LaVar Ball, the outspoken father of LaMelo and his basketball prodigy siblings, thinks his youngest son has enough talent to get selected #1 in the upcoming NBA Draft. If LaMelo isn’t picked first, then LaVar Ball would prefer that the New York Knicks draft his son.
“The best fit in my eyes is the New York Knicks,” LaVar told the Load Management Podcast. “It’s time for something good to happen to them.”
So, which one is it? Will LaMelo Ball become the #1 pick or head to the New York Knicks?
Many mock drafts put Ball in the second or third position. Either Anthony Edwards (Georgia) or James Wiseman (Memphis) will go #1, depending on which team secures the top pick in the draft lottery. If a team needs size, they’ll opt for the 7-foot Wiseman. If they’re looking for a proficient scorer, then Edwards will be their guy.
LaMelo bypassed the collegiate route and signed a one-year deal with the Illawarra Hawks from the Australian basketball league (NBL). If Edwards is the top guard prospect, LaMelo is right behind at #2.
LaVar made a weird prediction a couple of years ago. He said his oldest son, Lonzo, would end up on the Los Angeles Lakers. After one season with the UCLA Bruins, Lonzo declared for the draft. The Lakers selected Lonzo with the second overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft.
LiAngelo Ball, the middle brother, recently signed a contract with the NBA’s G League.
LaMelo at MSG with Knicks?
LaVar Ball spent some time in the NYC area when he had a brief stint playing tight end for the New York Jets. NYC is the largest media market in North America, so it makes sense that the entrepreneurial Ball would want one of his sons playing under the bright lights of Broadway. Heck, LaVar wants all three Ball brothers with the Knicks, but it begins with LaMelo in the 2020 NBA Draft.
Or is LaVar manipulating the media as he’s wont to do? Maybe LaVar Ball is playing Jedi mind tricks on the Knicks by trying to conjure up the “force” to persuade them to trade up in the draft to acquire LaMelo.
“The bright lights, East Coast!” said LaVar. “If everything lines up right, the Knicks get the first pick and get LaMelo and LiAngelo with him, and somehow get Lonzo in the long run. The Triple B’s. The Ball Brothers on Broadway.”
All three Ball brothers recently signed a deal with Roc Nation, which is hip-hop impresario Jay-Z’s sports management company. LaMelo’s current manager is ex-Knicks guard, Jermaine Jackson. Jay-Z grew up in Brooklyn as a Knicks fan.
Knicks Need a Point Guard?
The Knicks were recently linked to All-Star point guard, Chris Paul. Paul’s former agent, Leon Rose, an ex-mega agent at CAA, currently works in the Knicks front office as the President of Operations.
Luring CP3 to Madison Square Garden won’t be easy and will come with a hefty price. The Knicks would have to relinquish some of their young talent and/or draft capital. In addition, CP3 isn’t cheap. The Knicks would be on the hook for more than $40 million per season for a stellar point guard in the twilight of his career.
If the Knicks avoid the aging and overpriced veteran trap, then they could opt to gamble with a point guard in the NBA Draft.
When the NBA shut down its season on March 11, the Knicks (21-45) held the sixth-worst record in the league. The Knicks tanked last season in an attempt to suck for Zion Williamson, and still failed to secure the #1 pick. The Knicks settled on the #3 pick and selected Zion’s teammate at Duke, RJ Barrett.