LaMelo Ball
20-Year-Old GuardG
2021 Fantasy Outlook
The 2020-21 Rookie of the Year had one of the more impressive debut seasons in recent memory. It didn't take long for him to be inserted into the starting five. He drew his first start in February and never gave up the spot. As a starter, he averaged 18.1 points, 6.2 assists, 5.9 rebounds and 1.7 steals, and he racked up plenty of highlight passes along the way. From Feb. 1 onward, Ball ranked as the 42nd-best fantasy player on a per-game basis -- an extremely impressive mark for a rookie. His role won't change heading into 2021-22, and there's a good chance he'll be able to improve his stats in Year 2. He was a good three-point shooter (2.1 makes per game at 37.9 percent as a starter) but has room to improve his field-goal percentage (43.8%) and free-throw percentage (75.9%). If Ball can do that, or add to his counting stats, he should easily be worth a fourth-round selection in most fantasy drafts. Aggressive fantasy managers have justification to take him in the third round or possibly even late-second if significant improvement is assumed. Read Past Outlooks
$Signed a two-year, $16.07 million contract with the Hornets in November of 2020. Contract includes $8.62 million team option for 2022-23.
Personal Bio

LaMelo was born Aug. 22, 2001 in Chino Hills, California. He's the son of LaVar and Tina Ball, who both played college basketball. LaMelo's brother, Lonzo is an NBA point guard, while his other brother, LiAngelo has played professionally. Ball is part of the Facebook Watch reality show called "Ball in the Family", which shows the life of the Ball family. The Big Baller Brand, a sports apparel company founded by Ball's family, has released a signature shoe for LaMelo titled the Melo Ball 1. He's the youngest athlete in history to have a signature shoe. Prior to the NBA, Ball played professionally in Lithuania and Australia.

College/International Summary

Ball did not attend college and opted to play basketball internationally instead. He began in 2017-18 with Vytautas Prienu of the Lithuanian LKL. He appeared in eight games (one start), averaging 6.5 points, 2.4 assists and 1.1 rebounds in 12.8 minutes. His best performance with the team was against Zalgiris, where Ball recorded 19 points (6-11 FG, 4-7 3Pt, 3-4 FT), six assists and one steal in 28 minutes. Ball's next contract came with Illawarra in the Australian NBL. There, he started all 13 of his appearances, where he averaged 17.2 points, 7.9 rebounds, 6.8 assists and 1.5 steals in 31.3 minutes. His best performance was a win over Cairns, where Ball posted 32 points (11-20 FG, 4-7 3Pt, 6-8 FT), 13 assists, 11 rebounds and one steal in 40 minutes.

Wins Rookie of the Year
GCharlotte Hornets
June 16, 2021
Ball has been named the NBA's 2020-21 Rookie of the Year, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reports.
ANALYSIS
Ball had an electric rookie season, and he helped the Hornets secure a spot in the play-in tournament. After becoming a full-time starter in February, he averaged 18.1 points, 6.2 assists, 5.9 rebounds and 1.7 steals in 31.2 minutes. He had two 30-point games and six games with double-digit assists, plus one triple-double.
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Past Season Summaries
2020

It's fair to say that Ball lived up to the hype he had coming into the NBA, as he produced a phenomenal rookie season after getting drafted third overall by the Hornets. The rookie guard averaged 15.7 points, 6.1 assists, 5.9 rebounds and 1.6 steals in 51 total games. The 6-foot-6 playmaker led his team in assists and steals per game. While he didn't start his first 20 games in the league, he took over the starting point guard role for the Hornets and started in every game after that. Ball recorded seven double-doubles and one triple-double in his rookie campaign. On Jan. 9, against the Hawks, Ball notched 22 points, 12 rebounds, 11 assists and a steal in what ended up being his first career triple-double. The guard's best offensive game came versus the Jazz on Feb. 5, as Ball scored a season-high 34 points and also managed to dish out eight assists. Ball became an exceptional scorer for the Hornets as he had 40 games with double-digit scoring performances, and in 16 of those games, he scored 20 or more points. On the defensive side, Ball was terrific and his best defensive game was in a matchup with the 76ers, where Ball stole the ball four times and even achieved two blocks. In the rookie's play-in debut, Ball posted 14 points and four assists. Overall, the young guard played big minutes for the Hornets (28.8 minutes per game) and solidified himself as a potential triple-double threat for every game next season.

2020
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2020 Fantasy Outlook
Ball elected to skip college basketball and played professionally in Australia during the 2019-20 season, where he averaged 17.2 points, 7.9 rebounds, 6.8 assists and 1.5 steals in 31.3 minutes. He excels as a passer and has deep range as a shooter, but he'll need to improve his shot selection in the NBA, as he was essentially given free rein in Australia last season. The 19-year-old should work with Devonte' Graham and Terry Rozier in Charlotte's backcourt, with Malik Monk also in the mix, though it's not exactly clear how the minutes will shake out. It seems likely the Hornets will try to get Ball close to 30 minutes per game, in which case, he should be a reliable source of assists and rebounds. His field-goal percentage could be a significant drag, however.
More Fantasy News
Rough night against Indiana
GCharlotte Hornets
May 19, 2021
Ball had 14 points (4-14 FG, 2-6 3Pt, 4-6 FT), four assists and a rebound across 27 minutes in Tuesday's season-ending loss against the Pacers.
ANALYSIS
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Rough shooting night in loss
GCharlotte Hornets
May 16, 2021
Ball produced 19 points (7-21 FG, 2-8 3Pt, 3-4 FT), seven rebounds, five assists and two steals in 33 minutes during Sunday's 115-110 loss to the Wizards.
ANALYSIS
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Strong all-around performance
GCharlotte Hornets
May 13, 2021
Ball totaled 18 points (5-10 FG, 3-4 3Pt, 5-6 FT), seven assists, six rebounds and two steals in a 113-90 loss to the Clippers on Thursday.
ANALYSIS
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Struggles from field in loss
GCharlotte Hornets
May 11, 2021
Ball accumulated five points (1-9 FG, 0-3 3Pt, 3-4 FT), 12 rebounds and seven assists in 31 minutes during Tuesday's 117-112 loss to the Nuggets.
ANALYSIS
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Posts 22 and five in loss
GCharlotte Hornets
May 9, 2021
Ball had 22 points (10-19 FG, 2-5 3Pt, 0-3 FT), five assists, four rebounds and two steals in 31 minutes during Sunday's 112-110 loss to the Pelicans.
ANALYSIS
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