The hype for the Ball brothers is real! The oldest of the three brothers is Lonzo Ball, who just signed with the Chicago Bulls. Lonzo is a point guard who specializes in passing and defense. LaMelo Ball, the youngest brother, will be a sophomore with Charlotte Hornets. LaMelo, like his older brother, is a point guard, but LaMelo specializes in scoring and playmaking. It’s unfortunate to see LiAngelo, the middle child, struggling to make it to the NBA since he went undrafted a couple years back. LiAngelo has struggled to make basketball a career, and it might be because of his incident during his time in UCLA. Since than, LiAngelo played for a league his father made (JBA) and overseas in Lithuania. LiAngelo did have a short stint with the Detroit Pistons, but he was unsuccessful there. Now he is looking to make it into the Hornet’s roster by playing in the summer league for the Hornets.
LiAngelo’s History to Now
Throughout LiAngelo’s career, he was always a shooter/scorer for his team. During his time at Chino Hills, he averaged more points than his two brothers. It should be noted that the stats of the three brothers should be taken with a grain of salt during their time at Chino Hills, since their playing style promoted those type of numbers at a high school level. Not much can be said during his time at UCLA and Lithuania, since he hardly got to play during his time with both teams. His time at the JBA is also inflated since he was the son of the creator of the league. The league was meant to promote both LiAngelo and LaMelo so those stats are biased. So, the world hasn’t seen a LiAngelo play basketball either professionally, or without some sort of sponsored help. His basketball resume has no weight since his time in high school. This is probably why most teams in the NBA are hesitant to give him a chance. But hopefully, his time with the Hornets’ summer league team can help showcase how much he has grown has a player and show what his true skill sets are.
As of now, LiAngelo is averaging 11.1 points per game, 2.7 rebounds and 0.7 assists. Watching him play reminds me of a 3 and D type of player, similar to players like Danny Green and PJ Tucker. He mainly runs to the corner for a spot up three, or run off of screens. I haven’t seen him make many cuts or backdoor cuts. but he can still grow to develop those skill sets and habits. He hasn’t played many minutes since he’s getting around 11 minutes a game. But, it is clear he will be a shooter if he makes it into the league. Now the question is, is the Hornets going to give him a “real” chance?
Is Charlotte a Good Fit?
Hornet’s signing LiAngelo for the summer league is no coincidence. His younger brother just won Rookie of the Year and is developing to become a star in the league. It is likely the Hornets are signing LiAngelo, not as a player with meaningful minutes, but as a means to keep LaMelo happy on the team. This tactic is similar to what the Bucks are doing with Giannis and his brother. I think LiAngelo will get signed with the Hornets, but I doubt he’ll get many minutes when the regular season comes around.
LiAngelo is an undersized forward (6′ 5″) who is likely going to have to guard players who are bigger and taller than him. He isn’t quick enough to guard today’s shooting and point guards. Also, the Hornets already have many talented players in the forward position such as Miles Bridges, Gordon Hayward, Kelly Oubre Jr., and PJ Washington. LiAngelo will also have to compete against his fellow rookies who are fighting for a spot on the roster.
In conclusion, the Hornets is not a good fit for LiAngelo, IF he wants to seriously play for a team. The Hornets is too dense with young talents who are trying to prove themselves. If LiAngelo wants to make it in the NBA, and not become an anchor for his brothers, he should look at other teams who are looking for shooters. Or maybe, he should consider overseas as a resume builder before playing in the NBA. I’m a big fan of the Ball brothers so I do hope LiAngelo does make it into the league along side with his brothers, but his road ahead will be a tough one.
We appreciate y’all for letting us be a part of your Break Time.
Signing off, JT