Following in the footsteps of his older brother, Los Angeles Lakers point guard Lonzo Ball, LiAngelo Ball declared for June’s NBA Draft on Tuesday at just 19-years old.
LiAngelo’s agent Harrison Gaines told Yahoo Sports that his client has filed his paperwork and expects to work out for several NBA teams in the months ahead in addition to participating in the Pro Basketball Combine at IMG Academy in Florida.
But unlike Lonzo, who was picked second overall as a 19-year old in June of 2017, LiAngelo faces much tougher odds considering he never played a minute of college basketball. The second of the three Ball brothers initially followed Lonzo to UCLA but was suspended for the season after admittedly stealing sunglasses along with two teammates at an upscale Chinese mall ahead of the Bruins’ season opener in Shanghai on November 10.
LiAngelo (right) has played well in Lithuania, averaging a league-leading 15.7 points while making an impressive 45 percent of his three-point attempts in nine first-division games
LaMelo Ball (far left), LiAngelo Ball (near left) and their father LaVar Ball (far right) attend a press conference in Prienai, Lithuania, where the two younger Ball sons play for Vytautas
The three UCLA freshmen were held for several days at the team hotel before being released back to the United States.
Instead of waiting out the suspension, Ball and younger brother LaMelo signed professionally with Lithuanian team Vytautas Prienu, making themselves ineligible to play collegiately in the U.S.
LiAngelo has played well in Lithuania, averaging a league-leading 15.7 points while making an impressive 45 percent of his three-point attempts in nine first-division games. But in spite of his solid performance, and his outspoken father LaVar’s stated goal of shepherding all three of his sons onto the Lakers, LiAngelo is not expected to be picked by any NBA team.
According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, LiAngelo (left) was said to have ‘no chance’ at being drafted in the June NBA Draft, and ‘that was true before his shoplifting incident.’ Lonzo (right) currently leads the Lakers with 7.3 assists and 1.7 steals per game as a rookie
Whereas Lonzo was an elite recruit out of Southern California’s Chino Hills High and LaMelo famously scored 92 points in a single high school game, LiAngelo was given just three out of five stars by 247Sports, which ranked the 6ft5 forward as the 226th-rated player in his graduating class.
NBADraft.net has him going unpicked this June and LiAngelo is not among the 150 players ranked in ESPN’s NBA Draft coverage.
According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, LiAngelo was said to have ‘no chance’ at being drafted in the June NBA Draft, and ‘that was true before his shoplifting incident in China.’
‘He’s not on any of our scouting lists — even the extended lists,’ one NBA general manager told Wojnarowski.
LiAngelo Ball (right) and Cody Riley speak to the media during a press conference at Pauley Pavilion on November 15, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. Ball, Riley and Jalen Hill were suspended from the team after admittedly shoplifting while on a school trip to China