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LaMelo Ball Looks Surprisingly Good In His First NBL Action

Illawarra Hawks Media Opportunity

With players like LaMelo Ball and friend of the program RJ Hampton breaking the mold and bypassing college to spend a year in the NBL to prepare for the NBA draft, I think it’s safe to say that how their seasons shake out and where they ultimately get drafted could absolutely change how a lot of these top end prospects handle getting to the next level until the age limit to get into the league is abolished. There’s a legit chance that both of these guys end up being Top 5 talents and we finally have video of LaMelo down in the NBL, and you know what? He doesn’t look half bad!

The thing with Melo is he clearly has the size and the vision of his older brother, but when we’ve only see him dominate a little bit of high school, the JBA which was a disaster, then play over in the Lithuanian Basketball League and Baltic Basketball League with a little Drew League sprinkled in, I think it’s fair to say there are still big time questions about him. He could very well be as good as the internet wants you to believe, but how is anyone truly sure when he hasn’t played any sort of legit competition? Now with the NBL, a league that is most definitely not a joke, we’re able to get a sense of where he is as a prospect against in my opinion the most legit competition he’s faced. Well, so far so good. There was his 14 point performance in a preseason game against Melbourne

and then a nice 21 point performance in their first NBL win

You watch those two videos and you can get a sense of why there’s hype surrounding LaMelo as a prospect. You can hate the Ball family all you want, but the highlights in that second video are as legit as they come. His passing on the break already looks to be pretty advanced, it looks like he even has a little floater game which is going to be pretty important for a player like him at the next level. I mean he was floating it up from the FT line for crying out loud, I don’t care who you are that’s impressive.

I’m not sure what I expected from LaMelo Ball when he dropped the news that he was heading to the NBL, but after two quick YouTube highlight videos it seems like this may end up being a good decision for him. If you’re an NBA team with a high lottery pick next season, let’s say the Suns, isn’t LaMelo an intriguing prospect? A legit pass first point guard with good size to run the break next to Booker and Ayton? Maybe if you’re the Wizards and you need to start planning for a post John Wall world, why wouldn’t you take a flier on LaMelo.

Now I’m really interested in seeing RJ Hampton highlights. So far I don’t think any have hit the internet, but if the 23rd best prospect in Ball looks this good, imagine what the 5th best prospect will look like.