The Charlotte Hornets are still winless in Las Vegas Summer League play and have decided to shut down the number two overall pick in the 2023 NBA Draft. Brandon Miller’s performance has a lot of fans questioning Mitch Kupchak and the Hornets’ management decision to draft him over Scoot Henderson.
Miller averaged 17 points and eight rebounds in three games in Vegas, but on 35% shooting from the field and 26% from deep. Not exactly the best stretch of games for sure, but nothing to freak out about. Miller’s struggles are nothing to worry about. Not every rookie that comes into the league can be an automatic sensation.
The top three picks all struggled
Alongside Miller, Victor Wembanyama also won’t play another game in Summer League. His averages don’t exactly jump off the page either. In two summer league games he’s averaged 13.5 points, 10 rebounds, and four blocks on 40% FG and 30% from three-point range.
Scoot Henderson is also likely done with Summer League play after suffering a right shoulder injury in his first minutes of action, meaning Miller actually played the most games between the other two to kick off their careers. Even if he struggled in those performances, at least he was available.
All three guys were selected to become major building blocks down the stretch of their careers. Until fans and analysts are able to see these guys play with the other ancillary pieces to their teams, we can’t put too much stock into what happened with any of these guys over the course of the summer.
LaMelo Ball can unlock Miller’s game
Speaking of great ancillary pieces, LaMelo Ball will be Brandon Miller’s best friend on the court, since Miller won’t be forced to create a ton of shots for himself when he’s on the floor with one of the best guards in the league. In Vegas, Miller played on and off the ball quite a bit so Charlotte can gauge his comfortability levels with both responsibilities.
During the regular season, he won’t have to worry about much of that. He will be on the floor with either Terry Rozier or Ball whenever their minutes stagger. He’ll be able to be a cutter or spot up along the perimeter.
The man is 20-years old. There’s still plenty of room for his game to mature. Guys like Devin Booker and Bradley Beal averaged around 17 points on 40% shooting from the field. Now those guys are two of the best guards in the league. Demonstrating patience is the key for fans of all the young players in the league. On the bright side, Miller got some much needed experience for what’s to come once the regular season rolls around.