July 24, 2021 (updated)
Photo: Jordan Strauss / AP
Following tons of speculation after LiAngelo Ball was seen on Devonte’ Graham’s Instagram story working out in Hornets gear at the team facility, it looks like the Charlotte Hornets will be signing LiAngelo Ball to a contract for the Las Vegas Summer League roster per Sports Illustrated’s Rod Boone.
— Rod Boone (@rodboone) July 24, 2021
Prior to this stop with Charlotte, the middle Ball brother had a stint with the Oklahoma City Blue of the G League just before the league’s hiatus in 2020 and with the Detroit Pistons as an Exhibit 10 player (one-year deal worth the minimum salary) in training camp last preseason. He also played professionally with Vytautas Prienai in Lithuania with LaMelo in the 2017-18 season, averaging 12.6 points and 2.9 rebounds per game in 14 total contests with six starts, but this might be his first true shot at minutes in NBA competition.
It’s obvious that LiAngelo is not a clear-cut NBA talent or he would’ve been much closer to the league than he’s been since going undrafted in 2018. He’s 6-foot-5 and plays more like a forward than a guard and his only remotely positive skill is floor-spacing. With that said, LaMelo is Charlotte’s franchise player and it’s important that he’s happy and feels like the organization values his feelings and opinions– giving his brother a legitimate, unhindered final shot at earning a roster spot in the NBA could strengthen the relationship with the franchise.
LiAngelo Ball to the Hornets, confirmed? 👀 pic.twitter.com/1VJO9lltwE
— R.P. Salao (@RPSalao) July 17, 2021
‘Gelo playing with the Hornets in Vegas (likely as a role-player or reserve) is harmless, and if he plays well enough to be worth a roster spot in Greensboro, the marketing and ticket sales departments certainly wouldn’t frown over it. The Hornets having two sets of brothers (including the Martin twins) in the building at all times is fun– and the third Ball brother, Lonzo, just so happens to be a restricted free agent this offseason.
The 2021 NBA Summer League takes place from August 8-17 at the Thomas & Mack Center and Cox Pavilion on the campus of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Per Boone’s SI article, Vernon Carey Jr., Nick Richards and the 2021 draft class are expected to join the Summer League squad as well, playing a minimum of five games over their 10 days in Vegas. Expect the roster to be composed of a mixture of recent Hornets draftees, 2021 undrafted free agents and veterans looking to reestablish footing in the league.
*Update* Here’s a look at the Hornets group play schedule and official roster for the NBA Summer League 2021:
Sunday, August 8
6 p.m. – Portland vs. Charlotte (NBA TV)
Monday, August 9
Thomas & Mack Center
6 p.m. – Charlotte vs. Sacramento (NBA TV)
Thursday, August 12
3 p.m. – San Antonio vs. Charlotte (ESPNU)
Saturday, August 14
7 p.m. – Charlotte vs. Toronto (NBA TV)