Knicks Draft: LaMelo Ball ‘unequivocally’ top point guard on New York board

LaMelo Ball, New York Knicks draft prospect. (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)
LaMelo Ball, New York Knicks draft prospect. (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images) /

The New York Knicks appear to have their eyes set on LaMelo Ball in the upcoming draft.

As the New York Knicks search for an elusive franchise point guard, lottery prospect LaMelo Ball is “unequivocally” ranked atop their draft board, according to the New York Post.

Ball played point guard for the Australian-based National Basketball League (NBL) this past season. While considered a generational passer, some question his playmaking ability and whether he would be best served playing as a facilitator who isn’t the primary ball-handler.

That said, his potential as a point guard is tantalizing. As The Ringer recently summarized in their scouting report:

"“[LaMelo Ball] passes like he’s on the Harlem Globetrotters, and it somehow works; he needs to dramatically improve his scoring efficiency, but he has the upside to become one of the NBA’s best playmakers.”"

The 6-foot-7 guard is the younger brother of Lonzo Ball, who was the second overall pick in the 2017 NBA draft in which the Knicks selected point guard Frank Ntilikina with the 8th overall pick.

Completing his third season in New York, it doesn’t appear Ntilikina will become the long-term solution to the Knicks’ point guard problem. While the French guard offers a lot of unique value on the defensive side of the ball, he seems better suited in a bench role, or as the 4th or 5th option on a very good team.

New York Knicks in search of a lead guard like LaMelo Ball.

New president Leon Rose seems set on finding a lead guard who can be an elite playmaker in the offense. SNY recently reported the Knicks are looking to “unlock” young stars Mitchell Robinson and RJ Barrett with a playmaking point guard.

As the standings currently stand, the Knicks have the sixth highest lottery odds, which equates into a nine percent chance at the number one overall pick. New York has a 27.6% odds of landing a top three pick. Many mock drafts have Ball being selected within the top three picks.

Golden State Warriors president of basketball operations Bob Myers has indicated he would “consider” trading the number one overall pick if the Warriors, who currently hold the best lottery odds, land the top selection.

"“Yeah, we’re going to consider all that,” Myers told NBC Sports Bay Area over a phone interview. “Now, I don’t know if the headline is going to be that we’re trading our pick. So, be clear that I said ‘consider.’”"

Rose has a suitcase of draft picks to use in a potential deal to trade up in the draft. Beyond their lottery selection, the Knicks also have a late first round pick from the Clippers, as well as two extra first round picks down the road from the Dallas Mavericks, both netted in the Kristaps Porzingis deal.

Next. Pros/Cons trading up for 1st pick. dark

It’s been a long time since Mark Jackson entered the scene in 1987 as a flashy point guard making ridiculous passes all over the Madison Square Garden court. Perhaps LaMelo Ball will follow in his footsteps, over three decades later.