3 Hornets on Thin Ice Heading Into the Offseason

The time might be running out on these three Hornets players.
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2. LaMelo Ball

The All-Star guard just finished his fourth season in Charlotte and Hornets fans are slowly running out of patience. In the last two seasons, Ball has missed over 106 games, making the 2021-22 campaign his only healthy season so far in the NBA.

It's not like the results have been good when he played. In the 58 games he played in the last two years, the Hornets are 20-38. He hasn't shown much improvement since his sophomore season when he made the All-Star team. His True Shooting percentage, a sign of individual scoring efficiency, hasn't hit the league average once in four seasons.

Ball averaged 23.9 points, 5.1 rebounds, and 8 assists per game in 22 games this season. Those individual numbers seem solid, but considering the amount of sheer talent he has, they are underwhelming.

Ball is a wizard with the ball, a master at running the pick-and-roll, a genius in transition, and one of the most creative offensive players in the league. However, he hasn't been able to prove he can impact winning in the NBA.

This certainly has something to do with his effort and intensity level. He doesn't play very hard when he doesn't have the ball. This includes when he is off-the-ball offensively, and on defense. The lack of seriousness is one of the reasons why the Hornets have been disappointing over the past few seasons.

That said, Ball is still yet to turn 23. He is young and can still learn to be a good leader. But, he has to stay healthy, show more maturity, and play winning basketball. Otherwise, his days in Charlotte might be more numbered than anyone had initially thought.