Clevleand.com’s Chris Fedor wrote in a mailbag this week that one source said Ball’s shot is “broken,” while another “questioned his care level on defense.”
Ball, 18, averaged 17 points, 7.6 rebounds and 6.8 assists with the NBL’s Illawarra Hawks in Australia this season. He played just 12 games due to a foot injury, but the younger brother of New Orleans Pelicans guard Lonzo Ball flashed enough potential to climb up draft charts.
The younger Ball shot just 37 percent from the field in the NBL, and NBC Sports Bay Area’s Logan Murdock wrote last week that Ball’s lackluster shot selection would make him a poor fit alongside Steph Curry and Klay Thompson next season. The Warriors’ defense also was a calling card during their half-decade in title contention, and adding Ball wouldn’t help Golden State return to those ways.
Many mock drafts, including NBC Sports California’s, projected the Warriors would select Georgia star Anthony Edwards if they landed the No. 1 overall pick. CBS Sports’ Gary Parrish projected Golden State would select Ball, and ESPN NBA draft analyst Mike Schmitz thinks Ball is the draft’s best player.
The Warriors had the NBA’s worst record (15-50) when the league suspended its season on March 12 after Utah Jazz big man Rudy Gobert tested positive for the coronavirus (COVID-19). Golden State undoubtedly will have good odds of landing the No. 1 pick, but it’s not clear how the draft lottery is affected by the season’s suspension.
It’s possible Ball is off the board before the Warriors make their pick. Who Golden State picks if he isn’t will reveal whether or not general manager Bob Myers and his scouting department agree with Fedor’s sources.