LaMelo Ball dreams of playing next season as the top overall pick.
“Ever since I was a little, when I’d do little projects and stuff, that was one of my goals — to go to the NBA and be the No.1 pick,” Ball said during his Draft Combine zoom call with the media.
Whether that dream will come true with the Minnesota Timberwolves or any team like the New York Knicks, will be known on Nov. 18.
Ball, the consensus top point guard in the Draft, declined to answer which NBA team has talked to him except when he was asked about the Knicks.
“Yeah, I feel like they’re just trying to get know me because there’s a whole lot of stuff out here that you won’t even know if it’s me or not,” Ball said.
When he was asked again if the Knicks did interview him, he had a curt reply: “Yeah.”
The Knicks conducted the interview before the NBA Lottery as noted by Newsday’s Steve Popper. But when Ball was pressed more about the Knicks’ interest on him and if they’re willing to trade for him, he was careful not to divulge any more details.
“That I don’t know. Maybe, maybe not,” he said.
The Knicks currently own the eight pick and have interviewed other guards in the Draft including Killian Hayes, and RJ Hampton, two prospects who also played overseas like Ball. They have also made their due diligence on Florida State U’s duo of Devin Vassell and Patrick Williams as well as Auburn’s Isaac Okoro. The Knicks are also divided on UNC’s Cole Anthony.
There’s no real indication whether the Knicks would trade up for Ball. But if it’s up to LaMelo’s father, LaVar Ball, he wants his son to end up as a Knick and dreams of having all of his three sons play together in the mecca of basketball.
“Oh yes, to the end,” LaVar said in Say Less with Kaz podcast last June.
“They (Knicks) don’t have anything. The last time they won a championship back in the 70s. The bright lights. You need a whole new turnaround over there. The person I want to see him play with, they got to know this, if you’re getting ‘Melo, you’re getting ‘Gelo […] And after that, you have a chance to get ‘Zo. You don’t need one person to change no franchise. You need the whole culture change and that takes all three of my boys […] That would be the biggest show in the NBA ever.”
LaMelo though doesn’t really care where he’ll end up. He could play next to D’Angelo Russell in Minnesota or become the third wheel of Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson in Golden State.
In the same podcast, LaVar said LaMelo and the Warriors are a bad fit. But the projected top-three pick disagrees.
“My old man, he’s his own man. He has his opinions and I have mine,” said the youngest of Ball brothers. “Like I said, I feel like I can play on any team. Anywhere is a great fit. I feel positive anywhere I go. I feel I can make a good impact wherever I go.”