LaMelo Ball, a potential lottery pick in the 2020 NBA draft, will be sidelined the next month while recovering from a foot injury in Australia’s National Basketball League, according to Jonathan Givony of ESPN.
Ball suffered a bruised foot in practice last week, per the report, and was “prescribed to rest” by an Australian foot specialist. The 18-year-old is expected to be out of commission until at least January, and will stay in Australia for his recovery.
Ball has shined so far this season for the Illawarra Hawks, averaging 17 points, 7.6 rebounds and 6.8 assists in more than 31 minutes per game. The 6-foot-7 point guard has posted back-to-back triple-doubles this season, too, becoming the first player in the NBL to do so since 2005.
His decision to forego the collegiate route in favor of Australia’s professional league seems to have paid off too, as his draft stock has risen considerably in recent weeks. Many now consider the youngest of the Ball brothers to be a potential top pick in the draft next June.
“This is LaMelo’s first real competition in his career,” an NBA scout told Yahoo Sports this month. “The fact that he’s putting up numbers like this in a league full of former NBA players is forcing every team to look at him as a potential No. 1 pick.”
NBA scouts, per ESPN, were scheduled to travel to Australia later this month to evaluate Ball and R.J. Hampton — another potential lottery pick who plays for the New Zealand Breakers. They will now likely reschedule their trips when Ball is recovered and back in on the court.
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