Nobody expected the Charlotte Hornets to be this good and fun so fast. Gone are the days when Buzz City would constantly be stuck in NBA limbo – too good to get a high draft pick, too bad to make it past the first round. Turns out, this franchise’s impending arrival is way ahead of schedule, thanks mainly to this year’s number one pick – LaMelo Ball.
The 19-year old rookie from Chino Hills has been a pleasant surprise this season. He boasts a well-rounded game consisting of 15.0 points, 6.1rebounds, 6.1 assists, and 1.6 steals in 28.8 minutes per game. Ball is also efficient on the floor by hitting 50% of his shots from the field and 35% from beyond the arc. But beyond these numbers, what stands out from LaMelo Ball overall game is how he vastly elevates his teammates every time he steps on the court.
With LaMelo Ball on the court, you can expect those with him to be involved in one way or another. The rookie’s extraordinary court vision, coupled with his impressive playmaking skills, ensures those around him will get to contribute. More often than not, you’ll end up seeing one or several highlights with Ball as the tip of Charlotte’s offense.
In a way, Ball’s positive impact on the court has rubbed off on his teammates. Not only on how they perform, but on their card prices as well. We take a look below which Hornet is a great player to invest in.
Miles Bridges, a favorite LaMelo Ball running mate
Card fans didn’t have too much reason to be excited about Miles Bridges. For one, his rookie and sophomore campaigns pale in comparison to Luka Doncic and Trae Young, notable names from the same draft class he belongs to. Second, the Charlotte Hornets were abysmal during Bridges’ first two seasons in the league. His current year possesses an entirely different narrative that can potentially draw collectors in
This season, Buzz City is armed with better spacing whenever they’re on the court. As a result, Bridges has upped his success rate from the arc from 33% to 38%. His field goals percentage also jumped six points this year, making him more efficient offensively.
LaMelo Ball and Miles Bridges already have an elite connection.
This duo is must-see TV 🔥🔥 pic.twitter.com/1asTN7gBDB
— Hilltop Hoops (@HilltopNBA) February 4, 2021
Thanks to these improved stats and an exciting lob partnership with LaMelo Ball, Bridges is getting his share of the spotlight. This bodes well for the forward’s rookie cards, which can jump up if Charlotte manages to enter the playoffs.
Not a lot of people were ecstatic when Terry Rozier came over from the Boston Celtics to assume Kemba Walker’s old job in Charlotte. Needless to say, Scary Terry has been proving his doubters wrong again, especially this season alone.
It was T3️⃣3️⃣ Tim3️⃣ all month with @T_Rozzay3 🏌️♂️⌚️
— Charlotte Hornets (@hornets) February 28, 2021
The six-year veteran is currently averaging 20.2 points in 33.6 minutes per contest. Rozier is also very efficient on the offensive end of the court by connecting 53% from the field and 44% from the three-point line. Plus, he’s had some insane highlights recently that helps drive his stock upward in the card market.
With the way Rozier is playing right now, card collectors will surely take notice. Things will surely get better with LaMelo Ball around and a possible playoff berth right around the corner.
Of all the Hornets’ draft picks these past years, no one has been more disappointing than Malik Monk. Drafted in 2017, Monk was perceived as a player that can torch opposing squads with his ability to score points in bunches. Four years after and the shooting guard hasn’t even consistently shown that kind of upside for Charlotte.
— Charlotte Hornets (@hornets) March 1, 2021
In the last 13 games, Monk has scored in double-digits nine times, including a 36-point outburst from the bench against the Miami Heat. Again, better spacing has helped Monk find his groove this season. If he keeps it up, more minutes will be given to him, which would lead to more buckets along the way and a nice boost to Monk’s stock in the market.
Last year’s 12th pick is finding a role that can bode well for his future and card value. The Hornets have been experimenting with PJ Washington as their small-ball center, which has led to surprisingly good results.
— Charlotte Hornets (@hornets) March 1, 2021
Washington is made to run the floor, make a bucket from downtown, or catch a lob for an easy two in his new role for the Hornets. His frame and lateral quickness also allow him to size up larger centers and defend them admirably. Thanks to these contributions, Washington has been closing out games by helping the Hornets run a positionless system that can get them the dub.
The great thing about these four players is that their rookie cards are nowhere near their exploding point. One can argue that they are really undervalued right now, especially with Charlotte generating a lot of hype for the postseason. Rather than just focus on LaMelo Ball, it’d be wise to invest in his teammates now while they’re still on easy to chase. Time will come when their stock can spike up, especially if the Hornets surprise everyone with a good performance in the playoffs.