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Hornets waive LiAngelo Ball a day after signing him

Yardbarker logo Yardbarker 10/16/2021 Adam Stites, Yardbarker
LiAngelo Ball has the opportunity to join the Hornets' G League affiliate. © Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports LiAngelo Ball has the opportunity to join the Hornets' G League affiliate.

The Charlotte Hornets raised eyebrows Thursday when the team announced it signed forward LiAngelo Ball. One day later, the Hornets left many scratching their heads when they promptly waived their newest player. There's a method to the madness, though.

According to the Charlotte Observer, which revealed the team's plan ahead of time, the Hornets' decision was a move to get Ball's G League rights. Now, the 22-year-old forward has the opportunity to join the Hornets' G League affiliate, the Greensboro Swarm.

Ball is the older brother of the Hornets breakout star, LaMelo Ball, who earned NBA Rookie of the Year honors in 2021.

LiAngelo Ball played for BC Prienai of the Lithuanian Basketball League in 2018 where he averaged 21.7 minutes and 12.6 points per game. Earlier in 2021, he was brought to Charlotte by his brother LaMelo for offseason workouts.

"Melo and his brother LiAngelo — I call him Gelo — he showed up about a month ago," Hornets general manager Mitch Kupchak explained to reporters in July, via Sports Illustrated. "We allow our players to have a workout partner. They can come in during the morning on odd hours or the afternoon or at night and come back. And they would be working out together. And then on scrimmage days, they would scrimmage."

Charlotte brass was impressed enough during those workouts to give him a Summer League spot, and he continued to intrigue by making five three-pointers in just 16 minutes in his debut. While it wasn't enough to earn a spot on the team's roster, the Hornets aren't quite ready to cut ties completely either.

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