LaMelo Ball Reportedly Complicates Hornets' NBA Draft Plans

LaMelo Ball averaged 23.9 PPG but was limited to 22 contests due to injury
LaMelo Ball averaged 23.9 PPG but was limited to 22 contests due to injury / Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

The Hornets have a major decision to make at pick No. 6 in June's 2024 NBA Draft. Charlotte's roster needs upgrades across the board as the front office hopes to build around LaMelo Ball and Brandon Miller under new coach Charles Lee.

There are several directions the Hornets could go with this pick, but at least one prospect won't be working out for Charlotte. According to Draft Express, Connecticut Huskies' guard Stephon Castle, who is commonly projected to the Hornets because of his defensive prowess, will not workout for any teams that already have a starting point guard in place.

Ball is of course the entrenched point guard, though perhaps Lee would be willing to play him off ball more if necessary. Either way, it throws a wrench in the Hornets' potential plans.

UConn G Stephon Castle Reportedly Won't Workout For Teams With an Established Point Guard

Ball's presence complicates Charlotte's options, though there are plenty of forwards and big men that'll be available at No. 6 as well. This could raise questions about the long-term viability of Ball though, who is currently being sued for allegedly driving over an 11-year-old's foot.

His defensive issues are obvious, which is partially why Castle is such an intriguing prospect for Charlotte. He's 6'6" and rebounds well, making him the kind of defense-first guard who could offset Ball's weakness.

There's no denying Ball's offensive talent, though the Hornets need to find the right backcourt partner to avoid defensive issues. Castle could be that guy, but it seems he's not interested in the fit.

Other teams in the top 10 with point guards in place include the Atlanta Hawks, Houston Rockets, Detroit Pistons, Portland Trail Blazers, and Memphis Grizzlies.

That would leave the Washington Wizards, San Antonio Spurs (two picks), and Utah Jazz in the top 10 that Castle is willing to workout for. He's projected to go between 5-10, so he could be angling for one of these teams. The Spurs would be my guess, as Castle and Victor Wembanyama could be a terrifying defensive foundation.

Charlotte has just over one month to make its decision. All draft picks are important, but it's especially crucial for the organization to nail this one.

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