Have the Charlotte Hornets given LaMelo Ball enough help?

LaMelo Ball, Charlotte Hornets. (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)
LaMelo Ball, Charlotte Hornets. (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images) /

Have the Charlotte Hornets given LaMelo Ball enough help? Considering how things unfolded last season and the relatively unknown nature of a good portion of the roster it is fair to ask. In fact, this exact question was posed by Zach Harper in The Athletic’s preview of the Charlotte Hornets. Harper would note how Ball’s star-level play has essentially resulted in nothing for the Hornets despite having some solid teammates.

"“Ball is a bona fide star in this league, and his play has been relatively meaningless with the Hornets. Miles Bridges returns this season upon the end of his 30-game suspension after a 2022 offseason domestic violence incident involving the mother of his children. He’ll serve the remaining 10 games to start the season. Terry Rozier and P.J. Washington are solid, but this team still doesn’t seem to have much to offer Ball.”"

At some point, the Hornets are going to need to have players who are considered more than solid play next to Ball. Terry Rozier is a known commodity in this league and can most likely be slotted to score somewhere in the range of 17-22 points per game. Washington is less experienced, but his return to Charlotte should help in the continuity department. If he can continue and perhaps exceed his career-scoring average of 12.9 points per game, it should go a long way.

But is this enough?

To be blunt, no. The Hornets need to have another high-level player in their starting lineup who is capable of taking pressure off of Ball in Charlotte. There is the possibility that it could be 2023 second overall pick Brandon Miller, but there are plenty of doubts about his ability to be anything more than the caliber of player they already have on their roster.

Another point is brought up as a worst-case scenario, that being questions about Ball wanting to remain in Charlotte long-term. Even though Ball is under contract until the 2028-29 season, that has not stopped other star players from wanting out and getting their wish. While that is still a little way down the line, if things do not start turning around quickly, the lack of help could lead to an eventual departure of Ball from Charlotte.