The Loose Ball: Liangelo Ball Deserves an NBA Roster Spot

Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Summer League showed of a lot of potential with new NBA talent. Whether it be top rated rookies like Cade Cunningham, undrafted players looking to make a name like Alex Antetokounmpo, and people looking to make the league like Liangelo Ball. As much as Instagram accounts like to post any highlight of a player with the last name Ball, Liangelo Ball’s Summer League performance goes well beyond any highlight tape of his, and any hype people don’t want to believe.

Liangelo Ball played in all three games of Summer League for the Charlotte Hornets, and put up good stats for his playing time. Gelo averaged 11.3 points per game and shot the ball 62.5% from behind the three point line against the Portland Trailblazers, holding the Ball name being a shooter as a standard. Summer League has never meant much to me because if a player playing in Summer League compared to the NBA, Kyle Kuzma wouldn’t be on the Washington Wizards right now. While this was only a sample size of Gelo, I expect him to make the NBA. This also wasn’t his first NBA experience, considering he practiced with the Oklahoma City Thunders G-League team back in 2019. Gelo also was on the Detroit Pistons training camp back in December of 2020, not making the team unfortunately.

The only reason I feel like Liangelo Ball truly didn’t make it was his UCLA incident in China, and I feel like it is time to forgive and forget. Since not making the NBA after the 2018 NBA Draft, Liangelo Ball has played overseas for Prienai, then played for his father’s league the JBA for the Los Angeles Ballers which means about as much as being the starting quarterback for your father’s flag football team. Liangelo Ball has grown since his incident, both mentally and physically. If you’ve watched him lately, you can see he’s gained noticeable muscle and added strength and speed to his game.

I believe either the Charlotte Hornets will sign him to either their G-League team or to a bottom roster spot come the actual season. If they do not however, any team would be lucky to have Liangelo Ball that is not in contention for a championship. Any middle of the pack team that is looking to add depth and a good three-point shooter should add Liangelo Ball. Liangelo could sprout into a good 3&D player in the league given the opportunity. If not, Liangelo should look elsewhere to show off his skills. As we’ve seen for some players Ice Cube’s Big3 Basketball League has done wonders to getting their name out there, but adding an older guy to a roster doesn’t make much sense. The only player in the younger part of the league is Mamadou N’Diaye, the 7’6″ twenty-seven year old prospect trying to make a name for himself. If Liangelo Ball isn’t signed I do believe the Big3 is the best spot for him, but if not the Big3 then certainly overseas once again. Liangelo Ball is for sure the worst out of the three brothers, but he will one day be an amazing role player on an NBA team if he is just given the chance.

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