With the 2019 NBA Draft complete, focus for draftniks now turns to the 2020 draft class. Amongst those included in that class, notably is LaMelo Ball.
As the focus shifts, ESPN’s DraftExpress released a newly-updated 2020 NBA mock draft. For the first time since returning to Spire Institute, LaMelo Ball has risen up to a projected first-rounder, rising up to 24th in the mock draft.
In past iterations of 2020’s mock draft by Draft Express, ranked 32nd in late April’s mock draft, a one-spot improvement from the 33rd he was ranked in the January mock draft. It’s likely that his move to Australia’s National Basketball League (NBL) played a role in his improved projection.
Ball is the sixth-ranked point guard in the draft behind Cole Anthony (No. 3), Theo Maledon (No. 4), RJ Hampton (No. 6), Nico Mannion (No. 7) and Tre Jones (No. 16).
Interestingly, Hampton, who also recently committed to play with the NBL, did not move up from his spot as sixth in the mock draft from April. But the NBL having two projected first-round picks creates plenty of intrigue and also a realistic alternate route for players looking to circumvent the NCAA.
While Ball is almost never going to live up to the promises of his father to become the top pick in the 2020 draft, he is likely on his way to becoming at least a first round pick and potentially a lottery pick, which would be nothing to scoff at in any regular situation.