With 18 games remaining this season and the New York Knicks 9 games out of the 8th seed in the East, fans have already set their calendars to May 19th in anticipation of the 2020 Draft Lottery.
In many mock drafts, including one by Kyle Boone of CBS Sports, analysts have the New York Knicks, regardless of their draft spot, selecting 18-year-old overseas player LaMelo Ball. This would break the team beyond repair.
In comparison to the 2019 NBA Draft class, this year’s set of NBA hopefuls are definitely not as talented. With that being said when fans and experts look at the pool that the Knicks can choose from with a top 5 pick, people see 6’7 Guard LaMelo Ball as the top option. It makes absolutely no sense. First, we need to take into account the league Ball is playing in.
Ball is playing in a league full of players who were unable to make it in the NBA; a league who’s game didn’t fit the style of the association, making it impossible for the majority of them to even land a 10 day contract. This league is called the NBL in Australia.
The most recent MVP of the NBL was Bryce Cotton, a 27-year-old guard who could never make it out of the G-League. Aside from him, the best player in the entire league is veteran center Andrew Bogut; and while you could argue the fact that he’s an NBA champion, he started playing in this league because he can no longer make an NBA roster.
Regardless if he was playing in a more competitive association or not, LaMelo Ball this season has played a grand total of 12 games for his team, the Illawarra Hawks. That is nowhere near enough playing time for anyone to prove they have potential to be a great player in the National Basketball Association.
If you’re asking who the New York Knicks should look at in the draft, you need to narrow it down to a point guard. For years the Orange and Blue have had a major problem when it came to their point.
At the one over the past 20 years the best PG the Knicks have put on display to their fans is arguably NBA vet Raymond Felton and while he helped lead them to a second round appearance in the Playoffs in 2012-2013, he never came close to making an All Star team.
The point guard I see that would give the New York Knicks the best chance at a resurgence is University of North Carolina freshman Cole Anthony.
Hear this Knicks fans, Cole Anthony has spent a good chunk of the season injured and has still played in more games than LaMelo Ball. In 20 contests, the son of former Knick Greg Anthony has put up 19.6 points per game averaging 4.1 assists and 5.7 rebounds.
I feel like that doesn’t only prove that he can put up good all around stats as a point guard, but can do so against a high level of competition.
UNC has been towards the bottom of the ACC in the NCAA this season. UNC has had to play teams like Duke, Clemson, Florida State, and Louisville multiple times a season, only boosting my confidence in the 19-year-old.
So there you have it. I feel like if LaMelo Ball didn’t come from the Ball family the level hype surrounding him wouldn’t be nearly as large. New York seems very desperate for a big name. Especially after missing out on prized possession Zion Williamson in last year’s draft.
If Leon Rose wants to have a good start to his time as President of the Knicks, Cole Anthony will walk up to the podium on draft night, and shake Adam Silver’s hand with a Knicks hat on his head, and Knicks jersey in hand.