The Charlotte Hornets announced Thursday evening that LiAngelo Ball, brother of Lonzo and LaMelo Ball, is signing a non-guaranteed contract with the Charlotte Hornets and will play for the team's G League affiliate, the Greensboro Swarm.
This comes just a couple days after he signed a contract with the G League, which would've made him eligible for the Oct. 23 G League Draft, but by signing with the Hornets, Charlotte now has his rights. LiAngelo played for the Hornets during Summer League, and they employ his younger brother, LaMelo, who just won Rookie of the Year last season.
LiAngelo is not as decorated a player as his two brothers, both of whom were top-three picks in the NBA Draft. LiAngelo went undrafted in 2018 and has played in Lithuania and for his father LaVar Ball's now-defunct Junior Basketball Association. LiAngelo signed with the G League's Oklahoma City Blue during the 2019-20 season, but did not play before the season was abruptly canceled due to COVID-19. He signed a training camp deal with the Detroit Pistons last season, but did not make the roster.
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Ball averaged 9.6 points per game for the Hornets in Summer League, but has still been unable to earn an NBA contract. The G League represents his best chance yet at making it there. It will be his best opportunity yet to prove himself as a player outside of the shadow of his more famous brothers to NBA talent evaluators.
At 6-5, Ball is a bigger guard like his brothers. He's a strong shooter who doesn't quite have his brothers' remarkable passing instincts. He's not a remarkable athlete or defender, and he'll have to improve on both fronts if he's going to make it to the NBA, but the G League exists to help sand the sharper edges off young players' games. He is entering a developmental infrastructure, and if he improves within it, he'll get another chance to prove he belongs in the NBA.