Draymond effusively praises LaMelo, but ‘riding with' Wiseman


LaMelo Ball had a terrific game against the Sacramento Kings back on Feb. 28, racking up 24 points and 12 assists in the Charlotte Hornets' shocking come-from-behind victory.

Draymond Green was watching and tweeted: "Lamelo is a problem!"

During an appearance Wednesday on ESPN's morning show "First Take," the Warriors forward expounded his thoughts on Ball.

"I must be completely honest -- my mom and I talk basketball all the time," Draymond started. "I hadn't had a chance to really see LaMelo play much. He was in Australia, and I'm not one to really follow a ton of high school kids -- unless I personally know them or they're going to Michigan State. 

"My mom would call me earlier in the year [and say], 'LaMelo is good.' And I'm like, "Ah, ma. He's putting up stats but a lot of people put up stats. I'm not sure I believe the stats.' I hadn't really watched him play.

"And as I've watched him play ... my goodness. I texted my mom not long ago. I said, 'Mom. You were right. LaMelo is problem.' I love his game. He's super fast. I had no clue he's fast and downhill like that.

"He's extremely smart, and he doesn't even know how to play the NBA game yet. He's just out there playing, having fun. He passes the ball with the best of them already.

"I think Charlotte and MJ [Michael Jordan] got this one right. That kid is gonna be a stud."

LaMelo, the No. 3 overall pick in last year's draft, is averaging 15.8 points, 6.0 rebounds, 6.3 assists and 1.6 steals this season, while shooting 45 percent overall and nearly 38 percent from beyond the arc.

Golden State rookie center James Wiseman, the No. 2 overall pick, is averaging 11.8 points, 5.9 rebounds and 1.1 blocks through 26 games, while shooting 51 percent from the field and 37 percent from deep.

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Don't worry Warriors fans -- Draymond had Wiseman's back.

"I'm riding with mine 'til the death. I gotta roll with James," the three-time NBA champion said. "And I think as James gets back out there over the course of the next half of the season, he'll get back to the top of that rookie ladder like he was at the beginning."

If Wiseman does show significant growth over the final 35 games, that will go a long way towards the Warriors securing a spot in the playoffs.

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