Skip to main content

LaMelo Ball has ended his season in Australia's National Basketball League, according to ESPN's Jonathan Givony.

"Melo's foot is totally healed, but the doctor's policy is if you're out for six weeks, you must rehab for six weeks," Ball's agent Jermaine Jackson told ESPN via text message. "He's starting court work tomorrow."

Ball has been out since suffering a bone bruise in early December. His team, the Illawarra Hawks, only have six games remaining in the regular season. His decision to end his NBL season early isn't a surprise since Ball is considered one of the top prospects in the 2020 NBA draft.

In 12 games with the Hawks, Ball averaged 17 points, 7.5 rebounds and 6.8 assists this season.

Scroll to Continue

SI Recommends

According to Givony, several NBA scouts think Ball is the most talented draft prospect but worry there are still some areas to improve on. Some people are concerned over Ball's "reportedly erratic work ethic" and the distractions that could come with his father LaVar Ball. LaVar was very outspoken over the Lakers' affairs when LaMelo's older brother Lonzo played in Los Angeles. The Lakers drafted Lonzo Ball as the No. 2 overall pick in the 2017 draft.

There’s also trepidation in league circles surrounding LaMelo Ball's struggles as a shooter. He made just 46% of his two-point attempts and 25% of his three-point tries this season.

In his 2020 NBA draft big board, Sports Illustrated draft expert Jeremy Woo says Ball, "boasts off-the-charts size for a point guard, remarkable vision, and a crafty handle. ....He needs to take care of the ball better, and he may just not be a good shooter, which of course, takes the shine off when put frankly. He can also be mistake-prone and overly freewheeling, and struggles defensively on the perimeter. 

"That said, it's hard to ignore what Ball is doing at such a young age against professional competition, and on a good day he looks like the type of offensive maestro you can construct a team around. He's an enticing, if flawed, proposition atop the draft."