Lamelo Ball is a supreme prospect, a 6’8″ point guard that can do it all and is absolutely box-office. This is why he is projected to go in the top 3. There is a lot of buzz between he and the New York Knicks, which makes a lot of sense. The Knicks have RJ Barrett, Mitchell Robinson, and Julius Randle, a solid young nucleus that makes a lot of sense… but the Knicks are favorites to sign Tom Thibodeau, the most Anti-lamelo Ball head coach. Lamelo ball would struggle with a coach that doesn’t like playing fast and hasn’t shown the ability to develop young and modern talent. The Pistons are also mentioned but they lack talent. The team that is the best fit for Lamelo Ball is…. the Minnesota Timberwolves. Here’s why:
1. Space and Pace
Unlike New York and Detroit, slower pace teams, Minnesota played with the third fastest pace in the league this season. Minnesota also shot the third most 3-pointers per game in the NBA. Even though they were the 28th worst 3-point shooting team, the Timberwolves still shot 39.7 a game. After trading for guys such as Malik Beasley, D’Angelo Russell, and Juancho Hernagomez, Minnesota have much improved floor spacing. Lamelo would be able to in an up tempo system and the court will opened up with all the shooters that would be surrounding him. We saw Ball thrive in a up tempo system in Chino Hills, he would get to play similarly in Minnesota.
I don’t think this is much of a question. Out of all the teams in the lottery, that seem interested in Ball, the Wolves have the most talent. Yes, they do have Karl-Anthony Towns and newly acquired D’Angelo Russell, but they have more than that: Malik Beasley averaged nearly 21 points per game for them, shooting 47/43/75 splits, he’s only 23. Jarrett Culver, the 6th overall pick last year, showed flashes as a legit 2-way player, and is known as one of the hardest workers in the draft. They also have other nice young players such as Josh Okogie, Jordan McLaughlin, and Naz Reid. With the capable young players around Ball, the court will be more open, allowing him to maximize his playmaking capabilities.
3. Minimal Day-One Pressure
Because of guys like KAT, Russell, and Beasley, Minnesota doesn’t necessarily need Ball to be a star, immediately. He can develop at his own pace and wouldn’t have to be put in positions he isn’t ready for. Once he’s ready to become a lead guard, he would be given that role. Another thing to consider: Ball would be in the “Mini-Apple,” not the “Big Apple.” The media wouldn’t be quite on his throat, unlike New York, so he can simply focus on his game wouldn’t be as distracted by outside noise.
Minnesota provides the best of three worlds: Talent, system, and minimal pressure. Even though destinations, like New York, are good places because of market and solid talent… Minnesota has a talent and system that fits his game best. Plus, in this social media era, market is overrated. New York would spit on him if he can’t turn them around, even though it would be exciting early on. If Ball wins, he will get the clout he deserves, and Minnesota gives Ball the best opportunity to win.