Recent Posts
About ZagsBlog
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.
Follow Zags on Twitter
Contact Zags
Connect with Zags:
Wednesday / October 17.
  • NBA agents weigh in on overseas market for LiAngelo and LaMelo Ball

    Share Zagsblog Share Zagsblog
    With the news that LiAngelo and LaMelo Ball have signed with agent Harrison Gaines, I texted about a half dozen NBA agents to gauge what the market for the brothers might be overseas.

    Here are unedited responses from several agents to the question, “Is there any market for the Ball kids or no?”

    Agent No. 1: “No. It’s about winning.”

    Agent No. 2: “I’m sure – more for marketing purposes than on-court though. Some mid-level team somewhere maybe like Israel D-2.”

    Agent No. 3: “Their combined value is roughly $0. But I bet some low-level team signs them for publicity. It will last a month or two at most.”

    Agent No. 4: “Definitely because of the publicity. I would think they’re going to get offers in a lot of different markets. They’ll probably pick somewhere that has a lot of growth opportunity for the Big Baller Brand. That’s the biggest upside of the whole package thing.”

    Agent No. 5: “LOL. Probably not.”

    Agent No. 6: “I would say probably no. People don’t understand Europe. It’s no joke. They may get signed as a curiosity but it won’t last.”

    Agent No. 7: “LaMelo yes. Gelo is a mid-major combo forward, not a real pro at any level, G-League, overseas included. He might get on with an overseas team because of the youngest one and would have to be a team looking for publicity.”


    Here are several other reactions:

    Finally, ESPN college basketball analyst Fran Fraschilla appeared on The 4 Quarters Podcast this week and offered the following analysis of the situation.

    “[UCLA coach] Steve Alford is doing handstands,” he said. “I don’t think Steve Alford has come home from celebrating the news three nights ago. He’s still partying. It was a marriage arranged for Lonzo Ball to go to UCLA, show his game. His father became an instant celebrity. Steve Alford, who’s a good coach, was on the hot seat. He’s gotten an extension and now he gets to rid himself of the circus. I hate to say it, it’s true. We know it’s true and he can move on. It’s going to be easier for UCLA to recruit other players. It’s an incredible place, the campus, Southern California. Steve obviously has done a good job of recruiting there so I think it’s a win-win for everybody.

    “I don’t know what the two younger brothers are going to do. There’s no market for them in Europe, unless somebody wants to bring the circus to town.

    “I don’t think there’s any interest from any significant professional team around the world. People have got to remember that in Europe there are hundreds and hundreds of pro teams, but just because you make $1,800 a month playing for a quote-unquote pro team in Iceland doesn’t really necessarily make you a pro or a guy who could sustain a long career. So I don’t think there’s any market for the middle Ball brother. I understand the little guy is a pretty good player, but a volume shooter. So we’ll see.”

    I also caught up with ESPN’s Jay Bilas this week and he offered these thoughts on the Ball brothers.

    “I think it’s better that [LiAngelo] plays in college, if you’re asking me what’s better for him as a person, is to play in college,” Bilas said. “It depends on what he wants. If he wants to play professional basketball now, and he wants to live overseas and he’s ready to pursue that life now, that’s great. I don’t see that. I don’t see him as being a long-term pro. He’s good enough to play overseas somewhere, but he’s not an NBA player in my judgment. Maybe that will change as he gets older, gets better. And maybe he’ll work on his game and become a far better player than I see him being.

    “But there are a whole bunch of places that would take him right now to play in college. And for a person of that age, male or female, I think the best place for them to be is in college, for the education, the socialization and being in that environment, I think it’s the best thing. But some of the Balls have proven they think differently.”


    Photo: ESPN

    Follow Adam Zagoria on Twitter

    And like ZAGS on Facebook

    Written by

    [email protected]

    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.