Recently released Hornets player balls out, could make team regret waiving him

The Charlotte Hornets waived Bryce McGowens, but then, he had a great game in Summer League.
Charlotte Hornets, Bryce McGowens, Summer League
Charlotte Hornets, Bryce McGowens, Summer League / Ethan Miller/GettyImages

The Charlotte Hornets might regret their latest move. The team recently released Bryce McGowens, but he is still playing for their Summer League team. And in their latest game, he balled out.

McGowens led the way in Charlotte’s win over China, dropping a game-high 20 points. He also added two rebounds, three assists, and one steal, shooting 4-of-8 from the floor and 12-of-14 from the free-throw line.

The 21-year-old wing has spent two years with the Hornets, appearing in 46 and 59 games, respectively. This past year, he was a bit more efficient, showing some signs of improvement from his rookie season.

Bryce McGowens performance could make Hornets regret waiving him

As the Hornets get ready for the offseason, it’s clear that their plan is to focus on their youth movement. They don’t want to rush things, and with Charles Lee now at the helm, they are very focused on building things out around LaMelo Ball and Brandon Miller.

However, McGowens was a casualty of Charlotte’s willingness to take on big contracts in exchange for additional assets. They’ve made multiple salary-driven moves, including trades with the Denver Nuggets and San Antonio Spurs for Reggie Jackson and Devonte’ Graham, respectively.

That said, the Hornets lost McGowens and Aleksej Pokusevski as a result of those moves, but giving up on McGowens this early could be a mistake for Charlotte.

Obviously, one Summer League game isn’t enough to convince the Hornets to take McGowens back, but perhaps there is already a plan to keep him around moving forward.

The fact that he’s even still on the Hornets’ Summer League roster speaks to their liking for the young wing, especially since Pokusevski isn’t on the roster.

At just 21 years old, McGowens still fits into the Hornets’ current timeline, and since they likely aren’t going to be competing for the postseason next year, they should want to get a look at as much young talent as possible.

McGowens is 6-foot-7 and a nifty ball-handler. He just hasn’t been very efficient up to this point in his career, but that’s true for a lot of young players.

If another team picks up McGowens on a two-way contract before the Hornets can get him back, then they could end up regretting losing him. Especially in the middle of a clear rebuild.