LiAngelo Ball Signs Hornets Contract to Join Brother LaMelo

Tyler Conway@@jtylerconwayFeatured Columnist IVSeptember 26, 2022

BRIDGEPORT, CT - MARCH 8:  LiAngelo Ball #3 of the Greensboro Swarm warms up prior to the game against the Westchester Knicks on March 8th, 2022 at Webster Bank Arena in Bridgeport, Connecticut. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2021 NBAE (Photo by Johnnie Izquierdo/NBAE via Getty Images)
Johnnie Izquierdo/NBAE via Getty Images

The Charlotte Hornets agreed to a non-guaranteed contract with guard LiAngelo Ball on Monday.

Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium first reported the deal was completed ahead of this week's start of training camp.

Ball is the brother of Hornets guard LaMelo Ball and Chicago Bulls guard Lonzo Ball, the latter of whom backed his brother to succeed if given an opportunity:

Lonzo Ball @ZO2_

All he need is a chance… 🪣 <a href="https://t.co/wOkSBZg7Bu">https://t.co/wOkSBZg7Bu</a>

The contract likely serves as little more than a training camp spot for LiAngelo, who has bounced around training camps and G League affiliates since 2019. He spent the 2021-22 season with the Greensboro Swarm, the Hornets' G League affiliate. Playing in 28 games, Ball averaged 4.6 points and 1.1 rebounds while shooting 40.0 percent from the floor.

While it's a virtual certainty Ball will not make the Hornets' opening-night roster, he does have a chance of playing himself into consideration. Charlotte has only 11 players under guaranteed contracts heading into camp, though Jaden McDaniels and Nick Richards should make the roster despite non-guaranteed deals.

Miles Bridges remains an unsigned restricted free agent, but his immediate NBA future is unclear after pleading not guilty on three counts of felony domestic violence. He does not count toward the team's roster count at this point.

Assuming McDaniels and Richards are not waived, that currently leaves two open roster spots for guys competing in camp. Ball will face competition from former first-round pick Dennis Smith Jr., Jalen Crutcher, Anthony Duruji and Jaylen Sims among guards.

Smith is the favorite after spending part of last season with the Portland Trail Blazers, but it's clear the Hornets coaching staff wants an open competition for the final guard spot(s).