LiAngelo Ball, aka the Ball brother who was not a top-3 pick in the NBA Draft, will join the Detroit Pistons in preseason under an Exhibit 10 contract. The deal was first reported by Shams Charania of The Athletic.
First, let’s understand what an Exhibit 10 contract is. It is a deal that allows Detroit to pay a player through a modest signing bonus to suit up during preseason. When the player is cut, and he will be cut, he can be sent to the Grand Rapids Drive without entering the general G League Draft.
Once in the G League, a player could still sign with any NBA team as the Detroit Pistons would no longer own his rights. In brief, it’s a way to target some minor league developmental players, bring them into your system and ensure they get sent to your affiliate G League team.
There is no path for Ball to make the Pistons roster, which already has 15 people under guaranteed contracts.
So what about LiAngelo Ball the player? He is perhaps the son least served by father LaVar, mostly because he didn’t have the ingrained basketball talent to overcome all the absurd oddities all three were put through as teenage basketball prospects.
LiAngelo had a strained and extremely brief career as a UCLA Bruin, then a highly public roadshow like experience on a Lithuanian team with his brothers in 2018, then went undrafted. He then played in the league his father created that attracted extremely limited talent. This past season, he tried to work his way through a legitimate route, signing as a practice player with the Oklahoma City Blue in the G League, but didn’t get to play before the season was shut down.
I hope for the best for Ball, and maybe he can work his way up through the G League to sign a legitimate contract in a legitimate league overseas. But at this point, he really has no path to the NBA and no path to the Pistons.