LaMelo Ball
Rick Rycroft/Associated Press

LaMelo Ball has the biggest star potential of any prospect in the upcoming draft. He’s been creating a massive highlight reel in Australia’s NBL, and that tape continues to grow each time LaMelo steps on the court. For one moment, let’s forget his crazy dad and focus on the LaMelo Ball that will soon find himself playing at the highest level.

Strengths: Ball Handling, Passing

LaMelo has handles, there’s no question about that. He’s quick and decisive with the ball and has been making insanely good passes through tight windows. No real window to fit the pass? He finds a way to make one. LaMelo is the all around point guard that rebuilding NBA teams dream of. It is what made Ja Morant explode onto the scene and Memphis leapt at the opportunity to restart their franchise with a young, exciting guard. LaMelo brings that same energy.

Standing 6’7, LaMelo instantly becomes that much more of a desirable prospect. Such tall guards with good athleticism and amazing ball skills are rare. The potential of LaMelo is through the roof and will not (or should not) remain on the board for long.

Weakness: Defense, Consistency

Despite his height and quickness, LaMelo is a little lazy on the defensive side. There has been some improvement, but a few flashy defensive plays don’t make up for the basics of help defense. There’s more to defense than just blocks and steals. It’s all about positioning, rotation, and awareness. There’s tons of guards in the NBA who are terrible at defense and are still some of the best players in the league. But defense is apart of the game and I’m not going to praise someone for scoring 40 when the opposing guard scores 30.

Despite the sexy step back 3s, LaMelo’s 3pt (.250) and overall shooting percentage (.375) leave much to be desired. These may be alright numbers for overseas, but LaMelo would get torched by Twitter if these were his stats. LaMelo has stated that he wants to be known as the best basketball player to ever live. If that is his dream, he’s got to improve his scoring or else he’ll be forgotten 10 years after he retires (which may not be long with those numbers).

Overall, LeMelo is the top prospect of the draft. Not necessarily meaning he will have a better career than the others, but that he has the tools to truly be something great. The New York Knicks need to draft LaMelo at all costs. If they don’t get the first overall pick, make a trade. LaMelo Ball could give the Knicks the lifeblood to rejuvenate a fanbase so desperate and overdue for some good fortune.

Best Fit: New York, Atlanta, Detroit, Chicago

Current NBA Comparison: Damian Lillard

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