The Charlotte Hornets should look to buck a trend when the regular season starts. What is that trend exactly? Integrating a rookie into their team by having him come off the bench. This is specifically regarding second-overall pick Brandon Miller.
When it comes to players selected as high as Brandon Miller, they are expected to have some level of instant impact one way or another. This becomes a bit more difficult if that player is relegated to coming off the bench. Head coach Steve Clifford needs to fight the temptation to follow the path that has been carved out by so many before him and insert him into the Hornets’ starting lineup.
There may be some hesitation from the Hornets’ perspective when it comes to the proposition of starting Brandon Miller right away. This is due to how much Miller struggled during the NBA Summer League. While Miller did average a team-high 17.3 points per game, it did not come in an efficient manner. Miller converted just 35.4% from the field on 16 field goal attempts per game while making just 26.1% of his attempts from three-point range. Considering that MIller attempted nearly eight attempts from deep per contest it is far from an ideal performance in this area.
Even though the NBA Summer League allows a rookie to be eased into becoming a professional player, it is important not to put too much stock into what transpires during this brief experience. The Hornets brought Brandon Miller into their organization partially based on what he was able to accomplish during his time at Alabama.
They are certainly not going to base the future of a high-draft pick on what occurred during his time in Las Vegas. This is not the way that good organizations handle the roster-building process and the new ownership contingent should look to emulate how the most successful teams in the league operate.
Charlotte is a team on the rise and they must focus on building long-term relationships between what they believe to be their core players. If the Hornets are going to be a winning team and climb out of the group of teams who are actively tanking, they are going to need Brandon Miller to develop chemistry with LaMelo Ball.
The best way for that chemistry to develop is by having Miller play as much as reasonably possible with Ball. This would allow the front office to see if this duo is going to work or if they need to find a new configuration to get the most out of everyone involved. In order for this process to properly run its course, Miller would have to begin the season in Charlotte’s starting lineup.