LiAngelo Ball expected to sign NBA contract, become teammates with brother

LiAngelo Ball, the brother of NBA stars LaMelo and Lonzo Ball, could soon be joining them in the NBA if all goes well this season in the summer league.

Sports Illustrated’s Roderick Boone reported Saturday that LiAngelo is expected to sign a contract with the Charlotte Hornets, with the deal on track to be finalized before summer-league play begins on Aug. 8.

LiAngelo Ball, a 23-year-old shooting guard, is the elder brother of LaMelo and younger than restricted free-guard Lonzo. He was not selected in the 2018 NBA Draft.

A former three-star recruit out of Chino Hills High School, Ball was arrested before his freshman season at UCLA for stealing sunglasses at a high-end shopping center. Following an NCAA suspension, he withdrew from school and signed to play professionally with PPrienai of the Lithuanian Basketball League.

  • LiAngelo Ball stats (2017-18 in Lithuania): 12.6 points, 2.86 rebounds per game, 42.5% from the field and 12/17 AST/TO ratio

LiAngelo later signed with the Los Angeles Ballers, becoming part of the Junior Basketball Association created by LaVar Ball. The league ceased operations in 2019, just a year after its inaugural season.

He finally received his first shot at the NBA in 2019, signing a contract to become a practice player in the NBA G-League. He never saw the court after the COVID-19 pandemic wiped out the season.

LiAngelo signed an Exhibit 10 contract before training camp with the Detroit Pistons before the 2020-’21 NBA season. Just 11 days after signing the deal, Detroit waived him before he saw the court.

He later joined the G-League’s Orlando bubble, but once again didn’t make an impact.

Entering his second season, LaMelo Ball will likely be on Charlotte’s summer league roster. While he’s expected to have a breakout 2021-’22 season, it would be a surprise if LiAngelo made the roster.