Hornets sign up Ball


    THE Charlotte Hornets have signed their first- and second-round draft picks, LaMelo Ball and Vernon Carey Jr., the team announced on Monday night.

    In a flurry of moves, the team also announced the signings of second-round selection Grant Riller, and Nick Richards, who was drafted in the second round by New Orleans and sent to Charlotte in a trade.

    In addition, the Hornets re-signed nine-year veteran Bismack Biyombo and signed undrafted free agent Nate Darling.

    The moves come one day after acquiring star swingman Gordon Hayward from the Boston Celtics in a sign-and-trade.

    The 19-year-old Ball, younger brother of New Orleans Pelicans guard Lonzo Ball, was taken third overall in the draft.

    Ball played 12 games for the Illawarra Hawks in Australia’s National Basketball League last season. His season ended early with a foot injury, but Ball averaged 17 points, 7.5 rebounds and seven assists 1.7 steals a game.

    The Hornets did not announce terms of the signing, but Spotrac.com says the 6-foot-7 Ball will make just over $7.8 million next season from being selected third overall. He is guaranteed two years and $16 million, according to the website.

    The 19-year-old Carey, a 6-foot-10 center, played one season at Duke, earning second team All-America honors for averaging 17.8 points and 8.8 rebounds. He led the ACC by shooting 57.7 percent from the field and was third in the conference in scoring.
    Carey was drafted 32nd overall.