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. 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.
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.
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.
ANALYSIS This will be the first postponement for the Hornets, though it appears to be due to COVID-19 issues within the Wizards organization. A three-game Week 5 is now a two-game week for Charlotte, which will now be idle until Friday's game against Chicago.