Opposing teams reportedly believe Ball favors Knicks in draft

Sam Amico

Multiple teams believe LaMelo Ball is hoping to land with the New York Knicks in the upcoming draft, according to Ian Begley of SNY.tv, and perhaps recent comments from his dad played a role in that belief.

Ball is a 6-foot-7 point guard and basketball celebrity who has already played professionally overseas. He is expected to be drafted within the top four or five picks -- which may be before the Knicks do their selecting.

We won't know until the NBA holds its annual lottery, expected to take place at the end of August. The Knicks have the sixth-best odds of finishing with the top pick.

“They don’t have anything. The last time they won a championship was back in the 1970s, Lavar Ball said on a recent edition of the Say Less with Kaz podcast. "The bright lights, you need a whole new turnaround over there. The person I want to see (LaMelo) play with -- he can play with anybody. I want to see him play (with), they got to know this – if you getting Melo, you getting Gelo (LiAngelo Ball)."

In other words, whoever drafts LaMelo may have to listen LaVar's campaign for LiAngelo, who has not made an NBA roster at this point his career.

But who knows, maybe the Knicks (and even several others) will be open to it?

"That boy shoot the heck out of that ball," LaVar said of LiAngelo. "Play with chemistry with (LaMelo) better than everybody ever. And after that you have a chance to get ‘Zo (Lonzo Ball). You don’t need one person to change no franchise. You need a whole culture change, and that takes all three of my boys. All three of my boys on the same team? Who ain’t going to watch that show? That would be the biggest show in the NBA ever.”

The Knicks have an almost entirely new front office, headed by former CAA agent and current president Leon Rose. They also have a longtime respected basketball man in William "Worldwide" Wesley, recently named the Knicks' executive vice president.

That said, as Begley noted, some teams may be put off by LaVar Ball's personality. 

"There is an assumption that some teams may be wary of drafting LaMelo Ball because of LaVar Ball’s outspoken nature," Begley wrote. "The Lakers asked him to tone down his criticism of then-Lakers coach Luke Walton to create a more positive atmosphere around Lonzo Ball. We’ll find out in October if there are any teams wary of drafting LaMelo Ball because of the presence of his father."

Along with everything else, the Knicks are in the process of hiring a new coach, with the long list of candidates said to include Tom Thibodeau, Jason Kidd, Kenny Atkinson, Mike Woodson and Mike Brown.