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Michael Jordan’s True Feelings On Hornets Drafting LaMelo Ball

Michael Jordan’s True Feelings On Hornets Drafting LaMelo Ball

The 2020 NBA Draft promises to be an electric event. At the moment, any one of five players can go No. 1 overall and it wouldn’t necessarily be considered a bad move.

There is a reasonable case to be made for LaMelo Ball, Anthony Edwards out of Georgia, James Wiseman out of Memphis, Deni Avdija out of Maccabi Tel Aviv and Obi Toppin out of Dayton.

The Charlotte Hornets currently hold the No. 3 overall pick in this year’s draft. After initially considering USC’s Onyeka Okongwu, the team’s front office has seemingly cooled on him and now has its sights set on either Ball or Wiseman. The latter player is expected to be gone within the first two selections, but Ball may still be around at No. 3 if the Minnesota Timberwolves take Edwards.

Should that occur, team owner Michael Jordan is intrigued by the prospect of pulling the trigger on Ball.

“Michael Jordan has given his stamp of approval for the front office to select LaMelo Ball,” Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer reported this week.

“Ball would define the direction of the franchise as a passing wizard with untapped upside as a scorer and defender.”

Interestingly enough, just a few weeks ago Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer reported that Ball was “not performing very well at job interviews” and suggested he could dip in the draft.

“Here is what I’m hearing from the league at large,” he said on 102.5 FM WFNZ in Charlotte.

“LaMelo Ball is not performing very well at job interviews. I’ve heard that from multiple sources. He is not improving his perception via job interview.

“There are people drafting later in the top ten who were not preparing for the possibility of Ball still being around and, I’m not saying that he will be a top three pick, I am saying that I know for a fact that there are teams later in the top ten who are doing more research on him because they no longer think it’s a given he will.”

Over the course of 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 pro potential.

Ball brings some very clear strengths to the table: he’s a great ambidextrous passer, excellent ballhandler, underrated rebounder and has good instincts off the ball.

The 20-year-old also has some noteworthy weaknesses: incessantly jacking up bad shots, poor shooting mechanics, fear of contact around the rim and shoddy defense.

NBA teams will have to decide for themselves how each characteristic matters to them.

One way or another, a lot of questions will get answered on Wednesday night. Will Jordan and the Hornets risk their future on the youngest Ball brother? Time will tell.

Related: Dwight Howard Responds To Shaquille O’Neal (Video)

Charles Kruger

Charles Kruger has been credentialed to cover two Super Bowls, four NBA Finals, and one World Series. A 20-year veteran in the sports world, he has sources spanning the NBA, MLB, NFL, UFC and NASCAR. Currently residing in Los Angeles, Calif., he is Game 7's go-to source for rumors surrounding the Lakers, Clippers and Dodgers.

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