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Is LiAngelo Ball the Next Klay Thompson?

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The comparisons for LiAngelo Ball and Klay Thompson started early due to what his father called the light-skinned factor. However, as coincidental as it may be, the two do share interesting similarities that would bode well for the middle Ball brother in his NBA aspirations.

Aside from the obvious, Thompson is the player whom LiAngelo should aspire to play like. For all of the offensive prowess Thompson receives — and for good reason — it has been his defense that has made him a top player. Any analyst will tell you that if you leave Thompson open for a split second, you deserve to have him drain a 3-pointer in your face. However, he is easily a top-5 on-ball defender who can guard one through four, and do so very effectively.

With LiAngelo, he’s a stout 6-foot-5 and every bit of 235 pounds (maybe slimmer now). He’s light enough on his feet to stay with smaller guards, and strong enough to guard today’s power forwards. To me, he could be at worst a better version of the Rockets’ P.J. Tucker, whose gritty style of play has continued to earn him roster spots. The offensive potential is what scouts will cling to as his shooting stroke is enough to strike fear in opposing coaches, especially when he’s on. Case in point, he made 6 of 10 3’s against BC Zalgiris, for a team-high of 25 points.

Klay Thompson

Klay Thompson is one of the best two-way players in the NBA. LiAngelo Ball would be best served to model his entire game after him, not just the physical comparisons. (Photo by Keith Allison)

The plan according to the Big Baller, LaVar is for LiAngelo to enter the draft this year. That means he has four months to prepare and prove that he can be on par at some point with what Thompson has been for the past seven seasons. If he can show that, he has a shot to play in the NBA, and be two-thirds of the Ball collaboration in Los Angeles.

Brandon Williams is the Editor in Chief for Fresh Sports TalkYou can follow him on Twitter @TalkinWithFresh, or “Like” him on Facebook.

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