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Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
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Sunday / December 17.
  • Caron Butler: LiAngelo Ball would be a huge hit overseas

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    Caron Butler thinks LiAngelo Ball could be a big hit overseas.

    Perhaps even in a return engagement in China.

    “He’s highly talented,” the former NBA standout told TMZSports in the above video. “I haven’t watched him enough to know if he’s a pro or not but I’m hearing amazing things about him. So if he is a pro I think he still should stay in the lab, which he will. I think his pops will keep him in the lab.

    “And if he can go overseas and jump on a team, whether it’s Australia, China, I mean the name alone would draw a lot of attention so it would work out for him from a basketball standpoint.”

    Since withdrawing LiAngelo, his middle son, from UCLA on Monday, Lavar Ball has reportedly offered LiAngelo Ball and youngest son LaMelo Ball as a package deal to clubs in Japan, France and Croatia, including reigning Croatian League champ KK Cedevita Zagreb.

    LiAngelo was arrested in China last month along with teammates Cody Riley and Jalen Hill and then suspended indefinitely by UCLA (although they were expected to be reinstated before 2018). LaMelo, meantime, is committed to UCLA for 2019 but it appears unlikely he’ll ever play there.

    Lavar told ESPN LiAngleo won’t transfer and instead will train for the NBA Draft.

    The problem is, most NBA personnel don’t see LiAngelo as an NBA prospect.

    Asked if LiAngelo was an NBA prospect, one NBA executive simply said, “No.”

    A second NBA scout said, “I don’t think he’s considered a prospect.”

    ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski added this Tweet:

    All of that begs the question: Where will LiAngelo ball next?

    One mid-major assistant coach reached out to ZAGSBLOG saying his school was willing to offer Ball a scholarship once he’s released from UCLA. But Lavar has said his son won’t transfer and will prep for the Draft.

    But if he’s given no assurances of getting drafted, will LiAngelo head overseas either before or after the draft?

    That could, in turn, help the Big Baller brand. Remember, Lavar was in China when LiAngelo was arrested because he was promoting the Big Baller brand overseas.

    It’s hard to imagine LiAngelo would agree to play in China given what happened, or that the Chinese government would want him there. So that could take away a major market for the Big Baller Brand.

    But playing in Australia or Europe or somewhere else might be an option….

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    Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle. A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013. He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.