The NBL’s Next Stars program has definitely captured attention. In the ESPN 2020 mock draft, LaMelo Ball’s ranking rose, and sees him selected 24th by the Brooklyn Nets.
Ball recently announced his decision to commit to the NBL’s Next Stars program on ESPN’s The Jump.
His decision came after fellow NBA lottery prospect, R.J. Hampton similarly announced his decision to join the NBL’s New Zealand Breakers.
According to NBL’s Liam Santamaria, Ball was ranked at 33rd in the previous ESPN mock draft.
In the article, Givony noted Hampton and Ball’s commitment to the NBL will have NBA executives making the trek down under. This could benefit other talented youngsters in the NBL as well.
The most obvious examples would be Ball’s Illawarra teammates: big man Sam Froling, who will be an entrant in the 2020 NBA draft, and also 6’5 guard Daniel Grida.
Froling committed to the Hawks in March this year, on a three-year deal. Grida is currently on a 2-year contract, signed last year.
Other notable lottery projections include Next Star R.J. Hampton (6th) to the Washington Wizards, and Australia’s Josh Green (15th) to the Detroit Pistons.