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Hornets exercise option on LaMelo Ball

The Charlotte Hornets have exercised their third-year option for guard LaMelo Ball and the fourth year-option on P.J. Washington.

Ball won NBA Rookie of the Year last season for averaging 15.7 points, 6.1 assists, 5.9 rebounds and 1.6 steals per game over 51 games (31 starts) despite his season being interrupted by a wrist injury.

To start his sophomore campaign, the 2020 NBA draft’s third overall pick has averaged 19.6 points, 6.0 assists, 5.6 rebounds and 2.0 steals in five starts to lead the Hornets to a 4-1 record.

Ball, who forego college basketball to play for the Illawarra Hawks in Australia’s National Basketball League in 2019, is the younger brother of Lonzo Ball (Chicago Bulls).

A power forward, Washington has appeared in three games off the bench for Charlotte this season, averaging 6.0 points and 5.3 rebounds.

In his first two seasons with the club, he started 118 games out of his 122 appearances. He owns career marks of 12.4 points and 6.0 rebounds per contest, shooting at 44.4 per cent from the field and 37.7 per cent from 3-point range.

Per Spotrac salary database, Ball will make $8,6 million ($A11.4 million) next season while Washington is slated to earn $5.8 million ($A7.7 million).

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