When he fractured his right wrist a few days ago, it looked like LaMelo Ball‘s impressive rookie season was over. He’s had surgery to repair the damage, and Charlotte Hornets general manager Mitch Kupchak is encouraged by the progress that the Rookie of the Year candidate has made already.
Kupchak confirmed the four-to-five week timeline for Ball to be reevaluated after the successful surgery. It certainly makes sense for the team to be very cautious with their young star, but the Hornets are also in the heat of the Eastern Conference Playoff race.
“What (the surgery) doesn’t do is preclude him from coming back this season,” Kupchak has confirmed, according to Yahoo Sports. From there, depending on where the team is, LaMelo could certainly return.
“We have to wait,” Kupchak said. “He’s casted. We’ll wait until five weeks. And we’ll evaluate where we are as a team at that time.”
#Hornets GM Mitch Kupchak said they acquired Brad Wanamaker because they are still not sure if LaMelo Ball is out for the season. But he added they will not rush LaMelo back and won’t jeopardize his long-term health even if they are in the playoff hunt.
— Rod Boone (@rodboone) March 26, 2021
Ahead of Tuesday’s trade deadline, the Charlotte Hornets bolstered their backcourt depth with LaMelo Ball out, by acquiring Golden State Warriors reserve Brad Wanamaker. The teams swapped second-round picks, and the Hornets receive cash in the deal.
Through 41 games as a rookie, LaMelo Ball is averaging 15.9 points, 5.9 rebounds, 6.1 assists, and 1.6 steals per game.
At 22-21, the Hornets are currently fourth place in the Eastern Conference. They’ll have to play well without one of their best players for at least a month here, but they should hang on to a playoff spot. Hopefully we’ll get a chance to see LaMelo back at 100-percent, and playing in meaningful playoff basketball later this spring.
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