Warriors general manager Bob Myers reportedly has been planning a trip to Australia to scout two potential NBA lottery picks, but he might want to postpone that now.
One of those two prospects -- the Illawarra Hawks' LaMelo Ball -- is expected to sit out the next four weeks with a bruised foot, the team announced Sunday.
Ball, of course, is the youngest brother of New Orleans Pelicans guard Lonzo Ball, and he has improved his draft stock significantly over his first season in the Australian NBL, averaging 17.0 points, 7.5 rebounds and 6.8 assists in 31 minutes per game. Ball is expected to make a full recovery in time to rejoin Illawarra before the end of the regular season in mid-February.
That timeline, however, will rule Ball out of a third highly-anticipated matchup with the New Zealand Breakers' R.J. Hampton -- the other aforementioned potential lottery pick -- that was scheduled for Dec. 22. Numerous scouts were expected to be in attendance for that head-to-head meeting, but that number likely will come down now. Hampton happens to be banged up, too, having missed the Breakers' game Sunday with a hip flexor injury.
The Warriors are expected to have a very high draft pick, and both Ball and Hampton currently appear to be in contention for the No. 1 overall selection. The two Australian-located prospects will have to fend off multiple stateside challengers, however, namely Memphis' James Wiseman, Georgia's Anthony Edwards and North Carolina's Cole Anthony.
Golden State already was going to have far more opportunities to scout those latter three names in person than the former two, and with Ball expected to be sidelined for at least a month, that difference has been further exacerbated.