Media mogul places multiple Hornets on prestigious top 75 list

Oct 27, 2023; Charlotte, North Carolina, USA; Charlotte Hornets guard LaMelo Ball (1) and forward Brandon Miller (24)
Oct 27, 2023; Charlotte, North Carolina, USA; Charlotte Hornets guard LaMelo Ball (1) and forward Brandon Miller (24) / Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

As the NBA calendar shifts from trade season, to the all-star break, to the home stretch, and finally the playoffs it’s a good time to take a look at what exactly the Hornets have going for them. This was recently on display during a recent episode of the Bill Simmons Podcast.

The media mogul and head of the Ringer brought back one of his recurring columns/podcasts, his NBA trade value list. It’s essentially a ranking of all players in the league based on the players’ trade value.

So everything is factored in including, talent, age, contract, upside, and more. Basically, if one team offered a player for the other straight up, which team would say no? That’s the general idea of the rankings.

This year, Simmons expanded his list to the top 75 players, plus honorable mentions. He featured two players from the Charlotte Hornets, LaMelo Ball and Brandon Miller.

LaMelo Ball ranked #54

Ball was ranked lower on the list, he came in as the #54 player in trade value, in a tier called, “If you tell Woj, I’ll deny it to the death… but I’m listening”. LaMelo came in just ahead of Pascal Siakam (#55) and Kristaps Porzingis (#56), and just behind the likes of Kyrie Irving (#53), Scottie Barnes (#52), and Trae Young (#51).

This feels like a pretty fair ranking for Ball, who has been a brilliant offensive player, but hasn’t helped contribute to winning, and has struggled to stay healthy. Even the title of the tier seems fair. All indications are that the Hornets are building around Ball, but with the emergence of Miller, I’m sure if a team called with a Godfather offer for Ball the front office would at least have to consider.

Brandon Miller ranked #29

Speaking of Miller, he came in at #29 on the list, in a tier called “Too young, too cheap, too good… Please stop calling us”. Players in Miller’s tier included Mikal Bridges (#31), Franz Wagner (#30), and Alperen Sengun (#28).

Sure, one could quibble a little with the ranking, but overall this is an excellent showing for the rookie and shows just how far he’s come in the last few months. To think that a player the Hornets drafted just eight months ago is already being considered one of the top 30 guys in the league in terms of trade value is remarkable.

It’s further evidence that Charlotte hit their draft pick out of the park and added a true building block that has changed the entire trajectory of the team’s rebuild. They needed something to go right, and in Brandon Miller, they’ve absolutely got it. For reference, the #3 overall pick in the 2023 draft, the player the Hornets passed on, Scoot Henderson made the “Toughest Omissions” tier of the rankings, just outside the top 75.