It is hardly a secret that there is mutual interest between the New York Knicks and LaMelo Ball, and it appears as if that bond is growing stronger.
According to Marc Berman of The New York Post, Ball is “unequivocally” the top-rated point guard on the Knicks’ draft board and that the team is likely to prioritize finding a point guard who can shoot in the draft over taking the best player available.
While the NBA Draft Lottery has been postponed until further notice, the Knicks are currently slated in the sixth spot and Ball is projected to be a top-three pick.
Unless the Knicks land inside the top three, landing Ball will be a challenge and may require a trade, but it almost feels as if the two sides are willing their way into matching with one another.
The Knicks’ interest in Ball has been evident for weeks. New team president Leon Rose has a prior relationship with the Ball family from his time as an agent, and LaMelo – a 6-foot-7 18-year-old playmaker who spent last season with the Illawarra Hawks in Australia -- has the potential makings of a star that the Knicks desperately need.
Meanwhile, LaMelo’s father – LaVar – has suggested the Knicks as the perfect fit for his son on multiple occasions and as recently as two weeks ago when he told Complex’s “Load Management” podcast that his son is an ideal fit for the Knicks and that LaMelo has “been in the spotlight since he was a baby.”
When LaMelo’s older brother, Lonzo, was entering the 2017 NBA Draft, LaVar pumped up the Lakers as the perfect fit for his eldest son and even went as far as to limit his son’s pre-draft workouts to only the Lakers.
Of course, the Lakers landed the No. 2 pick in the draft lottery in 2017 and the chances of missing out on Lonzo were minimal.
If the Knicks are unable to land, or move into the top three picks of the 2020 draft, the Knicks will likely turn to one of the other point guards – Cole Anthony, Tyrese Haliburton, Killian Hayes, Tyrese Maxey – or even trade back for R.J. Hampton or Kira Lewis, according to Berman.
Wherever the Knicks draft, point guard is likely the priority, but LaMelo Ball is the one with the most upside and the Knicks know that.