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The Charlotte Hornets are signing LiAngelo Ball to a non-guaranteed deal ahead of training camp, according to Shams Charania. Ball will compete for a roster spot alongside his younger brother, LaMelo Ball, the team's All-Star starting point guard. 

LiAngelo has been on the fringes of the NBA for a few years now. He has played in the G League with affiliates of both the Hornets and Oklahoma City Thunder, has been in training camp with the Hornets and Detroit Pistons and has played in the Las Vegas Summer League with the Hornets. Thus far, however, he has not been able to earn an NBA contract. 

Will that change this time around? Perhaps, though it seems unlikely unless the Hornets decide to keep him around as a favor to LaMelo. During his time in the G League last season, LiAngelo averaged 4.6 points and 1.1 rebounds while shooting 36.1 percent from 3-point land. He had a few nice performances here and there but didn't show anything to suggest that he deserves an NBA opportunity on merit. 

Of course, that's not always the deciding factor in the league; keeping your star player happy is more important than the final few spots at the end of the bench, and we've seen teams give contracts to relatives who otherwise wouldn't be in the league. The New York Knicks signed JR Smith's brother, Chris Smith, in 2013, while the Milwaukee Bucks currently employ Giannis Antetokounmpo's brother, Thanasis Antetokounmpo and their G League affiliate traded for another of his brothers, Alex, this summer. 

Would the Hornets take a similar approach with LiAngelo? The Hornets briefly appeared to be a young team on the rise, but have now suffered two consecutive embarrassing exits in the play-in tournament, just concluded a rocky offseason and are no longer even within touching distance of the top teams in the East. With LaMelo eligible to sign a max extension in 2023, keeping LiAngelo in an effort to harbor some good will might not be a bad idea.