While the future timeline for the NBA is still murky, it is clear that the Cavs will not be a part of any postseason plan and that their marquee competition this year is once again the Draft Lottery. The Cavs will most likely pick between first and sixth, and they hold the joint best odds of securing this year’s top selection, with a 14% chance. However, this also means that there is an 86% chance that their pick will fall between second and sixth, so the Cavs cannot simply scout one player with the idea they can get whoever they want. However, if they do end with a top two or three choice, one player currently on a bigtime radar is LaMelo Ball.
Ball hardly needs an introduction. He garnered national news coverage when starting on the Chino Hills High School Varsity team as a Freshman, a team that went 35-0 on a road to claiming a California state championship, defeating teams such as Mater Dei, Sierra Canyon, and Montverde Academy along the way. In his sophomore year, he made national headlines again by scoring 92 points in a single game. Some of his points were cherry-picked, however, he still would have amassed more than 60 points without these freebies.
After leaving Chino Hills, Ball was largely under the radar for the next two years before re-emerging as a star for the Illawarra Hawks of the Australian Basketball League. In this campaign, he became the first player in the league since 2009 to record consecutive triple-doubles and was named the Rooke of the Year. After leaving the Hawks to train for the draft in January, he had reached the third overall prospect in ESPN’s mock draft. Certainly, nothing to sneeze at.
The argument against drafting Ball if given the chance has to do with the fact that the Cavs have already used premier picks to select other ball-handling guards, such as Collin Sexton and Darius Garland, both of which have shown good signs of development over their time with the Cavaliers. There’s also the matter of LaMelo’s Father, LaVar, who has made national headlines multiple times for offering controversial hot takes on the career prospects of his sons, which could prove to be a distraction in the locker room.
Overall, the upsides to Ball are overwhelming and after already proving his worth at the professional level, he is equipped to fit well with any team that selects him. Whether the Cavs do or not is up to them, but it would be hard to say that picking him on Draft Night would be picking a poor talent.