The NBA draft was and is a total crapshoot (no pun intended). But the Charlotte Hornets were able to select LaMelo Ball with the second pick, and thus give him the opportunity to play alongside his older brother LiAngelo. The younger Ball is under the impression that he is the best player on the court, which is why he often gets physical with his opponents. The seven-footer was suspended for three games after hitting Atlanta Hawks forward John Collins in the groin with an elbow.
After trading away their first round pick in this summer’s NBA Draft, the New Orleans Hornets are now in position to land two of the most highly sought after players in this year’s draft: 2018 NBA Draft prospects Mo Bamba and Bol Bol.
The NBA Draft is just around the corner, and the Charlotte Hornets are going to make a huge splash. After acquiring draft picks from the Brooklyn Nets and Indiana Pacers in trades, the Hornets have their sights set on scooping up the brothers of their own former star player…
Lavar Ball has long said that having several Ball brothers on your team is the simplest way to win an NBA title. The outspoken Ball patriarch has long advocated for his three kids, Lonzo, LiAngelo, and LaMelo, to play together, and that goal seems to be closer than ever. With Lonzo and LiAngelo’s NBA futures uncertain, LaMelo’s Charlotte Hornets are pursuing one of his famous brothers.
The Ball brothers, Lonzo, LiAngelo, and LaMelo, are all at various stages of their basketball careers
On September 2, 2017, Lonzo Ball, LaMelo Ball, LiAngelo Ball, and LaVar Ball attend Melo Ball’s 16th birthday party in Chino, California.
At Chino Hills High School in California, the Ball brothers were all members of one of the greatest high school basketball teams in history. Since then, their careers have followed quite different paths, and they now find themselves in very different basketball situations in 2023.
The Charlotte Hornets have LaMelo Ball, who has been with the team since earning First of the Year in his rookie season. This season, the rookie sensation averaged 15.7 points, 5.9 rebounds, 6.1 assists, and 1.6 steals. He also earned Rookie of the Year despite only appearing in 51 games due to a broken right wrist. The Hornets are searching for various ways to develop around their young superstar in the summer of 2023.
This summer, Lonzo Ball is a restricted free agent for the New Orleans Pelicans. In 2023-21, he was a member of another dismal Pelicans team that failed to even qualify for the Play-In Tournament. He did had a strong year, averaging career highs in points (14.6), 3-point percentage (37.8%), field goal percentage (41.4%), and 3-pointers made (all career highs) (3.1).
LiAngelo Ball has yet to play a minute in the NBA, but he is still trying to get in. He has played Summer League for the Los Angeles Lakers, G League for the Oklahoma City Thunder, and a 10-day deal with the Detroit Pistons for the 2023 preseason.
LiAngelo Ball has agreed to join the Charlotte Hornets
LiAngleo Ball is scrimmaging with LaMelo’s Charlotte Hornets in his latest attempt to get into the NBA, and the club has signed him to play on its Las Vegas Summer League squad in 2023, according to Sports Illustrated.
Mitch Kupchak, the general manager of the Charlotte Hornets, believes “Gelo,” as he refers to him, is a good match for the team. He’s presently working as LaMelo Ball’s workout partner, but according to Kupchak, the Hornets will invite LiAngelo in for a closer look:
LiAngelo is a Division I basketball player. He was a UCLA recruit who played for the Bruins. He has a lot of potential. It has to be seen if he is good enough right now. But he’s a natural at the scrimmages we do on Tuesdays and Thursdays. We’ll take him to the four-day camp and see where things go from there.
LiAngelo Ball and Mitch Kupchak
There’s no news yet on whether LaMelo will participate in Summer League alongside his sibling. Summer League is popular among second-year players, although rising stars like LaMelo seldom participate. However, the fact that his brother is participating, as well as the fact that there was no Summer League last season owing to COVID-19, may encourage the youngest Ball sibling to participate this year.
The future of Lonzo Ball is still up in the air
New Orleans frees up salary cap room in August, allowing them to either match an offer sheet on Lonzo Ball or chase a major free agency point guard like as Kyle Lowry or others. Valanciunas was preferred by Pels as a center floor spacer over Adams.
BREAKING: Memphis is finalizing a trade to send Jonas Valanciunas and 2023 Nos. 17 and 51 picks to New Orleans for Steven Adams, Eric Bledsoe, 2023 picks Nos. 10 and 40 and a protected 2023 first-round pick via the Lakers, sources tell ESPN.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) July 26, 2023
The oldest Ball brother, Lonzo Ball, completes Lavar Ball’s all-Ball brother team as the third and final component. The former UCLA guard began his professional career with the Los Angeles Lakers before being traded to New Orleans as part of the Anthony Davis deal.
The Pelicans retain the right to match any contract Lonzo Ball receives on the open market as a restricted free agent. However, it is difficult to say if New Orleans would do so at this time.
The club dismissed first-year head coach Stan Van Gundy and is rushing to make changes that will turn the team around and keep Zion Williamson happy. Although Williamson has said publicly that he supports Lonzo’s retention, the club may have other intentions for the point guard position.
According to reports, the club intends to pursue Toronto Raptors free agent Kyle Lowry aggressively this summer. The Pelicans now have the option to go either way after GM David Griffin traded Steven Adams and Eric Bledsoe to the Memphis Grizzlies for Jonas Valanciunas. They now have enough budget space to match a Lonzo Ball deal or sign Lowry on the cheap.
Whether Lonzo Ball returns to New Orleans or joins another club like the New York Knicks or Chicago Bulls, Charlotte is unlikely to be on his radar this season. However, if LiAngleo does well this summer, Lavar Ball may be one step closer to realizing his goal.
Basketball Reference provided all stats.