LaMelo Ball may have been the best prospect in this draft class, but he is going to the Charlotte Hornets with the third-overall pick. However, it just came down to a matter of preference for the teams before to not select LaMelo.
Minnesota couldn’t have had LaMelo play on-ball a lot with D’Angelo Russel and Ricky Rubio. Similarly, the Warriors already had elite guard talent and went for a center. Charlotte can consider themselves lucky, because this pick may just have been a steal.
Like how Luka Doncic fell to three in 2018, LaMelo would probably be the odds-on-favorite right now to be the Rookie of the Year in this class.
The Hornets have been missing a genuine franchise superstar that can change their fortunes. Kemba Walker tried, but couldn’t get around the horrible roster construction around him.
Charlotte finally seems to have a competent young core and a lot of space in the cap. Michael Jordan has finally gotten the team looking good again, and LaMelo can fit in as the project that leads them to success again.
But is everything in place for LaMelo to take off?
LaMelo Ball brings the change in Charlotte
With Kemba gone, the Hornets did get two guards to share handling time. Terry Rozier and Devonte’ Graham played admirably. However, Rozier doesn’t seem to have the talent to justify his salary and be a starting PG on a playoff team.
While Graham did play very well, he seems to function better as a back-court mate for a genuine creator.
LaMelo Ball will funnily enough see a lot of the ball in Charlotte. He has athletic frontcourt players in Miles Bridges and P.J. Washington supplementing him. The team is looking good and is now contingent on LaMelo’s development.
Whether he can actually translate his audacious passing to the NBA without turning the ball over much will be a massive question. Rookie point guards do have to go through a learning curve.
However, this Charlotte team isn’t in a rush for LaMelo to come in and do say what Luka Doncic did with the Mavericks. The entire team is young and can develop together.
This creates a foundation to attract free agents to the small-market of Charlotte. Along with that, it allows the state with some of the best college basketball teams to finally cheer for their NBA team again.
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