LaMelo coming for that #1 spot.
LaMelo Ball's Illawarra Hawks faced off against RJ Hampton's New Zealand Breakers today, making for one of the most hyped National Basketball League games of all-time.
There were a plethora of NBA scouts and executives in attendance to watch the two 2020 prospects, and it didn't take long for Hampton to leave his mark as he swatted LaMelo at the rim shortly after tipoff. Ball later bounced back with an impressive put-back dunk, as seen in the footage embedded below.
Ball finished with 10 points, 7 rebounds and 4 assists in his 21 minutes of action, while Hampton posted 8 points, 7 boards and 3 assists in the Breakers' 103-72 victory.
In ESPN's recent 2020 NBA mock draft, LaMelo moved all the way up to No. 3, behind only Georgia Bulldogs shooting guard Anthony Edwards and Memphis Tigers center James Wiseman. The 6'7 point guard was previously ranked in the 20s, but his recent action with the Illawarra Hawks have scouts believing he could be the No. 1 overall selection next June.
According to ESPN's Jonathan Givony, NBA scouts and executives have been quite impressed with Ball's play thus far.
"If he keeps this up, I don't see any way he isn't in the conversation for the No. 1 overall pick,"one NBA executive told ESPN. "He completely changed my perception of the type of prospect he is, and all of the background info I gathered here from his coaches and teammates paint a very different story of what I thought about him off the court as well."
"He reminds me of Luka Doncic," another scout said. "Just in terms of his size, his feel and his creativity."