A full or close to a full season of LaMelo Ball
Everyone knows the ultimate success or failure of the Charlotte Hornets in the near future will depend on LaMelo Ball. Ball is by far the best player on the team and is what makes them go. However, in his relatively brief career, the closest he has come to playing a full season was the 75 games he appeared in during the 2021-22 season.
As a rookie, Ball missed 21 games and last season saw the Hornets be without the services of their most dynamic player for 46 games. While Charlotte was far from a dominant team with Ball, winning only 13 of the 36 games he appeared in, the Hornets were 14-32 without him. It is clear that the presence of Ball makes a difference.
The reality for Charlotte is that if they are going to be in the mix for at least a spot in the Play-In Tournament, they are going to need Ball to play in as many games as possible. While a full season may be out of the question with the widely accepted concept of load management, getting something close to it will make a difference. Even if it is simply a repeat or close to matching his previous season-high of 75 games played.