It sounds insane that LaMelo Ball could potentially not land as a top three pick in this year’s NBA Draft. With his box office talent that he’s displayed for some time, it’s obvious that he is the best offensive player in his class. Unfortunately, LaMelo does not fill the needs that Minnesota, Golden State, or Charlotte need. In that case, it could potentially land LaMelo into the hands of the Chicago Bulls.
Over the past year, the debates have always been on who will be drafted #1 between LaMelo and Anthony Edwards. Both players went into their respective programs and made an impact on the floor. Unfortunately with the way the draft is now orchestrated with teams, the debate has now gone away.
Looking at the top three teams in the draft, none of them seem to have a place where LaMelo can shine into a superstar. It would be difficult for LaMelo to show his true potential in Minnesota next to D’Angelo Russell. Both Russell and LaMelo would have to make a lot of sacrifices if that backcourt duo would be able to work in their favor.
Golden State would also have no interest in using LaMelo Ball to his superstar potential. Having the backcourt of Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson returning, LaMelo would be used upon as the sixth man off the bench, similar to how they used D’Lo last season before being traded.
If the Charlotte Hornets did not have a potential star backcourt in Devonte Graham and Malik Monk, maybe this would have been a possible destination for LaMelo. The key for a player of his caliber is to bring him in with the keys to the franchise. Anything less than that would be a disaster in the making for LaMelo and his future.
Chicago is the perfect fit for LaMelo if you ask me. With the organization going in a different direction with grabbing Head Coach Billy Donovan, LaMelo is destined to become the franchise player who can lead this team. Chicago has been looking for a star caliber player since the departure of Derrick Rose. LaMelo can come into the organization and become what they have been looking for.
Looking at LaMelo over the past two years, he has evolved into a well-rounded point guard. It’s no question that he can still light up the floor with his impeccable shooting, but he has also became a facilitator and his has used his court vision to the max. LaMelo averaged 7 assists in his one season for the Ilawarra Hawks. Going into the NBA, those assist numbers could possibly grow as LaMelo runs the floor on offense in Chicago.
Despite the horrific job Chicago’s front office has done over the past few years, the roster slowly shows the evolution of a potential playoff team. Both Zach Lavine and Lauri Markkanen are at the top as they have developed into two all-star caliber players. Other players that have shown great contributions are Coby White, Otto Porter Jr, Wendell Carter Jr, Denzel Valentine, etc. With Billy Donovan being on the sidelines next season, the Bulls will be able to elevate their game to another level that can possibly land a playoff seed. Having LaMelo playing along this roster could potentially become a big threat in the East within the next few years.
LaMelo and Donovan can create a great coach-star relationship. Despite LaMelo already having experience at the pro level, he hasn’t had the chance to observe what a winning culture really is. In his two seasons overseas playing for Lithuania and the Illawarra Hawks, LaMelo’s teams were not in a position as a top team in their respective league. We have seen how Donovan has impacted young prospects in Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Lu Dort, and others. With anticipation for LaMelo to continue his superstar potential, Coach Donovan can put him in a great situation for success.
Chicago is the best fit for LaMelo and his NBA journey. It may not be a big market city like Los Angeles or New York, but LaMelo has already built his brand to a good position and what better place to continue to build like the house Jordan built. Just because LaMelo wouldn’t be a top pick in the draft, doesn’t mean that his value isn’t as great as we know it to be. It’s best for him to be in an organization where he can blossom into an NBA superstar.