LiAngelo Ball is looking to join his older brother Lonzo and his younger brother LaMelo in the NBA, and his G League debut was a step in the right direction on that front.
Ball was selected by the Greensboro Swarm, the Charlotte Hornets’ affiliate development team, with the No. 14 overall pick in the G League Draft a few weeks back.
It only took one game for the 22-year-old to find his name on Twitter feeds everywhere, erupting for 22 points in 24 minutes off the bench.
Ball shot an efficient 9-for-13 from the field, knocking down four of his seven 3-point attempts. He only added one rebound and one assist, but he recorded a team-best +/- of plus-12 in a game his team lost by 11 points, 128-117, to the Birmingham Squadron.
What is LiAngelo Ball’s path to the NBA?
As of now, Ball is only a G League contract with the Swarm.
MORE: 2021-22 G League schedule, explained
He was signed to a non-guaranteed deal with the Hornets this offseason but waived immediately after, allowing their G League team to retain his rights.
Because the Hornets’ two two-way contracts are already taken by rookies Scottie Lewis and Arnoldas Kulboka, Ball will not spend any time with the NBA squad unless one of those two players are promoted to a full-time roster spot and he fills a two-way slot, or he plays well enough to earn a full-time roster spot himself.
With a tally of 14 players and two two-way contracts, the Hornets do currently have a roster spot available, as teams are allowed 15 full-time players along with the two two-way deals. However, Ball will need many more performances like this one for Charlotte to consider signing him to a contract.
The Swarm will play a 50-game season, giving Ball more opportunities to prove his worth to the Hornets – or another NBA team – to join his brothers in the league.
The Swarm are already back in action on Saturday, Nov. 6 in a rematch with the Squadron.