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Gordon Hayward’s Honest First Impression Of LaMelo Ball

Gordon Hayward’s Honest First Impression Of LaMelo Ball

The Charlotte Hornets are going to be one of the league’s most interesting teams to keep an eye on next season. Although they are obviously still a long ways away from truly competing in the Eastern Conference, the additions of Gordon Hayward and LaMelo Ball should at the very least make them fun to watch.

This week, Hayward met with the media and offered his first thoughts on his new 19-year-old teammate.

“He’s taller than I expected,” Hayward said.

“I didn’t realize he was as tall as he was. I’m excited about playing with him. He seems like someone that can really play-make for others and really get others involved, as well as score for himself.

“But he seems like he has a natural feel for the game, can do a little bit of everything. Like I said, the height really helps with that. He’ll be able to see over the defense and have that vision.”

Hayward landed with Charlotte this offseason after essentially forcing the Boston Celtics to do a sign-and-trade with the Hornets.

The Celtics dealt two future second round draft picks to the Hornets in exchange for a conditional future second round draft pick. The sign-and-trade agreement also created a significant trade exception for Boston.

In the process, Hayward got a new deal that will pay him roughly $120 million over four years.

Now Hayward will team up with the No. 3 overall pick in this year’s draft and attempt to guide Charlotte to a postseason appearance.

The excitement around a possible Hayward-Ball duo is palpable at this point. During the course an abbreviated 12-game stretch with the Illawarra Hawks in Australia’s National Basketball League, Ball averaged 17.0 points on 37.5 percent shooting, 7.6 rebounds, and 6.8 assists. It was a strong overall performance that left many excited about the prospect’s professional potential.

In his conversation with the media, Hayward also opened up about why he really left Boston.

“I never forgot the commitment and potential Michael (Jordan) saw in me when they signed me to that offer sheet,” he said.

“I just think that after speaking with family and with my agent and to the Hornets organization … it really was really powerful and make me think more about it. I decided to go for it.”

As far as Hayward is concerned, there is no ill will towards the Celtics.

“No ill will from my end from anybody in the Boston organization,” he said.

“It’s unfortunate what happened. I had a freak injury. I had a great time there. There’s no ill will. I really loved my time in Boston. Couldn’t be more expected about where I am now.”

All in all, Hayward feels like he made the right decision.

“It was a tough decision to leave Boston,” he said. “But it was something here (in Charlotte) where I wanted to maximize my potential and help the team win.”

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Jennifer Withers Hoey

Jennifer Withers Hoey is a former Business Development Manager who transitioned to writing about sports. With valuable connections all over the West Coast, she has used those contacts to break some of the most interesting stories pertaining to the Portland Trail Blazers, Oregon Ducks, LA Lakers, LA Clippers, Seattle Supersonics (RIP), and more.

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