LaMelo Ball has agreed to a five-year, $260 million contract extension with the Charlotte Hornets, per The Athletic's Shams Charania. Ball was eligible for a rookie-scale contract extension, and he got the full max to remain with the Hornets for the long haul.
Despite only playing 23 games last season, when healthy Ball is one of the most electric guards in the league. He averaged a career-high 23.3 points before missing a majority of the season with a fractured ankle. In the three seasons since entering the league, Ball has been named Rookie of the Year and earned an All-Star spot during his second year in the league. While he and the Hornets have yet to break through to the postseason since his arrival, they got close in his second year, making the play-in round before falling to the Indiana Pacers and being eliminated from playoff contention.
While Ball is deserving of this type of deal, there should be a little concern given the injuries he's already dealt with in three years. Aside from the ankle fracture this past season, he missed 20 games in his rookie season due to a fractured wrist. He's been able to bounce back with no serious restrictions to his game each time he's suffered an injury, but if he continues to struggle with injuries this contract could lose some of its value.
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Injuries aside though, Ball has shown to be a versatile offensive player and someone who the Hornets should continue to build around. He can score at all three levels, is one of the most creative, flashy passers in the league and can get you six rebounds a game. While his defense is shaky, if you surround him with quality defenders it won't be too much of an issue.
Ball should be fully healthy next season, and depending on what else the Hornets do this offseason, they could be a team that competes for a play-in spot.