While some assert that the Charlotte Hornets “made a bold move” with the LaMelo Ball contract extension, I argue that the team’s executive leaders made the obvious move. Without question, Ball is the best player and the authentic superstar on the team. Given these realities, the Hornets’ executive leaders must center their decisions around him. If one believes these realities, it is not “a bold move” to offer him a maximum contract extension of $260 million for five years; that’s $52 million for the next five years. Melo deserves such a hefty bag. Logic, not “boldness,” in my estimation, demands such a massive contract.
LaMelo Ball contract extension
Without LaMelo’s presence, the Hornets would not garner much attention. Fans are primarily interested in Melo, not the team. A player with such importance merits significant pay—including a maximum contract. Don’t allow the injuries that plagued him last season to cloud your judgment about his value. He’s worth every dime the Hornets have in the bank.
For those who think the team cannot afford such a contract, John Hollinger, staff writer at The Atlantic, stated, “The Hornets’ books are very clean after this season, pending deals to restricted free agents P.J. Washington and Miles Bridges. Even with Ball’s new contract on the books for 2023-24, they’re $43 million below next year’s projected salary cap and $75 million below the tax.”
Also, Joe Vardon, staff writer at The Atlantic, argued that “For the Hornets to have any chance, at anything, in the near future, Ball needs to be in Charlotte. He has easily proven he has the skills and demeanor for the Hornets to build around. While LaMelo has missed portions of two seasons with moderate to serious injury, he’s still shy of his 22nd birthday with the hope and likely promise of a lengthy career ahead.” Hollinger and Vardon make clear that the Hornets will go as far as Melo goes.
What Does All This Mean?
Therefore, LaMelo Ball’s contract extension reveals the organization’s long-term commitment to him. He wants to remain in Charlotte long-term. This contract extension is a substantial down payment to make Charlotte his long-term home.