The 2020 NBA draft is set for Wednesday night, and the Charlotte Hornets currently hold the No. 3 overall pick. There are a plethora of ways Charlotte could go with the selection, but team owner Michael Jordan might already have his mind made up.
Jordan has told the team that if LaMelo Ball is still on the board at No. 3, he’ll give them his ‘stamp of approval’ to draft the polarizing prospect. Could Jordan and the Ball family be teaming up soon?
The Hornets hold the No. 3 overall pick in the draft
The Hornets were a disappointing team last season. Charlotte went 23-42 in the shortened regular season, and the team wasn’t even invited to the NBA bubble to make a playoff push.
The biggest problem for the Hornets in 2020 was their lackluster offense. Charlotte recorded a 106.3 offensive rating last season, which ranked 29th out of the 30 teams in the NBA. The Hornets also scored a league-low 102.9 points per game.
The bad news is Charlotte isn’t even close to being a playoff contender in the Eastern Conference. The good news is they have a chance to change that this week. The Hornets hold the No. 3 overall pick in the 2020 NBA draft, and they can change the course of the franchise if they get the selection right.
There is a clear top three in the 2020 draft — Anthony Edwards, James Wiseman, and LaMelo Ball. It would be a surprise to see any of those three survive past the Hornets, but which one will fall to No. 3?
LaMelo Ball is a potential No. 1 pick
The biggest buzz surrounding the 2020 NBA draft surrounds LaMelo Ball, Lonzo’s brother and LaVar’s youngest son. Many draft experts believe LaMelo is an even better prospect than Lonzo, who went second overall in 2017. Ball is a legitimate candidate to go No. 1 overall on Wednesday night.
Playing in the National Basketball League in Australia last year, Ball averaged 17.0 points, 7.6 rebounds, and 6.8 assists per game for Illawarra. He only shot 37.5% from the field and 25.0% from three, but his playmaking ability is evident at just 19 years old.
Ball can run the floor better than maybe anyone in the 2020 draft class. He can speed defenses up and catch them off guard with no-look passes and fancy finishes at the rim, but will that playing style work in the NBA?
Michael Jordan gives ‘stamp of approval’ for the Hornets to draft LaMelo Ball
LaMelo Ball is a clear top-five pick in the 2020 NBA draft, but it looks like he won’t make it past No. 3. If Ball lasts past the second pick, Hornets owner Michael Jordan has given the team his ‘stamp of approval’ to select Ball third overall, according to Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer.
If the Jordan-Ball combination does come to fruition, the first family meeting might be a tad awkward. LaVar Ball once said he would beat Jordan in a game of one-on-one. The two might have to settle their beef on the court before LaMelo even gets to practice for Jordan’s Hornets.
All stats courtesy of Basketball Reference