Top three story lines of the upcoming NBA Draft

LaMelo Ball of the Hawks (Photo by Anthony Au-Yeung/Getty Images)
LaMelo Ball of the Hawks (Photo by Anthony Au-Yeung/Getty Images) /
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NBA Draft
LaMelo Ball of the Hawks (Photo by Anthony Au-Yeung/Getty Images) /

Is LaMelo Ball worth the hype?

Okay, I will raise my hand. I’ll admit it. Prior to the season starting, I did not get the LaMelo Ball hype. He came in as the fourth-best prospect in this year’s draft on my first Big Board, which is not crazy. Even with him being in my top-five I did not see him with the upside of carrying a franchise. Despite me saying he would be better than Lonzo, I will admit that even at four he feels too low in retrospect.

We obviously don’t know how his career will pan out, but during the peak of his NBL season, breaking down his game tape I saw a prospect that could elevate a franchise to a new level, not just be a nice player as I originally thought.

However, it looks as if his NBL season is over, as he sustained a Bone Bruise in December he said he will not return unless he is 100-percent. It does not seem like that day will come before the season is out in the NBL.

Ball averaged 17 points, seven rebounds, and almost seven assists per game this season for the NBL Hawks. LaMelo Ball struggled a bit from three-point land, which is a tad concerning given the modern-day NBA, but his game despite being a smaller build than Ben Simmons could translate to that type of player. A bigger point guard that controls the game with the ball in his hands, can get rebounds down low and drive to the basketball, a high-level passer, but needs shooters around him to max out his potential.

I am hoping given his injury, he is able to come back and perform at the NBA combine, and possibly participate in the scrimmage portion of the combine, but I won’t hold my breath. Typically high picks do not elect to play in the five-on-five events.

So is Lamelo Ball worth the hype? Honestly? I would have a hard time letting him escape the top three picks, even the first overall pick if I was an NBA GM…here’s hoping LaVar Ball stays as lowkey as he has been thus far in the process.