A five-year, maximum contract deal for LaMelo Ball is nearing completion.
One of the league’s brightest young stars will be playing point guard for the Charlotte Hornets for the foreseeable future.
On Saturday, Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium reported that the Hornets and LaMelo Ball were finalising a maximum five-year, $260 million deal extension. His $10.9 million rookie contract was set to expire after the 2023–24 season.
Charlotte’s commitment to their star point guard comes after he suffered a season-ending right ankle fracture on February 27, 2022. Due to three separate left ankle sprains, he was only able to play in 36 of the season’s games.
In the 2021-22 season, Ball was an All-Star after being selected to replace Kevin Durant, who had been injured.
In that year, he scored 20.1 points per game on average and pulled down 6.7 boards on average, both of which were career highs.
The 2022-23 season was only 36 games in when Ball injured his right ankle.
After having surgery in March, he was out for the rest of the season, and the Hornets fell in the standings as a result.
Charlotte reached the Play-In round twice while Ball was a member of the squad, but ultimately fell short both times.
Ball, despite having a short career, is already in the top 10 for 3-pointers made for the Hornets. He’s only one point short of tying PJ Washington for the club lead, but he’s still nearly 800 points behind the franchise’s all-time leader, Kemba Walker. On March 20th, he informed reporters he hoped to be back for autumn training.
When Ball was healthy, he displayed the skill that would earn him a spot in the 2022 NBA All-Star Game. He shot an impressive 37.6 percent from beyond while averaging a career-high 23.3 points per game. He joined the elite company of Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James as the second-youngest player in NBA history to score 1,000 points, dish out 1,000 assists, and grab 1,000 rebounds.
The Hornets’ aspirations of ending their seven-year playoff drought were dashed by an injury-riddled season.