‘Blockbuster’ Trade Proposal Sends Hornets’ LaMelo Ball To Magic

One NBA writer proposed that the Orlando Magic acquire LaMelo Ball from the Charlotte Hornets

NBA, LaMelo Ball, Orlando Magic, Charlotte Hornets
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Dan Favale of Bleacher Report proposed the following trade idea between the Magic and Hornets:

Charlotte Hornets: Anthony Black, No. 18 pick, 2025 first-round pick (most favorable from Denver or Orlando), 2026 first-round swap, 2027 first-round pick

Orlando Magic Receive: LaMelo Ball

The Magic lost to the Cleveland Cavaliers in the first round of the 2024 playoffs in seven games.

Meanwhile, the Hornets missed the postseason for the eighth straight season. 

Ball only played in 22 games this season due to a right ankle injury. He averaged 23.9 points, 5.1 rebounds and 8.0 assists while shooting 43.3% from the field, 35.5% from beyond the arc and 86.5% from the free-throw line. 

The Hornets drafted Ball with the third overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft. Ball has career averages of 20.0 points, 6.2 rebounds and 7.4 assists. He won the 2020-21 Rookie of the Year Award and made the 2022 All-Star team.

Ball signed a five-year, $204 million extension with the Hornets last summer. He will make $35.3 million next season. 

Even though Ball is prone to getting hurt, Favale believes he could help the Magic. 

“He checks all of their most pressing boxes: shooting, passing, pace-setting and the skill set to play off Paolo Banchero, Jalen Suggs and Franz Wagner,” Favale wrote. “His injury history is cause for some concern, but his offensive transcendence outweighs the risk.

“Orlando should be open to including more if that’s what it takes, albeit not everything. There could be a compromise in the amount of outgoing money. The Magic could guarantee Jonathan Isaac‘s $17.4 million salary, re-sign Gary Harris at a lateral price point ($13 million), pick up the team option for Mo Wagner or Joe Ingles and complete this exact deal. But they could ask Charlotte to take back more money if they’re looking to have leftover cap space or retain more of their own guys.”

The Magic were 24th in the NBA in points per game this season. Ball is one of the best scorers and passers in the NBA, so he could make Orlando’s offense more explosive. 

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