Hornets HC Says LaMelo Ball 'Deserving' of 2021 NBA Rookie of the Year Award

Jenna CiccotelliAnalyst IIIMay 2, 2021

Charlotte Hornets guard LaMelo Ball passes against Detroit in the first half of an NBA basketball game in Charlotte, N.C., Saturday, May 1, 2021. (AP Photo/Nell Redmond)
Nell Redmond/Associated Press

LaMelo Ball returned to the Charlotte Hornets lineup Saturday after missing six weeks with a fractured wrist, and even before he dropped 11 points, eight assists and seven rebounds in a win over the Detroit Pistons, head coach James Borrego told reporters that the star should win the league's Rookie of the Year award:

"LaMelo is deserving of that [award]. I'm glad and I'm thankful that he gets a chance to continue that season in the stretch run. ... So, I'm thrilled for him. But us as an organization, this is a wonderful time for Melo to be center stage of this thing."

The No. 3 overall pick is averaging 15.8 points, 6.2 assists, 5.9 rebounds and 1.6 steals per game through 42 appearances, though the major absence hurt his campaign for the award and made room for No. 1 overall pick Anthony Edwards to move into the spotlight. 

In 65 games for the Minnesota Timberwolves, Edwards has averaged 18.5 points, 4.6 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 1.2 steals per game. 

FanDuel currently has Ball as the betting favorite for the award at -400 odds (bet $400 to win $100), though Edwards is the next man up at +330 (bet $100 to win $330).


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