Speaking to The Athletic's Sam Amick, Hayward compared the rookie point guard to a former NBA MVP and a potential future MVP:
"He's got great size. More than anything, he has great feel for the game. He's kind of like—to me, he's got that same type of feel as like (Dallas') Luka (Doncic), as (Washington's) Russ (Westbrook), where they just are around the ball and the ball kind of just comes to them. With rebounds and (being able) to make the right plays and always kind of being at that right position, to me he has that same type of feel and energy for the game. I think he's gonna be really good."
Ball was widely regarded as the best player in the 2020 NBA draft, but he wound up being available to the Hornets with the No. 3 overall pick.
Even though head coach James Borrego has used Ball exclusively off the bench thus far, the 19-year-old looks like he will have no problem playing in the NBA. He is averaging 11.8 points, 6.8 rebounds and 6.1 assists per game.
Ball's shooting is still a work in progress, as he's only making 40.3 percent of his attempts, but the early returns are promising.
The Hornets are off to a respectable 6-8 start and are one game behind the Atlanta Hawks for the top spot in the Southeast Division.