Grant Williams says LaMelo Ball is a mix of Luka Doncic and Tyrese Haliburton

Mike Battaglino
3 Min Read
Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Though LaMelo Ball has been able to play in just 58 NBA games over the past two seasons, that isn’t stopping Charlotte Hornets teammate Grant Williams from comparing him to some of the best players in the league.

Doncic recently put together a historic streak of six 30-point triple doubles in a row for the Dallas Mavericks, and his streak of seven straight 20 point triple-doubles puts him in the company of all-time greats Oscar Robertson and Michael Jordan. In just six NBA seasons, Doncic is a five-time All-Star, four-time All-NBA selection and has finished in the top 10 of NBA MVP voting four times.

Haliburton this season has emerged as one of the league’s budding young superstars, averaging 20.5 points and 11.2 assists per game for the Indiana Pacers. He recently played in his second NBA All-Star Game in just his fourth season.

As the No. 3 overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft, Ball may have had the potential to accomplish similar things. But after winning Rookie of the Year for the 2020-21 NBA season and being named an All-Star during his second campaign, he has been stymied by multiple injuries to his right ankle.

Last season, he was limited to just 36 games and had surgery on that ankle. He sprained the same ankle earlier this season and is currently sidelined by tendinopathy in that ankle.

In the 22 games he has been able to play this season, Ball is averaging a career-high 23.9 points per game to go along with 8.0 assists and 5.1 rebounds per contest. Though those numbers may be in the ballpark of Doncic and Haliburton, Ball would have to do it for much longer stretches of time in many more games to truly compare.

Williams may be just trying to endear himself to his new team. After being traded to the Hornets by the Mavericks last month, reports surfaced that he had personality clashes in Dallas and “was annoying to everybody” during his time with the Boston Celtics.

Ball has not yet been ruled out for the rest of the 2023-24 season, so he may have a chance to better support the lofty praise Williams has given him.

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Mike is a veteran journalist who has focused on New York sports. He has covered the NBA and NFL for almost three decades and is still waiting for the next championship for the Knicks and Jets.