LaMelo Ball had a breakout sophomore campaign for the Charlotte Hornets in 2021-22 that saw him being named an All-Star for the first time in his young career. More of the same will be expected of the 6-foot-7 point guard, and it goes without saying that a lot will be riding for the Hornets in 2022-23.
Despite Ball’s heroics, however, Charlotte fell short yet again last season. They failed to reach the playoffs after a lopsided loss to Trae Young and the Atlanta Hawks in the play-in game. The Hornets suffered the same fate in the previous year, falling one step short of making their first-ever postseason appearance since 2016.
According to an anonymous NBA executive, the Hornets need to bring in a new star to play alongside LaMelo. Miles Bridges had the makings of filling this role for Charlotte, but the exec believes that he blew his chance amid Bridges’ recent arrest for domestic violence and child abuse charges (via Kenneth Teape of NBA Analysis Network):
“They’re in a tough spot right now,” said the exec. “They’ve gotten blown out in the play-in a few times now. …. They need a star to pair with LaMelo for the long haul. That could have been Bridges but I can’t put what he did aside. If that’s my team, he’s not factored into our plans anymore.”
That’s harsh. Then again, Bridges is facing some pretty serious allegations after being accused of assaulting his girlfriend in front of their two children. The 24-year-old is currently a restricted free agent, but his future remains unclear amid this high-profile case.