Top prospect LaMelo Ball has declared for the 2020 NBA Draft, Shams Charania of The Athletic reported Tuesday.
Ball, who is expected to be one of the first players off the board, is now allowed to begin the virtual pre-draft process with teams.
The 18-year-old Ball, who played in the NBL in Australia this past season, averaged 17.0 points. 6.8 assists, 7.6 rebounds, and 1.6 steals while playing 31.3 minutes per game in 12 games played for Illawara.
With the NBA season paused due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Knicks currently have the sixth-worst record in the league at 21-45, which comes with a 9.0 percent chance to land the top pick via the lottery and a 37.2 percent chance to get a top 4 pick.
If the 2019-20 NBA season resumes, there's a chance that only teams in playoff contention play on. The Warriors, who have the worst record in the league, are reportedly preparing as if the season would resume without them.
When it comes to Ball, his father, Lavar, said in March that he felt the Knicks would be the best fit for him.
"The best fit, in my eyes, is New York," Lavar said. "The New York Knicks because I know Melo. Melo is a big-city guy. He likes that. He'd love it. So everybody's talking about the city type of thing. Cleveland, he already lived in Cleveland. He don't like that cold weather like that -- especially if you're not going to be inside with a lot of bright lights.
"So I think it's about time for New York. I kind of feel like they're going to get the first pick, on the fact that they missed it so many times and it's time for it to happen to them."
With the Knicks still looking for their point guard of the future, LaMelo seems like a perfect fit. If they miss out, it's possible New York could instead turn to a player such as Tyrese Haliburton or Cole Anthony with their first pick. In addition to their likely lottery pick, the Knicks also have the No. 27 overall pick in the draft, and point guard Kira Lewis Jr. -- widely projected as a late first-round pick -- could be waiting there.