LaMelo Ball has had quite the basketball journey for an 18-year-old. I’s rather incredible that on a wild path that’s taken him out of high school early to play pro ball in Lithuania, back to the U.S. to play high school ball in Ohio, and most recently to Australia for one season in the NBL, he’s managed to develop into one of the top NBA Draft prospects for 2020.
Where Ball ends up being drafted remains to be seen, but he’s put up impressive numbers in Australia, averaging 17 points, seven assists, and 7.5 rebounds per game for the Ilwarra Hawks, with a rocky 37/24/72 shooting percentage split. NBA scouts marvel at his ball-handling and passing acumen for his size, and hope he can figure out his shooting stroke (and shot selection) as he continues to mature.
However, the window with which to scout him against pro players will be narrowing considerably, as Ball has reportedly suffered a foot injury that will keep him out for four weeks, per Jonathan Givony of ESPN.
LaMelo Ball — the potential No. 1 overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft — is expected to miss four weeks with a foot injury, sources tell ESPN. There’s hope that NBA teams can resume scouting him in the Australian NBL in January.
— Jonathan Givony (@DraftExpress) December 9, 2019
Given that the NBL regular season ends in mid-February, losing four weeks at this point means he could only have another month-plus of play before the season ends. The main concern, of course, is that he’s able to recover fully from the foot injury, but for now the scouting process and his development on the court will be put on hold as he looks to get healthy.