Think of LaMelo Ball in Chicago Bulls red and black...
If he’s there at the Bulls 4th pick, he’ll be selected according to the ‘feeling’ of NBCSportsChi’s KC Johnson. Furthermore, according to ESPN Insider Jonathan Givony, the Bulls are on a short list of about three teams that could be looking to move up in the draft to get dibs on the youngest Ball brother’s talents.
It may require that, as our Ricky O’Donnell has LaMelo Ball #1 overall:
LaMelo Ball blossomed into the top overall prospect in the 2020 NBA Draft by showcasing his special combination of physical and creative gifts during a season abroad playing in the Australian-based NBL. Ball has tremendous size for a lead guard at 6’7 paired with ultra tight ball handling, boundless vision, and the confidence and skill to throw any pass. If Ball’s creation ability is the foundation of his game, he also has room to grow as a scorer and defender. Ball struggled to score efficiently in halfcourt sets in Australia and has faced warranted criticism about his shot selection. At the same time, Ball displays impressive natural touch on floaters around the basket, and could ultimately develop into a quality shooter in part because he already has so many reps taking deep pull-up threes off the dribble in game action.
Ball is still growing into his gifts as one of the youngest players in this draft class, but his talent is worth betting on. Nothing changes the trajectory of a team like adding a star-level offensive creator, and no player in this class has a better chance to one day fill that role than Ball. If he isn’t a perfect present day fit in Minnesota, the thought of what he could one day become is too much to pass up
Givony also reveals in the article that many teams believe that Ball will go No. 1, and if for some reason he doesn’t hear his name first in the draft he’s a lock to still go in the top three.
Some of Ball’s strengths are redundant with Coby White and Zach LaVine and there surely isn’t nearly enough possessions in a single game to satisfy all three shot-happy players simultaneously. Meaning something has to give. Part ways with LaVine your best player in hopes that he’s all peaked out right now and Ball will become a younger, much better version of LaVine for the Bulls? Start Ball at point guard and relegate White to sixth man duties? Or get rid of LaVine, develop White into your long-term point guard and play Ball off the ball or vice versa?
A lot of unanswered questions the Bulls are trying to figure out to help guide their draft strategy.
Obviously, trading up means parting ways with your own assets. In a podcast with Zach Lowe, Givony suggests that the Bulls like Lauri Markkanen better than Wendell Carter Jr. so maybe the former Duke product becomes the worm you dangle to secure that No. 1 pick?
There’s inherent risk in trading up, especially for a seemingly boom-or-bust prospect like LaMelo Ball.
But who really knows? Just a few weeks ago, we were telling you all about how the Bulls were locked in on Deni Avdija and if not him Tyrese Haliburton. Our latest mock draft roundup had the Bulls picking everybody from Avdija to Killian Hayes to Obi Toppin.
Unpredictability is part of the fun of the draft. Until Adrian Wojnarowski tweets out the picks 20 seconds before they actually air them on the ESPN draft special, we will never know for certain.