Judging a player’s potential is never an easy task as there are many variables in the path of any athlete. In the NBAIt’s even harder because you’re supposed to decide on a player before they even play a minute in the league. Probably, also known as “the ceiling” in NBA jargon, is a polarizing question about any young player. It’s also a 50-50 lottery because you never know what potential will be. In this comparison, we’ll take a look at Cade Cunningham vs Lamilo Ball.
Comparison of Cady Cunningham and LaMelo Ball
The ball is already a player in the NBA as it was chosen as the third choice in the 2020 NBA Draft by Charlotte Hornets.
His path to the NBA was marked by assignments abroad but only one in Australia could be considered serious. I played professional basketball for Illawarra Hawks and it was solid. He averaged 17 points per game, 7.4 assists and 6.8 rebounds for the Hawks in 31.2 minutes of play.
The Australian League is not any superhero in the world but it was a boy who played among men and he had his own player. The team played at a fast pace similar to what the Hornets use and is where LaMelo excels.
LaMelo Ball’s strengths and weaknesses
His strength translated so well into the NBA because the team that drafted it decided to embrace it. It did not force him to integrate into a system. Instead, they reconfigured the system around its strengths. He is a very good player at handling the ball. He is fast and cunning in traffic. He has a deep range despite some unconventional mechanisms and can hit the ball with a decent cut (37.5% per season). His vision on the field and his passes are ridiculous for a player of his age, and he excels in that, especially in the open field.
LaMelo is not an exceptional athlete but he has shown that his game is not so dependent on his sport that it is not considered a major flaw. What is a big disadvantage is his defense, as he does not play anything and often takes his possessions on the defensive end. That is in line with most of the odds coming into the NBA in the past decade so it was to be expected. His basketball IQ should allow him to become a regular defender down the line especially when he fills his frame and increases his effort on that side of the ball.
Kid Cunningham’s strengths and weaknesses
Cade Cunningham has never played in the NBA as he will enter the league after the 2021 NBA Draft.
Cunningham is widely regarded as the best player in this year’s category and will likely end up being the number one pick. He played college basketball in Oklahoma and was exceptional. The goalkeeper scored 20.1 points per game, 3.5 assists and 6.2 boards.
He is a terrestrial general you rarely see at the college basketball level, as his game has been so smooth and polished. He excels at Pick and Roll which should translate to the NBA well and his passing is great. His shot is powerful with his underperformance but also underrated.
Seems to be the perfect player, right? Well, not quite. He lacks the detonation that can be annoying because he will need to rely on skilled play in traffic to finish the rim. The NBA’s elite defenders will not be defeated by dribbling. This isn’t a big issue if you are Luca Doncic But despite being compared to him, Cunningham lacked the experience that Luka had brought with him to the NBA.
Like any young player, his defense leaves much to be desired for the time being but in the near future, he should become a regular defender and possibly a plus.
Comparing LaMelo and Cunningham in terms of potential is a challenging task because they are two very different players doing similar things so well. The ball is the goalkeeper who is an attacking initiator who is able to manage a team. He’s not a natural scorer but he’s more than adept at doing it if his team needs it.
The clutch factor has been shown in games this year as well which is a plus. Cunningham is a point forward and he is also the initiator of the attack, able to manage a team that has the ability to guard all five locations as well. The value of that in today’s game is enormous.
His best skill is passing and he is more of a natural pass rather than a scorer. There are no obvious loopholes in his game other than the lack of detonation that he shouldn’t eliminate on the next level. He is definitely the most complete player to enter the league in several years and has a role there once he steps onto the field. He will be good at that, but whether or not he will be great will depend on his ability to become the top scorer for his team. After all, it all depends on whether you can win your team.
LaMelo Ball vs Cade Cunnigham: Referee
If we go by the raw potential, Cunningham is the clear winner here.
There are no loopholes in his game and he has shown ways to overcome his lack of blast. How effective is it against The best defenders are waiting for him in the NBA It remains to be seen but at least he expects to be a good player in the NBA. It can get great but its development has to be consistent. If everything fell into place for him, he could end up becoming a Doncic player, which would place him among the MVP nominees.
Despite the quality of the ball, his future is uncertain.
He would need to fill up his frame if he wanted to become a constant threat to driving in this league. He will likely never become a plus defender, but his vision and passes in court should allow him to succeed in the league for a very long time.
Ball has experience on his part that really shows the potential to become successful in the NBA. This is something Cunningham has yet to do, and in the end, you will never know how a player will adapt to the best league in the world. If he does, as one would expect, he should end up being the best player overall.