While wins and losses are usually overlooked, the NBA Summer League gives us Hornets’ fans an opportunity to see all of our highly touted draft picks a little bit early. Even if game results don’t really matter, who doesn’t want to watch Noah Vonleh go for a double-double or P.J. Hairston scorch defenses against away from basketball season? Sounds better than watching another baseball game, right?
30 Jordan Bachynski, C, Arizona State
23 James Bell, G, Villanova
24 DeMon Brooks, F, Davidson
34 Justin Brownlee, F, Erie Bayhawks
22 Josh Davis, F, San Diego State
10 Jerome Dyson, G, Italy
19 P.J. Hairston, G, Texas Legends
4 Justin Jackson, F, Cincinnati
32 Mickey McConnell, G, Texas Legends
56 Roberto Nelson, G, Oregon State
54 Jarred Shaw, C, Utah State
21 Jamie Skeen F, Italy
1 Noah Vonleh, F, Indiana
40 Cody Zeller, F, Charlotte Hornets
The Players To Watch
Noah Vonleh: The highlight of the Hornets’ summer league roster is nobody but the ninth overall selection in the 2014 NBA Draft: Noah Vonleh. As I mentioned in some of our draft recap articles, I love the addition of the Indiana big man. What’s better than having a positional need filled with the best player available at your team’s pick? Expect Vonleh, who will be under the tutelage of head coach Patrick Ewing this summer, to be one of the more dominant players in Las Vegas.
Cody Zeller: After a lackluster rookie season, Cody Zeller will look to reclaim his summer league success this time around in Las Vegas. Last year, Zeller was so good that quite a few experts had him as the favorite to win the NBA’s Rookie of The Year Award. While Zeller’s performance this summer will not likely have an effect on his minutes next season, with the addition of Vonleh and the possibility that Josh McRoberts returns to Charlotte, Cody will have improve in order to resist falling to the end of Steve Clifford’s bench.
P.J. Hairston: An instant fan favorite (well, a favorite mostly for those who prefer baby to royal blue), P.J. Hairston will get an early opportunity to prove himself to the Hornets and their supporters this summer. One thing that is interesting with Hairston is the fact that he’s already played at the professional level with the D-League’s Texas Legends. This experience could give him an advantage over other incoming rookies who have yet to have the opportunity to face developed NBA-ready athletes on a consistent basis.
De’Mon Brooks: For me, as someone who watched De’Mon Brooks throughout his incredible career at Davidson, it’s great to see the hometown kid get a shot at playing for the hometown Hornets. As a player, Brooks is a fantastic inside scorer who has the ability to make shots from either hand, averaging 19.0 points a game last season in college. The problem with De’Mon is the fact that his body doesn’t fit the game he plays. At just 6’8”, Brooks will likely have to move to the small forward position to have a shot at playing in the NBA, contrary to his time at Davidson in which he almost entirely played the four or five. However, Brooks showed some improvement in his outside shooting ability last season, hitting 45% of his three-point attempts in comparison to just 22% from downtown his junior year. Ultimately, if Brooks dramatically outperforms other invitees, the Charlotte native might have a chance at making next year’s roster.
Game 1: Charlotte Hornets Vs Golden State Warriors; July 11th, 8:30 p.m.; Thomas and Mack Center
Game 2: Charlotte Hornets Vs Sacramento Kings; July 13th, 6 p.m.; COX Pavilion
Game 3: Charlotte Hornets Vs New York Knicks; July 14th, 4 p.m.; COX Pavilion
Games 4-6: Charlotte Hornets Vs TBD; July 16-21; TBD
As always, the Hornets will be playing their summer league games in Las Vegas, Nevada on the campus of UNLV. In their three opening games, as displayed above, Charlotte will play Golden State, Sacramento, and New York. As far personnel goes, notable opponents include Aaron Craft (GS), Cleanthony Early (NYK), Tim Hardaway Jr. (NYK), and Nik Stauskas (SAC).
Be sure to stick with The Charlotte Sports Blog for everything Hornets and Panthers all summer long!
Lead Hornets Writer: Jonathon Hoppe