WATCH: Ball somehow only need to throw an underhand full-court pass to remind us he’s the Rookie of the Year. Melo has 7 points, 4 assists and 2 rebounds early in his return from a fractured wrist Saturday vs. the Piston. He made an absolutely insane pass, check this out (via World Wide Wob on Twitter):
Update: May 1, 12:30 p.m. — Ball is expected to return to the lineup Saturday vs. the Pistons, Shams Charania of The Athletic reported. The NBA Rookie of the Year favorite will return after missing over a month due to a fractured wrist. The Hornets have 10 games to go in the regular season and enter Saturday holding down thee 8th seed in the East.
When we got news that Ball had a chance to return this season, the ROTY market shifted again. Anthony Edwards had spent the month as the favorite, putting up points on the Timberwolves as a starter. Ball was always the clear-cut favorite before the injury and now will get at least 8-10 games to cap off his case.
Charlotte Hornets rookie LaMelo Ball is questionable to play in Saturday’s game vs. the Detroit Pistons after fracturing his wrist on March 20. Ball returned to live practice for the first time a few days ago and his return appeared imminent. Melo is back to claim his NBA Rookie of the Year award, trying to get in the games to qualify for the honor. Charlotte is fighting for a playoff spot and has 10 games left. That would get LaMelo up to 51 if he plays every game.
Before going down back in March, Ball was the clear frontrunner to win Rookie of the Year. Minnesota Timberwolves G/F Anthony Edwards had jumped out to a command lead in the race but slowly sank until news Ball was going to make it back. Now, Melo is -500 on DraftKings Sportsbook to win ROTY and Edwards is down to +275. Tyrese Haliburton of the Sacramento Kings is right behind them at +700.
If Ball gets to the amount of games needed to qualify to win ROTY, he’ll win it. Edwards was mostly putting up big numbers while being incredibly inefficient on a very bad team. The Timberwolves aren’t headed for the postseason and the Hornets will at least get a chance in the play-in tournament, Ball being a big reason why. Melo was averaging basically 16-6-6 with shooting splits at 45/37/78 and an 18.64 PER. Edwards really just scores more. His PER is way worse at 12.96. Edwards really just needs to stop chucking up so many 3-point shots and get the basket. He’ll learn eventually.