The Charlotte Hornets had one of their star players, LaMelo Ball, at their basketball facility, Spectrum Center, in the weeks before the NBA Draft. Ball was a VIP guest during pre-draft workouts, alongside other notable individuals.
The team’s president and general manager, Mitch Kupchak, commented that Ball had become more of a leader and has been instrumental in the off-season since the Hornets don’t have many veterans on the roster. According to Kupchak, Ball has been present in the gym consistently, even taking an interest in the pre-draft workouts.
Kupchak revealed that Ball has been interacting with coaches, owners, and management, unlike before. He expressed that this is a pleasant development in Ball’s personality, since he seems to be growing up and displaying more interest in his surroundings. Ball’s recovery from his ankle injury is also a welcome development for the team.
The bone has been completely healed for about six weeks, according to MRI and x-ray scans. Ball has been on-court for four to six weeks, but he has yet to undertake full scrimmages or games.
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The Hornets are looking to retain key players, with PJ Washington’s contractual agreement at the forefront of discussions. Washington is up for restricted free agency and is seeking a significant deal, according to league sources.
He has attracted the attention of multiple suitors, but the Hornets are reportedly prioritizing his return. Washington had a breakout season in 2022-23, averaging 15.7 points per game, and has proven to be versatile on both ends of the court.
Kupchak seems confident in the Hornets team’s development, expressing his pleasure with Washington’s growth on and off the court. Washington has proven to be a mature and industrious player. While Kupchak didn’t go into depth about Miles Bridges’ future with the team, he made it clear that he remains an important component of the Hornets’ roster.
In his fourth season, it seems like Ball is transitioning into a central role for the Charlotte Hornets. His increasing presence and attentiveness at Spectrum Center indicates growth and maturity in the young player. While Ball has yet to play in full scrimmages, his recovery from injury gives the team cause to be optimistic. Washington is another key player, especially since the Hornets lack many famous players on their roster.
Ball was an essential participant in the pre-draft workouts, sitting amongst the other VIP guests. Kupchak confirmed that Ball wasn’t involved in any final decision-making or part of the process outside of his presence as a spectator. The Hornets seem to be developing some team spirit, which Ball and others have been fundamental in establishing.
LaMelo Ball has been present in Charlotte for most of the offseason and has been using that time to keep up with his physical fitness regimen and team activities. Kupchak noted that Ball’s engagement with the team is a promising sign for his recovery and leadership qualities, which is vital since the Hornets are missing a lot of experienced players.
As the Hornets move into free agency and the NBA Draft, they seem well on their way to a promising new season. With a motivated leadership group, the Hornets have made strides this off-season that should provide a solid foundation for the coming season. Ball is a key aspect for the team, as his maturity and growing leadership role continue to be noticed by his team members.
Kupchak described Ball’s presence in the pre-draft workouts as a ‘non-solicitation role.’ Ball only attended as a spectator. Kupchak stated that he never solicited Ball’s opinion nor asked him to participate in any decision-making role. Ball was present strictly as a guest and was not involved in the team’s final decision-making process.
A significant aspect of Ball’s presence at Spectrum Center is his leadership role within the Hornets team. This has been a new development, and it is a trait that has been noticed by team president and General Manager Mitch Kupchak. Ball’s engagement and connection with various members of the organization, including coaches, owners, and management, have been key to his growth over the offseason.
The Hornets’ future seems bright with the return of key players such as PJ Washington. The team will likely prioritize his return, according to reports, since he has been a crucial part of their roster. As the Hornets move forward in the free agency and the draft process, they look to make the necessary moves to propel themselves to the top of the league.
Given his VIP guest status during pre-draft workouts, Ball had a front-row seat for the likes of Brandon Miller, Scoot Henderson, and others. Kupchak stated that Ball has not been involved in any final decision-making or the selection process for the players. Instead, Ball has been present as a guest, strictly as a spectator.
Kupchak describes the atmosphere at Spectrum Center this off-season as “uplifting and promising.” Players like Ball, Washington, and Bridges have helped to create a culture of solidarity and mutual support, which Kupchak believes is beneficial for everyone on the team.
LaMelo Ball’s growing leadership role was on full display during the Hornets’ pre-draft workouts. While Ball was not involved in the decision-making process, his presence as a VIP guest was appreciated by the coaches and management. Ball has been a frequent presence in the gym during the offseason, and his growing leadership role is exciting for his teammates.
The Hornets’ success next season will depend significantly on the development and continued involvement of players like LaMelo Ball and PJ Washington. Both players have shown themselves capable of leading the team on and off the court, proving themselves to be valuable components within the Hornets ecosystem.
The promising off-season for the Hornets suggests that the team is poised to make significant strides in the coming season. LaMelo Ball’s growing leadership role and his presence during the pre-draft workouts are a positive sign for the team’s future. While Ball was not involved in the decision-making process, his presence as a VIP guest was appreciated by the Hornets’ management and coaching staff.
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