LaMelo Ball NBA Draft race intensifying as teams mull trading up

Nearly a week away from NBA Draft 2020, the wheel continues to spin on where LaMelo Ball will actually end up. Though most team executives are assuming the 6-foot-7 point guard will be the first pick,

Nearly a week away from NBA Draft 2020, the wheel continues to spin on where LaMelo Ball will actually end up.

Though most team executives are assuming the 6-foot-7 point guard will be the first pick, according to ESPN, it remains to be seen whether that means the Timberwolves will draft Ball or another team will trade up to get him. The “popular picks” to trade up and draft Ball at No. 1 include the Bulls, Pistons and Thunder, ESPN reported on Monday.

Pistons general manager Troy Weaver recently opened the door to a trade, telling reporters that “moving up is definitely an option.” Detroit currently owns the No. 7 pick.

The Bulls have the No. 4 pick while the Thunder are outside of the lottery at No. 25, but they have multiple first-round picks in the future thanks to the Russell Westbrook trade that could help sweeten a deal.

LaMelo BallAP

Ball has been somewhat of a polarizing prospect. The 19-year-old didn’t go to college and instead played in Australia’s National Basketball League, where he suited up for just 12 games last year. He averaged 17 points, 7.6 rebounds, 6.8 assists and 2.5 turnovers per game while shooting 37.5 percent.

Ball has yet to work out for any teams, according to ESPN. The Charlotte Observer’s Rick Bonnell also reported that the younger brother of Pelicans guard Lonzo Ball was not doing well in his interviews, though it was unclear if that was a legitimate concern or a potential smokescreen.

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