How the Wizards could get LaMelo Ball, per one mock draft


For much of the time leading up to the 2020 NBA Draft, LaMelo Ball has been considered a consensus top-five -- and at times top-three -- prospect in his class. 

With the Wizards sitting at the ninth overall pick in the first round, the chances of Ball ending up in D.C. appeared slim. However, that may no longer be the case. 

Ball may fall outside the top three picks (Timberwolves, Warriors, Hornets) after reportedly struggling in workouts and interviews, according to The Ringer's Kevin O'Connor. This would leave the Wizards, who have been publicly open about moving up or down from the ninth pick, in a position to land the talented point guard. 

There are arguments against going for Ball if you're the Wizards. There are questions about his shot-selection, shot mechanics and, of course, his father LaVar's potential involvement wherever he may go. That's also not to mention his immediate fit in Washington's backcourt wouldn't be great. 

But for the sake of the argument, what would a trade-up for Ball look for the Wizards? Luckily enough, O'Connor ended up mocking him to Washington. 

Wizards receive: No. 6 overall pick to take Ball

Hawks receive: No. 9, No. 37 and Troy Brown Jr.

The Wizards would essentially be giving up the rest of their 2020 draft haul and Brown, a young wing still on a rookie contract, for one of the highest upside plays in the draft.


What's the reasoning for such a move? O'Connor cited general manager Tommy Sheppard's recent comments about possibly going for a home run in this year's draft.

"Is there a bigger home run swing in the draft than Ball?" O'Connor wrote. "At 6-foot-7, he could be paired with Bradley Beal and John Wall to create a three-headed monster in the backcourt with players who can attack from anywhere on the court, or as a succession plan if one (or both) of them are eventually dealt."

Can Washington justify taking a point guard with Wall and Beal on the roster?

If a player like Onyeka Okongwu, who'd fill an immediate need and possibly start for the Wizards next season, is available, it'd be difficult to justify taking another ball-dominant playmaker if the goal is to win now. 

But if the goal is to build for the future, Ball would be a high-upside prospect to groom under experienced All-Stars so that when his time comes, he'll be ready. 

Either way, the top 10 picks in the 2020 NBA Draft should be interesting for everyone involved. According to O'Connor, "a bidding war could commence" if Ball slips past No. 3.