If the Charlotte Hornets don't land LaMelo Ball in the 2020 draft, the franchise could pull the trigger on a Russell Westbrook trade with the Houston Rockets, per Marc Stein of the New York Times.

Hornets owner Michael Jordan loves Westbrook, as the 2017 MVP is a Jordan Brand athlete.

In the Hornets’ case, there is a belief in some corners of the league that their appetite for a Westbrook trade increases significantly if Charlotte does not land LaMelo Ball with the No. 3 overall pick in Wednesday’s draft. Michael Jordan, Charlotte’s owner, is a known Westbrook admirer. Should the playmaking Ball be drafted before the Hornets’ turn at No. 3, according to the theory, there is a much stronger case to be made for trading for Westbrook in spite of the cost and attendant risk.

Some league insiders believe that the Hornets, at Jordan’s behest, want Ball at No. 3 should Minnesota and Golden State keep the top two picks to select Anthony Edwards and James Wiseman. Others see Charlotte springing a surprise at No. 3 and selecting the fast-rising Onyeka Okongwu.

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Russell Westbrook has requested a trade from the Rockets. The future Hall of Famer wants to play in a system where he's the No. 1 option on offense again.

The Hornets, who have zero All-Stars on the team, would be Westbrook's team if Michael Jordan and Co. acquire the explosive guard out of UCLA. Charlotte has the third overall pick in the 2020 draft. LaMelo Ball could be the first or second pick, but it appears the Hornets are hoping he falls to them at No. 3.

Westbrook, a nine-time All-Star, averaged 27.2 points, 7.9 rebounds and 7.0 assists per game for the Rockets during the 2019-20 season. He could possibly average a triple-double for a fourth season if he is traded to the Hornets, who need all the help they can get on offense.