Hey, what do you know, soon after LaMelo Ball informed Slam magazine that he was enrolling at Spire Institute to finish his prep career one year after dropping out of high school to play professionally in Lithuania, sources told The Athletic’s Shams Charania that LiAngelo Ball also has a basketball future.
It really makes you wonder who might want this news out there simultaneously.
Anyway, LiAngelo has informed G League teams that he intends to join the NBA developmental league’s free-agent player pool, according to Charania. What that means, exactly, isn’t entirely clear.
Sources on @TheAthleticNBA @WatchStadium: LiAngelo Ball has notified NBA G League teams that he is planning to enter player pool to sign a G League contract. Ball went undrafted in June NBA draft after playing in Lithuania last season.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) November 6, 2018
You and I can also inform G League teams that we intend to join the free-agent player pool.
Players returning from overseas, where LiAngelo played 14 games with LaMelo for Vytautus Prienu before the two of them left before the end of their contracts in April, can sign G League contracts to enter a 48-hour waiver wire process. If a player clears waivers, he then joins an “available player pool” and becomes eligible to sign with any G League he pleases, according to 2ways10days.com.
Players are evaluated by the league based on team interest and past playing experience, among other factors, before being signed to a contract. LiAngelo Ball has not yet signed a contract with the G League, league sources told Yahoo Sports. It remains uncertain whether he will in the near future.
Between leaving Lithuania and reminding G League teams that his basketball services are available, LiAngelo entered the NBA draft, worked out with the Golden State Warriors and informed the media, “I feel pretty good going into the draft. I feel like I’m going to get drafted. I feel like I can produce for a team. But if I don’t, I’ll go to the G League, be a free agent or join a summer-league team.”
He also worked out for the Lakers, the team that employs his brother Lonzo. That late May workout was met with multiple reports that LiAngelo would not be drafted, would not be invited to the summer league and would not make a G League roster, all of which came to fruition a few weeks later.
The NBA executives I have spoken to about LiAngelo Ball have all said that they don’t feel he’s talented enough to play in the G-League. https://t.co/ECv8ybnuHa
— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanHoops) May 30, 2018
When LaVar Ball launched the Junior Basketball Association in June, LiAngelo told NiceKicks.com, “Right now, I’m taking it day by day. I’ll be willing to play in the G League and get moved up from there. That’s an option. I’m not going to play in the JBA. I feel like that’s taking a step back for me. If I have to play in the G League, then that’s what it’s going to be. I’m not running away from the work.”
Less than two weeks later, LiAngelo joined the JBA. When G League teams held open tryouts in September, he instead opted to participate in the JBA’s international tour. LiAngelo was not one of the 100-plus players signed to join the G League’s list of draft-eligible players for last month’s draft.
Now that LiAngelo has reportedly informed teams that “he is planning to enter [the] player pool to sign a G League contract,” he would then need to actually sign a G League contract to enter the player pool to potentially join a team. Then, a team would have to agree to pay him, leaving two significant steps between LiAngelo’s current status as a player in need of basketball work and G League stardom.
LiAngelo Ball would be a sophomore under scholarship at UCLA right now if his father had not pulled him out of school in December to spend the next 11 months in search of a legitimate basketball home.
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