LiAngelo Ball, brother of Lonzo and LaMelo Ball, is signing a G League contract, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic. He will be eligible for the Oct. 23 G League Draft, where, according to Charania, he will be a candidate to be selected by the Greensboro Swarm, affiliate of the Charlotte Hornets. LiAngelo played for the Hornets during Summer League, and they employ his younger brother, LaMelo, who just won Rookie of the Year in Charlotte.
LiAngelo is not as decorated a player as his two brothers, both of whom were top-three picks in the NBA Draft. LiAngelo went undrafted in 2018 and has played in Lithuania and his father LaVar Ball’s now-defunct Junior Basketball Association. LiAngelo signed with the G League’s Oklahoma City Blue during the 2019-20 season, but did not play before the season was abruptly canceled due to COVID-19. He signed a training camp deal with the Detroit Pistons last season, but did not make the roster.
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Ball averaged 9.6 points per game for the Hornets in Summer League, but has still been unable to earn an NBA contract. The G League represents his best chance yet at making it there. It will be his best opportunity yet to prove himself as a player outside of the shadow of his more famous brothers to NBA talent evaluators.
At 6-5, Ball is a bigger guard like his brothers. He’s a strong shooter who doesn’t quite have his brothers’ remarkable passing instincts. He’s not a remarkable athlete or defender, and he’ll have to improve on both fronts if he’s going to make it to the NBA, but the G League exists to help sand the sharper edges off young players’ games. He is entering a developmental infrastructure, and if he improves within it, he’ll get another chance to prove he belongs in the NBA.