Could the Knicks have their eyes set on LaMelo Ball?
Top prospect LaMelo Ball told reporters over Zoom on Monday that he has interviewed with the New York Knicks ahead of the 2020 NBA Draft.
After falling two spots in the lottery drawing, New York is set to select 8th overall, which is likely several picks too late to secure Ball; however, it’s possible the Knicks could orchestrate a trade to move up to select the talented point guard. Most mocks consider the youngest Ball brother to be a Top 4 pick.
LaMelo declined to indicate whether the Knicks hinted at a willingness to trade up to draft him. Interestingly, New York was the only team he noted meeting with.
Newsday reported on Monday that the Knicks spoke with Ball before they knew their lottery results. Heading into the drawing, New York had a 37.2 percent chance of landing within the top four picks. The New York Post indicated earlier in the summer that Ball is “unequivocally” the top point guard on the Knicks’ board.
As team president Leon Rose gets settled into his new role, he is clearly looking for a point guard who can help jump-start the offense around 2019 lottery pick RJ Barrett, along with Mitchell Robinson. Some rumors suggest the team could look for a veteran solution in trading for Chris Paul.
The NBA announced last week that the 2020 Draft Combine will be conducted both in NBA team markets and virtual settings. The draft, originally scheduled for late June, has been pushed back to mid-November, a date that is still in flux as the league plans around the changing conditions associated with the coronavirus pandemic.
New York will continue to interview players ahead of a draft in which they can potentially secure three (8th, 27th, 38th) of the top 40 prospects.
Ball is a 6-foot-7 guard, better known for his passing than shooting. He spent this past season playing professionally for the Illawarra Hawks of the Australian National Basketball League (NBL).