LaMelo Ball is making headlines again as he dominates Australian basketball and has people wondering if he could be the top pick in the 2020 NBA draft. While Lonzo Ball is currently helping rebuild the New Orleans Pelicans as they wait for Zion Williamson and LiAngelo never showed the NBA promise of his brothers, LaMelo could be the best of LaVar Ball’s sons.
Because of that, he could find himself a very rich man once he makes it to the NBA.
LaMelo Ball joins the family business
From the time that oldest brother Lonzo Ball was at Chino Hills High School, the family’s patriarch, Lavar, has been trying everything he can to dictate his sons’ paths to the NBA. For Lonzo, that worked. LaVar willed Lonzo to UCLA, as LaVar wanted, and the Los Angeles Lakers eventually drafted him. That’s the team that LaVar wanted all of his sons to play for eventually.
For LiAngelo Ball, the journey ended sooner than he wanted. He made his way to UCLA, but after an international incident involving him and some teammates getting arrested for shoplifting in China, Ball pulled his son, who was yet to play, from the team and decided to find a different way to let him succeed. That’s when LaMelo Ball got his first taste of professional basketball.
Lithuanian basketball club BC Vytautas quickly signed LiAngelo and LaMelo after LaVar pulled both from school. In true Ball fashion, he clashed with the coaches and eventually pulled his sons out of that league, as well. He then started his own league for young prospects before sending LaMelo overseas to Australia.
LaMelo’s rise Down Under
With so many twists and turns to the journey, LaMelo Ball fell off the radar as a basketball prospect. Many believed that his father’s decision to meddle in his career might have ended his shot at an NBA career. However, when he signed with the Illawarra Hawks of the National Basketball League, the draft talk that once surrounded all of the brothers returned.
In 12 games with the NBL’s Hawks, Ball showed that he could be the type of multifaceted point guard that is becoming increasingly popular in the NBA. Despite his struggles to shoot the ball, he has shown a complete skillset at 18 years old, wowing NBA scouts in the process. Ball has averaged 17 points, seven assists, and almost eight rebounds per game as a member of the Hawks.
In the prototype of Ben Simmons, Ball is quite young to be performing at such a high level, and the potential of working with him to develop a shot and expand his game has not gone unnoticed in NBA circles. Not only might he be the top pick in the 2020 draft, but he could get a major shoe deal in the process if rumors are to be believed.
Could LaMelo Ball sign a $100 million shoe deal?
NBL analyst Corey Williams reported that Ball had an offer on the table worth $100 million from an unidentified sneaker company. Not only that, but the deal allegedly included a private jet. If that were true, it would make LaMelo Ball one of the most well-paid players in the league if he accepted it. However, it would be wise to take a step back and analyze the situation.
At 18 years old, Ball has potential, but shoe companies can be slow to sign guys to deals that lucrative unless they know how marketable the player can be. Ball will not have the Big Baller Brand to prop himself up as Lonzo did, and one can’t help but wonder if Williams’ report could have come from LaVar or somebody else trying to up his son’s value.
LaMelo Ball might get that deal one day, but it will likely take time. If he is as good as people say, however, that time might be quicker than we can imagine.