Minnesota Timberwolves NBA Draft 2020 Prospect Profile: LaMelo Ball

Potential Minnesota Timberwolves prospect LaMelo Ball. (Photo by Anthony Au-Yeung/Getty Images)
Potential Minnesota Timberwolves prospect LaMelo Ball. (Photo by Anthony Au-Yeung/Getty Images) /
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Minnesota Timberwolves, LaMelo Ball
NBA Draft prospect LaMelo Ball. (Photo by Anthony Au-Yeung/Getty Images) /

LaMelo Ball is one of the top prospects in the 2020 NBA Draft. Is he a viable option for the Minnesota Timberwolves?

The Minnesota Timberwolves already have a star point guard and a star center.

But that shouldn’t preclude them from taking the best prospect in the 2020 NBA Draft, even if there is some level of positional redundancy.

Indeed, among the three likely candidates for the top pick, there is a center, Memphis’ James Wiseman, and a point guard, LaMelo Ball of the NBL’s Illawarra Hawks.

We’ve already broken down the third player’s game, wing Anthony Edwards from the University of Georgia. While he’s the best positional fit with incumbents D’Angelo Russell and Karl-Anthony Towns, there are real question marks about certain aspects of his game.

Wiseman is every bit of seven feet tall and doesn’t stretch the floor, which makes him an unlikely fit next to Towns — especially given everything we know about head coach Ryan Saunders’ desire to play fast and small, with a premium placed on positional flexibility and switchability.

While Ball plays the same position as Russell, he has at least one skill that will be top-level from Day One at the NBA level, and there’s a reason that he’s a real candidate for the No. 1 pick. More on that in a moment.

The Wolves could always surprise everyone with a wild card selection — perhaps French guard Killian Hayes or University of Dayton big Obi Toppin — or they could trade down, picking up assets and landing a later lottery pick. There’s always the possibility that they trade out of the 2020 draft entirely, instead opting to pick up selections in the 2021 edition, to which they currently hold no picks.

The most likely scenario is that the Wolves choose between Ball and Edwards. Wiseman is going to be off the table in the Wolves’ minds, and a trade back will surely be complicated.

Let’s break down Ball’s game, starting with his strengths.