Charlotte Hornets: Can Gordon Hayward and LaMelo Ball work?

Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /
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Charlotte Hornets, Gordon Hayward, LaMelo Ball Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Charlotte Hornets, Gordon Hayward, LaMelo Ball Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /

The Charlotte Hornets have signed Gordon Hayward, days after drafting a ball-dominant guard in LaMelo Ball. The question is: Can it work on the court?

Did anyone see this coming after drafting LaMelo Ball? Gordon Hayward to the Charlotte Hornets in free agency? Hayward’s tenure with the Boston Celtics was shaky, to say the least. Bill Simmons described it as “a guy snake bit with injures.”

We all knew Hayward was exploring his options, the Indiana Pacers were the favorite and the New York Knicks were in running for a hot minute, but, out of nowhere came the rebuilding Charlotte Hornets — who just selected one of the most ball-dominant prospects we’ve seen this decade in LaMelo Ball. Hayward ended up signing a four-year, $120 million contract with the Hornets.

Related Story. 30 greatest free agent signings in NBA history. light

The thought process after the draft was that Ball was going to have the keys to the offense, likely having an extremely high usage rate for a rookie, improvising with the core around him to develop as a player and point guard.

The rationale behind signing Hayward is puzzling on paper, but if you put on your stylish ‘90s Michael Jordan beret it may help you understand his reasoning:

A possible justification could be that your franchise gets a guaranteed 20-point per game scorer and a possible All-Star next to your No. 3 overall pick.  Having an example to follow may help Ball’s transition into an NBA star easier on the court,  providing Ball with a role model and culture setter off the court – as we saw with Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown in Boston or even a James Harden next to Kevin Durant with the OKC Thunder.

What does this mean for LaMelo Ball? Who for most to all of his life has been the unequivocal ball handler on every team he’s been on? Can LaMelo Ball help Gordon Hayward become an All-Star again? And what would be a comparable example for this current Ball and Hayward lead team?