5 LaMelo Ball trades that would force the Hornets to pick up the phone

The Charlotte Hornets aren't going to trade LaMelo Ball, but these offers would at least make them pick up the phone.
Charlotte Hornets, LaMelo Ball, NBA Trade Rumors, Hornets Trade Rumors
Charlotte Hornets, LaMelo Ball, NBA Trade Rumors, Hornets Trade Rumors / Jared C. Tilton/GettyImages
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No, the Charlotte Hornets aren’t trading LaMelo Ball. He’s the centerpiece of their franchise, an incredible basketball player when he’s on the floor, and still one of the best young players in the league.

But he can’t stay healthy, he’s dealt with some trouble away from the court, and the Hornets have yet to make the playoffs with him leading the way.

Ball will be 23 years old by the time next season starts, and it will mark his fifth in the NBA. In his four years up to this point, he has only played in more than 51 games once, and in each of the past two seasons, he has played 36 games or fewer.

Trading Ball would be an insane, out-of-nowhere move for the Hornets to consider, but if these five deals were presented to them, they would have to at least consider it.

1. Brooklyn Nets

The Brooklyn Nets are in a very weird place. Led by Mikal Bridges, they are firmly stuck in the middle of the pack in the Eastern Conference, but a LaMelo Ball trade could help solve that problem.

Bringing in Ball to be the face of the franchise next to Bridges would give them a better direction, and since they don’t own their own first-round picks for the next few years, they have no real reason to tank.

lamleo nets

Meanwhile, this deal would be intriguing for the Hornets for a few different reasons.

On the one hand, they would be getting some nice depth pieces to help them compete right away, but the Phoenix Suns pick would be the cherry on top.

Who knows how good the Suns will be in a few years? Adding a future Phoenix first would give Charlotte a selection that could end up being toward the start of the first round.

Cameron Johnson is an elite three-point shooter who would help the team’s depth, Dennis Schroder would provide them with a new point guard in the rotation, and Cam Thomas is a very interesting young scoring prospect.

Maybe the Nets would rather keep their picks, keep their cap space open for the 2025 summer, and let things play out, but this deal could help their future significantly, should Ball stay on the court.

The same can be said for the Hornets, but getting three first-rounders and a young prospect in Thomas would allow them to build around Brandon Miller, Mark Williams, Thomas, and whoever else they snag in the 2024 NBA Draft.

In the end, the Hornets (and Nets) probably say no, but they would at least pick up the phone.

Potential starting lineups

Nets: LaMelo Ball, Lonnie Walker IV, Mikal Bridges, Dorian Finney-Smith, Nicolas Claxton

Hornets: Dennis Schroder, Cam Thomas, Brandon Miller, Cameron Johnson, Mark Williams