentions Tyrese Haliburton from Iowa State and Killian Hayes from France as point guards that Golden State may be higher on than Ball.

The Warriors hold the No. 2 overall pick in this year’s draft. The 19-year-old Ball, perhaps the best-known prospect of the entire class, is projected as a high lottery pick.

Truth be told, Ball would not be a very good fit in Golden State with both Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson set to return from injury. Ball’s father LaVar has also said that he does not want his son on the Warriors. Now it seems that wish is likely to be granted.