Does LaMelo Ball want to play for the New York Knicks?
With the 2020 NBA Draft still months away, speculation has already started to build about lottery prospect LaMelo Ball preferring to play for the New York Knicks. However, his manager, Jermaine Jackson, shot down that suggestion in a recent exchange on Instagram.
In a screen shot of the conversation shared on Twitter by Knicks Fan TV, Jackson responds “that’s a lie” to a headline messaged to him about Ball preferring to play in New York.
Jackson actually suited up for the Knicks, himself, for 21 games during the 2004-05 season. Following his NBA career, he has worked as a coach, trainer, and manager. He was the head coach of SPIRE Institute in Ohio when LaMelo Ball played there as a high school senior.
Ian Begley of SNY reported last week that several NBA teams projected to pick behind the Knicks in the draft believe that Ball and those in his circle prefer that he plays with the Knicks.
Of course, it doesn’t take much reporting to know this is a possibility. LaMelo’s father, LaVar, recently spoke at length about the possibility of his son playing on Broadway. When asked point blank if he would like to see LaMelo on the Knicks, he responded, “Oh yes, to the end.”
"“[The Knicks] don’t have anything.” LaVar said on the Say Less with Kaz podcast in June. “The last time they won a championship back in the 70s. The bright lights. You need a whole new turnaround over there. The person I want to see him play with, they got to know this, if you’re getting ‘Melo, you’re getting ‘Gelo […] And after that, you have a chance to get ‘Zo. You don’t need one person to change no franchise. You need the whole culture change and that takes all three of my boys […] That would be the biggest show in the NBA ever.”"
Ball also said on FS1’s Undisputed in early March that he thinks the Knicks are the “best fit” for his youngest son.
The Knicks are slated to have the 6th best odds to land the first overall pick in the NBA Draft Lottery that has been rescheduled to late August. New York could end up picking anywhere between 1st and 10th, except 5th.
While New York seems focused on landing a point guard, and Ball is reportedly at the top of their draft board, it’s anyone’s guess how their thinking could evolve in the months ahead with new voices taking prominent roles in the front office.
Playing this past season in Australia, Ball averaged 17.0 points, 7.6 rebounds, and 6.8 assists while shooting 37.5% from the field.