Sources: LaMelo, LiAngelo Ball agree to one-year deals with first-division Lithuanian team

LaMelo and LiAngelo Ball have turned pro, agreeing to one-year contracts with Vytautas Prienai in the first-division Lithuanian league, sources told Yahoo Sports.

LaMelo, 16, and LiAngelo Ball, 19, agreed to deals with Vytautas that will allow the two prospects to start their careers in a competitive professional league with a history of producing NBA players and focus on development. Both will report to the team in early January, sources told Yahoo Sports. LaMelo and LiAngelo — the younger brothers of Los Angeles Lakers starting point guard Lonzo Ball — began the process of exploring international deals last week.

They have now committed to a Lithuanian team that won a championship last season and plays in competitive games in the Baltic and Lithuanian leagues, which includes teams that participate in EuroCup (Lietkabelis) and EuroLeague (Zalgiris). Several notable players have spent time in the Lithuanian league before joining the NBA or other leagues, including Toronto Raptors center Jonas Valanciunas, the No. 5 pick in the 2011 NBA draft; Boston Celtics center Aron Baynes; ex-Houston and New Orleans forward Donatas Motiejunas; former New York Knicks forward Mindaugas Kuzminskas; and Isaiah Hartenstein, who was a second-round pick to Houston in the 2017 draft.

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The Ball family -- LaVar, Lonzo, LiAngelo and LaMelo
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The Ball family -- LaVar, Lonzo, LiAngelo and LaMelo
CHINO, CA - SEPTEMBER 02: (L-R) Lonzo Ball, LaMelo Ball, LiAngelo Ball and LaVar Ball attend Melo Ball's 16th Birthday on September 2, 2017 in Chino, California. (Photo by Joshua Blanchard/Getty Images for Crosswalk Productions )
LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 23: Lonzo Ball #2 of the Los Angeles Lakers talks to the media during a press conference at their training faculity in June 23, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 02: LaVar Ball holds courd during The Los Angeles Lakers game against the Denver Nuggets at Staples Center on October 2, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Allen Berezovsky/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 01: UCLA guard LiAngelo Ball (15) looks on during an college exhibition basketball game between the Cal State Los Angeles and the UCLA Bruins on November 1, 2017, at Pauley Pavilion in Los Angeles, CA. (Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - JULY 07: LaMelo Ball, brother of Lonzo Ball #2 of the Los Angeles Lakers, walks off the court after shooting baskets as part of a promotion during a timeout of a 2017 Summer League game between the Lakers and the Los Angeles Clippers at the Thomas & Mack Center on July 7, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Clippers won 96-93 in overtime. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 02: Lonzo Ball #2 of the Los Angeles Lakers looks on during the first half of a preseason game against the Denver Nuggets at Staples Center on October 2, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 13: (L-R) Ice Cube and Lavar Ball compete in the Four Point Challenge during week eight of the BIG3 three on three basketball league at Staples Center on August 13, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 01: (L-R) LaMelo and LiAngelo Ball attend the game between the UCLA Bruins and the Washington Huskies at Pauley Pavilion on March 1, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 13: LaVar Ball sits with his son LaMelo as they watch games during week eight of the BIG3 three on three basketball league at Staples Center on August 13, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/BIG3/Getty Images)
JIMMY KIMMEL LIVE - 'Jimmy Kimmel Live' airs every weeknight at 11:35 p.m. EST and features a diverse lineup of guests that includes celebrities, athletes, musical acts, comedians and human-interest subjects, along with comedy bits and a house band. The guests for Monday, June 12 included Diane Keaton ('AFI Life Achievement Award: A Tribute to Diane Keaton'), Lonzo and LaVar Ball and musical guest Phoenix. (Randy Holmes/ABC via Getty Images) LAVAR BALL, LONZO BALL, JIMMY KIMMEL
BROOKLYN, NY - JUNE 22: Lonzo Ball the number two pick selected by the Los Angeles Lakers talks to the media at the 2017 NBA Draft on June 22, 2017 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2017 NBAE (Photo by Chris Marion/NBAE via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 22: Lonzo Ball walks on stage with NBA commissioner Adam Silver after being drafted second overall by the Los Angeles Lakers during the first round of the 2017 NBA Draft at Barclays Center on June 22, 2017 in New York City. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 22: LaVar Ball, father of second overall pick Lonzo Ball of the Los Angeles Lakers, speaks to media during the first round of the 2017 NBA Draft at Barclays Center on June 22, 2017 in New York City. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Mike Lawrie/Getty Images)
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Over the past week, Harrison Gaines, the representative for LaMelo and LiAngelo, fielded multiple offers and worked to finalize the finer details of a unique contract situation. For LaMelo and LiAngelo, the opportunity to play meaningful minutes in each potential level of play for Vytautas was as important as the flexibility of their one-year agreements.

“We engaged in serious talks with several teams, and Vytautas made the most sense as LaMelo and LiAngelo work to develop as professionals and set a foundation for their careers,” Gaines said. “It was critical to find a situation in a competitive league that works with both of their short- and long-term goals.”

LaMelo left Chino Hills High in California before his junior season this year to be home-schooled and is considered a legitimate pro prospect. The move to turn pro overseas is unprecedented for the consensus top-10 player in the class of 2019, who is skipping two years of high school and his commitment at UCLA. Luka Doncic — the potential No. 1 pick in the 2018 NBA draft — turned pro in Europe early in his basketball life and has set a recent standard of development and ability to succeed against older competition in tougher leagues.

Former Gonzaga standout Kevin Pangos and two-year NBA veteran Brandon Davies currently play for the Lithuanian league’s top team, Zalgiris.

LiAngelo parted ways with UCLA last week to begin focusing on his training for professional basketball. LiAngelo and UCLA teammates Cody Riley and Jordan Hill were involved in a shoplifting incident in China in November and received indefinite suspensions.

LaMelo, a gifted 6-foot-5 point guard, and LiAngelo, a 6-foot-5 scorer, starred at Chino Hills High, where LaMelo had a 92-point performance in February and LiAngelo had a 72-point game last December. Both joined Lonzo to lead Chino Hills to a state championship in 2016.

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