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#pounditTuesday, December 6, 2022

Report: Hornets may sign 1 new veteran mentor for LaMelo Ball

LaMelo Ball gesturing

Jan 8, 2022; Charlotte, North Carolina, USA; Charlotte Hornets guard LaMelo Ball (2) reacts after making a three point basket against the Milwaukee Bucks during the second period at the Spectrum Center. Mandatory Credit: Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

LaMelo Ball could be getting a new mentor who has four times the NBA experience that he does.

Veteran NBA reporter Marc Stein wrote this week on his Substack page that the Charlotte Hornets have added ex-lottery pick Elfrid Payton to the list of point guards that they are interested in signing.

Stein also reiterates previous reporting about Charlotte’s interest in former All-Star Isaiah Thomas, who played for the Hornets last season, as well as a potential reunion with this franchise great.

The 28-year-old Payton spent last year with the Phoenix Suns as a backup to Chris Paul, seeing only around ten minutes per contest. At his peak, Payton averaged 12.8 points and 6.5 rebounds per game as the starting point guard on the Orlando Magic in 2016-17. He is about to enter his ninth NBA season.

Payton is the youngest of the point guards that the Hornets are reportedly eyeing and would be an ideal fit behind Ball. The journeyman is a pass-first player who gets into the paint easily and provides reliable defense, traits that any young point guard can learn from. Just cross your fingers that Payton does not give Ball any advice in one particular area.

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