Charlotte Hornets miss development opportunity with Arnoldas Kulboka’s deal in Spain

Charlotte Hornets Arnoldas Kulboka (Photo by David Dow/NBAE via Getty Images)
Charlotte Hornets Arnoldas Kulboka (Photo by David Dow/NBAE via Getty Images) /

The Charlotte Hornets could have signed Arnoldas Kulboka and had him join the team this season, but the stash prospect will remain overseas in Spain instead.

Coming off an impressive outing in Summer League, it appeared that Charlotte Hornets draft-and-stash prospect Arnoldas Kulboka was a candidate for a roster spot in Charlotte. However, some 11 days later, Kulboka has agreed to a deal to play in Spain for Bilbao RETAbet, according to Donatas Urbonas.

Kulboka was originally drafted by the Hornets 55th overall in 2018. Last season in Germany, Kulboka averaged 5.2 points and 1.5 rebounds in just 13.2 minutes. During this years Summer League, he averaged 8.8 points and 4.5 rebounds.

To many, including myself, Kulboka was worthy of a final roster spot with the Hornets. Considering this is a rebuilding team, it made sense to bring him over stateside now so you can work with him every day as he develops.

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Instead, Kulboka will remain overseas for the time being. This doesn’t mean that he doesn’t have a future with the Hornets, it just means we’ll have to wait a little longer until we see him in a purple and teal uniform. Maybe next season will be the year?

I believe this is a missed opportunity for the Hornets. Kulboka will get better and develop with his new club in Spain, but it would have been nice for Charlotte to get their hands on him and be able to work with him in every practice.

He also could have spent some time in the G-League with the Greensboro Swarm, Charlotte’s G-League affiliate.

Kulboka is a very intriguing prospect thanks to his size and versatility. He stands 6’10” tall and can be a problem on the perimeter with his smooth shooting stroke. He’s gotten a lot stronger over the past year, and looked way more comfortable in Summer League this year compared to last year.

In last years Summer League, Kulboka averaged just 3.8 points and 1.3 rebounds. It shows that he got better while playing in Germany, but my argument here is that the Hornets player development staff could have gotten a look at him here in Charlotte almost every day.

His size allows him to play multiple positions, he’s got a good feel for the game and has good vision. Where he struggles mostly right now is on the defensive end of the court. He’s going to have to get a lot better on that end of the floor if he ever does takes his talent to the NBA.

It definitely hurts having to watch Kulboka from afar, but Mitch Kupchak will surely keep his eye on the Lithuanian wing. As long as he is playing professional basketball, he’s going to get better, it just would have been nicer to get a hands-on look at him this season.

With Kulboka now off the table, the Charlotte Hornets must look elsewhere as they search for bodies to fill out the roster. Our contributor here at Swarm and Sting, Brendan Boylan, recently looked at a few free agents that could be a good fit with the Hornets.

J.P. Macura is a low risk option for Cavaliers. dark. Next

Arnoldas Kulboka is a good young player with legit NBA talent, and I’m sure that he does have a future with the Charlotte Hornets organization, it just would have been nice to get a look at him in 2019-20, which will be a season where player development is crucial and the top priority in Charlotte.