Every basketball fan knows who LaMelo Ball is. Most basketball scouts don’t know who Ball will be.
Meet perhaps the most polarizing player in the Nov. 18 NBA draft.
At 6-foot-7 and possessing natural passing ability and willingness that can’t be taught, at the very least Ball will be a starting point guard for years. That’s according to multiple scouts and executives from rival teams who spoke on the condition of anonymity on background with NBC Sports Chicago.
Whether he can be a superstar — and whether he’ll be there for the taking when the Bulls are on the clock at No. 4 — is debatable. And in the eye of the beholder.
One Western Conference executive opined that Ball’s unsightly shooting form and predraft attitude — what is it, an air of stubbornness or entitlement? — could limit his ceiling. An Eastern Conference scout believes that Ball’s willingness to buy in at the defensive end suggests he’ll be eminently coachable and that he'll be a perennial All-Star. The comp this scout used is — wait for it — Hall of Famer Jason Kidd, who, wouldn’t you know, improved his jumper as his career progressed.
The Bulls almost certainly would have to trade up to snag Ball in a draft that features other point guard possibilities. The cost to do so almost certainly would involve a young player like Wendell Carter Jr. or Lauri Markkanen.
Is it worth it? Unlike those talked to for this blurb, the Bulls have to come to a consensus.