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The Charlotte Hornets Just Dealt LiAngelo Ball


The Charlotte Hornets have just acquired LiAngelo Ball

It was just a matter of time until outspoken family patriarch LaVar Ball weighed in on the Charlotte Hornets’ decision to send LiAngelo Ball to the G League.

After all, an NBA reunion for the Ball family — with older brother Lonzo and younger brother LaMelo — looked all but likely soon after LiAngelo went to the G League.

The family reunion on an NBA court will have to wait.

The signing of Isaiah Thomas to a 10-day contract by the Hornets is bad news for LiAngelo, who appears to be further away than ever from making his NBA debut.

LiAgelo Ball is devastated by the Isaiah Thomas news

On March 2, the Hornets announced the signing of two-time All-Star Isaiah Thomas to a 10-day contract.

Charlotte will be the tenth team for whom Thomas has played throughout his career.

Adding the point guard gives LaMelo Ball and Terry Rozier some backcourt help,

The addition of Thomas, who was All-Rookie in 2011-12 and All-NBA in 2016-17, brings the Hornets’ roster to 17 players.

That means LiAngelo has one less spot.

Charlotte Hornets
LiAngelo Ball playing for the Greensboro Swarm of the G League Source: Getty Images

Aside from roster size and team need, Ball’s route to playing for the Hornets is obstructed by who stands in his way.

He could potentially play shooting guard or small forward as a swingman.

Terry Rozier and Kelly Oubre Jr. as well as Miles Bridges, Gordon Hayward, and Cody Martin (small forwards), are among the top seven Charlotte players in terms of minutes played and points per game.

The addition of Thomas, combined with the established depth at shooting guard and small forward, implies that Ball will not be suiting up for the Hornets anytime soon.

That, combined with his present degree of success.

Ball’s G League statistics do not create a favorable image

LiAngelo Ball shone in his NBA summer league debut and again in his first G League game with the Greensboro Swarm.

Since then, it’s been all downhill.

With 5.3 points per game, Ball is ranked 230th in the G League.

Perhaps you don’t want to go purely on points. His other stats aren’t that impressive either:

  • 39.3 percent of field goals made
  • 36.9 percent from three sources (24 of 65)
  • 50.0 percent of free throws made (on 1 of 2 shooting)
  • 1.3 rebounds per contest (254th in the G League)

LiAngelo takes good care of the ball, with only five turnovers in 18 G League games.

However, he only had three assists.

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What is LiAngelo Ball’s next move?

LiAngelo Ball agreed to terms with the Pistons on a 10-day contract in December 2020.

He never saw game action and was released, prompting LaVar to launch a rant against Detroit.

An ankle ailment near the end of January forced him to miss time with the Swarm.

Since then, he’s been working hard to join his brothers in the NBA.

Charlotte Hornets
Charlotte Hornets team Source: Sporting News

The desire for a mediocre shooting guard who has battled against inferior competition in the G League may not have NBA teams lining up to sign Ball.

Given the trajectory of events thus far, an overseas career may be the best fit for LiAngelo.

But judging a player who is only trying to stay healthy is difficult.

And, at 25 years old, he is still young enough to develop into a useful role player.

All Ball needs are for one NBA franchise to take a chance on him and for him to capitalize on it.