Vytautas Prienu (Lithuania)
6’5″, 230 pounds
Big Board Ranking: 86 OVR
Stats: 12.6 PPG, 2.9 RBPG, 0.9 APG, 42.5 FG%, 41.5 3FG%
Ball played high school basketball at the powerhouse Chino Hills in California, where he teamed up with his brothers Lonzo and LaMelo. In 2016, his Huskies had an undefeated season before Lonzo Ball went to UCLA, and then the NBA. LiAngelo Ball committed to UCLA and only played in one game before he was indefinitely suspended for shoplifting in China. His father, LaVar Ball and founder of Big Baller Brand, moved him and his brother LaMelo to Lithuania to play professionally in Lithuania. LiAngelo Ball found moderate success in this league, averaging 12.6 points per game. He then scored 72 points against the Guangdong Southern Tigers youth team before declaring for the NBA draft.
LiAngelo Ball is a very good three-point shooter, shooting 41.5% in Lithuania. He is a quick, compact stroke with good mechanics. He has an ability to hit spot-up threes at a high rate and hits contested threes at a fair rate. Ball has a solid post game; he mostly relies on his drop-step move to beat defenders, which has proven to be effective for years. His frame helps him, as Ball has the strength to defend in the post. He is a solid athlete with good leaping ability. He is a decent rebounder on the defensive glass. Having a brother in the NBA could help ease the transition.
Ball’s shot selection is very poor; he often passes up a good shot for a more contested one early in the shot clock. His ball handling ability is poor and has trouble beating defenders off of the dribble. Ball often loses focus on the offensive end, missing easy layups and committing dumb turnovers. He is not a willing passer and doesn’t have capable vision. In the post, Ball often gets overconfident and shows tunnel vision, neglecting open teammates. He only has one viable move in the post.
LiAngelo Ball is atrocious on the defensive end. Despite his strong frame, Ball doesn’t have the lateral quickness to stay in front of guards or the height/length to stay contest most bigs. He leaves his feet too often when he closes out, leaving himself way out of position. He finds himself ball watching and helps one pass away, leading to open shots.
Ball doesn’t understand weak side positioning, help defense, or rotations at a high enough level. He too often runs to the offensive side after a shot goes up, neglecting the chance to offensive rebound. He is foul prone and reaches in when he is beat instead of sliding his feet to recover. Ball’s off the court issues may hinder him in the league.
Many fans have wondered for months if LiAngelo Ball will be on an NBA roster on June 21st. The film shows that Ball is not an NBA talent in the slightest. Three-point shooters are a dime a dozen in today’s NBA and he doesn’t distinguish himself enough from the masses to make a big impact. His deficiencies in almost every other aspect of the game hold him back. The drama around his family will certainly turn some people away but I wouldn’t be shocked if Ball gets drafted. Maybe a small market team like Memphis drafts Ball purely for the media attention and ticket/jersey sells that LiAngelo’s name will grant them. Expect to see LiAngelo Ball in action in the Summer League, and most likely in the G-League next season.
Ben Pfeifer is the Managing Editor of the Colts for Full Press Coverage, the AFC South Division Editor, and head NBA editor. Want to continue the discussion? Contact Ben Pfeifer on Twitter @Ben_Pfeifer_, @FPC_NBA and @FPC_Colts.