LaMelo Ball is slated to be a top lottery pick in the 2020 NBA Draft.
According to college basketball expert Rashad Phillips, the Toronto Raptors are looking to make a trade to get Ball. “I see some trades coming,” Phillips told me on today’s episode of the Scoop B Radio Podcast.
“I really believe that the Toronto Raptors are trying to move up in the Draft to get LaMelo Ball.”
Ball, 18, averaged 17 points, 7.5 rebounds and 6.8 assists in 31 minutes per game for the Illawarra Hawks in Australia’s NBL League this season.
Phillips tells Scoop B Radio that the Raptors’ front office is sold on Ball’s potential. “So it’s not etched in stone that the Golden State Warriors will get the number one pick,” he said.
“I still think there’s some trades that’s going to happen and teams are going to try to move up for LaMelo Ball. I believe the Toronto Raptors will try to move up and get him. And if the Raptors can somehow get that number one pick out of Golden State in a three-team trade with Philadelphia, Toronto and Golden State; if they can mix some players and money around, I believe the Raptors will take LaMelo Ball at number one. I just believe that he has the flare of the game. He understands the platform. He understands the entertainment of the game. He understands the pulse of the game and his ability to score, knock down shots. His vision, his size, just a kid who was bred to play at this level. So I’m extremely excited to see what he’s going to bring to the table for an NBA francize and its fans.”
So…Ben Simmons to the Warriors?
Tell me more!
“I believe the experiement in Philly is over,” Rashad Phillips tells Scoop B Radio.
“I just believe that Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid just are not compatible in regards to how the NBA style is played. Not personally compatible, just the way the spacing; Ben Simmons’ inability to make jumpshots, Joel Embiid’s ability to want to shoot jumpshots, I just don’t think it’s a good mix. If I’m the Raptors, I’ll trade Kyle Lowry to Philly. Philly needs a point guard, I believe Kyle Lowry is one of the premiere point guards in the NBA. Philly needs that. I would send Ben Simmons to Golden State for maybe a pick and some players. If I’m the Raptors, I’d try to get in that mix to get LaMelo Ball.”
According to Phillips, there’s ‘some action there.’
“Don’t be surprised if you do see that,” he told me. “Between those three teams, there’s some business that needs to be done.”
One league official told me by phone that mathematically those three teams could make a move. I was also told not to count out the New York Knicks who have an interest in 76ers forward, Joel Embiid.
Meanwhile back at the ranch: LaMelo Ball recently inked a deal with Jay-Z’s Roc Nation Sports. “What I like about Roc Nation is they don’t say what is good for us,” LaMelo Ball’s father, LaVar Ball told me last week.
“They take care of us the same not like when they get around to it.
“I think with Roc Nation, they even sound good – We gonna ‘Roc’ the world. Big Baller. Look at the name sounds good. We don’t want to join the team, we want to join the nation.”
On the Scoop B Radio Podcast, Rashad Phillips tells me that Roc Nation and LaMelo Ball is a good fit. “I think it’s a perfect marriage,” he said.
“When you look at a kid like LaMelo Ball again who understands the temperature of the sport and he’s so marketable and you pair that with a fantastic corporation like Roc Nation who pretty much has their hand in the culture, you pair that; I just think that’s a win-win situation for both sides.”
The only thing missing is a sneaker deal. I’m told that Puma and Reebok are high suitors. Back in the winter, NBL analyst, Corey “Homicide” Williams shared on Twitter that a sneaker company was willing to pay Ball $100 Million and provide a jet for him to use at his disposal.
“They are not going to lose Melo,” Williams told me following the tweet.
“They are going to do everything in their power to execute this offer. In my opinion, this company knows this is a one of kind opportunity. Melo hype is as big as MJ. Pick one.”