2020 NBA Draft: Detroit Pistons and luring in LaMelo Ball

Lamelo Ball of the Hawks in Wollongong, Australia. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)
Lamelo Ball of the Hawks in Wollongong, Australia. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images) /

LaMelo Ball is the best play maker in the NBA Draft and tonight, the Detroit Pistons should strategically lure in the 19-year-old to the Motor City.

An uncanny ability to be a facilitator and playmaker who is also 6-foot-8  is absolutely sought after and a necessity at the NBA level. Bringing such exhilaration in those abilities to a city like Detroit would drastically alter the basketball future of the Pistons.

LaMelo Ball, the youngest of LaVar Ball’s sons, has reportedly been encompassing the city of Detroit prior to the NBA draft set for 8 p.m. tonight. According to Omari Sankofa II of the Detroit Free Press, Ball and his trainer (a Detroit native and former Detroit Mercy player and coach) confirmed they have been in the city since March.

"“I’m always happy to hear players embrace our organization, our city,” said Pistons GM Troy Weaver at a recent press availability. “That never goes unnoticed. I know people around him, his trainer, what have you, is a Detroit native. He’s been here for a while working out. I’m sure he’s well-versed in the city, traveling around being with his trainer, hearing different things. That doesn’t go unnoticed. That’s always a positive, when prospects speak highly of the city and the organization. That’s always a positive. We do plan on trying to visit with him here before the draft.”"

With the recent news that the youngest Ball brother has been training in Detroit, and enjoying his time in the city, the hook has already been set.

Now, setting and landing the king salmon that is LaMelo Ball are completely different aspects. Pistons General Manager Troy Weaver should proceed with caution, as emptying the tackle box of assets on draft night certainly isn’t how the off-season should begin.

So much has to go right in order for the Pistons to find themselves in position to draft ESPN’s best available prospect. Weaver confirmed that “everything is on the table” including teetering in the draft to kick start their shortened off season.

Related Story. Detroit Pistons: LaMelo Ball is Penny Hardaway 2.0. light

Now that the NBA’s trade moratorium has been lifted, Weaver already has his fingerprints coated in the market. According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, with the very first trade in the 2020 NBA off season, the Pistons dealt combo guard Bruce Brown to the Brooklyn Nets for Dzanan Musa and a 2021 second-round pick.

With the trade, the Pistons, as of now, will be uncomfortably thin at the guard position with Derrick Rose and Luke Kennard the only near locks for the 2021 season. Langston Galloway or Jordan Bone (now a free agent) could return for the right deal, but this would still leave Detroit with a gaping hole in the back court.

This brings us to the draft, which is  mere hours away now.

The front office is absolutely interested in Ball’s talents, as they were just one of four teams to witness an individual workout. According to ESPN’s Jonathan Givony, the Golden State Warriors and Charlotte Hornets were in attendance along with the Pistons for the recent private work out. The Minnesota Timberwolves, who own the draft’s No. 1 pick, held a workout with Ball previously.

Bleacher Report’s final mock draft predicts the Charlotte Hornets will select Ball with the third overall pick. Thus, Detroit would have to almost certainly move up in order to snag Ball. Weaver’s deal to land Ball is quite intriguing to think about.

Detroit has the future in front of them with an arsenal of picks and several players that could very well entice a team like the Hornets, Warriors and Timberwolves. CBS Sports latest mock draft has the Pistons trading their 2022 first round pick along with Tony Snell to the Timberwolves for the No. 1 overall pick.

Although Snell is an excellent “three and D” veteran, dumping the $12 million player option that he just recently picked up would further relieve salary cap space for future prospects. Yes, it does leave Detroit with a piece missing on the wing. However, with free agency immediately following the draft, the Pistons have plenty of salary cap space to entice several veteran wing players.

Even if the Pistons decide not to trade up to No. 1, the Warriors and Hornets are still readily available and willing to listen to offers.

The deal would have to involve a Pistons player and the most logical would be Snell. Trading away such a young, promising and on-the-rise player like Luke Kennard, would most certainly be excruciatingly painful to endure.

Other options may include veterans Derrick Rose or Blake Griffin. Enticing the Warriors with Griffin could potentially make sense, as the Warriors are looking to squeeze out what’s left of their championship window.

If the Timberwolves stray away from Ball at No. 1, the Warriors and Pistons could swap picks and players such as Griffin and Andrew Wiggins. Under contract for a year longer than Griffin, Wiggins might pinch pennies in Detroit for future finances. If the Pistons can avoid any other massive contracts in the deal, it will allow them to still pursue their highest priority in free agency which is Christian Wood.

Wood would seamlessly fit into the prominent playmaker in the front court and this gives Griffin a sure-fire surge at that illustrious NBA title.

For Pistons fans, the question remains the same. Is Ball really worth all of this?

It has already been noted that Weaver is aggressively pursuing to make this team his own. He’s a risk taker and landing the best available prospect in the draft is surely a risk to be taken.

He has arguably the highest ceiling out of any player in the draft and thus makes him the ultimate high risk/high reward. Without question, Ball makes more plays than any other player in the draft. He creates life on the basketball court and the Pistons are in dire need of offensive juice.

The question marks? Yes, of course he has a rather cumbersome shooting motion and atrocious defense at times. He needs a coach and mentor like Dwane Casey to help calm his erratic decision making.

But this is the risk and leap you take if you’re Weaver and the Pistons. Ball is a lanky 6-foot-8 with other worldly intangibles in handling the basketball. He has a panoramic vision of the court at all times, and can make Jason Kidd-like passes effortlessly. These are abilities that you just cannot coach, and that will bring thunderous electricity to a city like Detroit. Just take a gander at this video to see for yourself:


If Christian Wood is retained, the potential of a pick-and-roll duo between the two would be masterful. Toss in a veteran presence and mentor in Rose, along with knock down shooters in Kennard and Svi Mykhailiuk, and the Pistons have a future full of promise.

In his last five outings in the Australia National Basketball League, Ball averaged over 23 points a game eight assists and nine rebounds. An almost automatic triple double, Ball has never lacked confidence in his game or demeanor.

"“I feel like I’m born for this,” the talented point guard said over Zoom on Tuesday, according to the New York Post. “I feel like I’m just the right man for it,” Ball said, referring to the No. 1 pick. “Like I said, I feel like I’m born for this whole thing going on, so that’s pretty much my answer right there.”"

Doesn’t that sound just bring the slightest bit of familiarity? Rose spoke those words into existence after a walloping buzzer beater against the New Orleans Pelicans last season.

How ironic that a 19-year-old from Chino Hills, California repeated the same statement as an all-star and fiery guard in Rose. It would be almost too perfect if the two were teammates in the 2021 season.

LaVar Ball hopes the Detroit Pistons draft his son LaMelo Ball.. dark. Next

The Detroit Pistons will soon be on the clock. Luring and landing LaMelo Ball will paint a compelling future for the city of Detroit.

General Manager Troy Weaver and the Detroit Pistons, the Ball is, literally, in your court.