4 Players named as Hornets ‘core nucleus’ by team governor

LaMelo Ball, Brandon Miller, Mark Williams, and the team's selection with the sixth pick in the 2024 NBA Draft were dubbed as the Charlotte Hornets "core nucleus."
Charlotte Hornets, LaMelo Ball, Brandon Miller, Mark Williams, Gabe Plotkin
Charlotte Hornets, LaMelo Ball, Brandon Miller, Mark Williams, Gabe Plotkin / Jacob Kupferman/GettyImages

Heading into next year, the Charlotte Hornets should be focused on improving. They’ve been at the bottom of the standings for the past few years, so it’s time to finally take the next step.

LaMelo Ball has dealt with some injuries for the past few seasons, and a bunch of other Hornets players haven’t been able to stay on the court, either.

But moving forward, Charlotte needs to figure out who they want to build around, who is just a supplemental piece, and who they are ready to let walk.

New governor Gabe Plotkin recently spoke about what the “core nucleus” of the team is, tabbing Ball, Brandon Miller, Mark Williams, and whoever the team selects with the sixth pick in the 2024 NBA Draft.

He spoke about it during an interview with Gabriel Groisman on a recent episode of his podcast, Standpoint. (H/t Matt Alquiza of All Hornets)

""Two of our key starters missed the vast majority of the season, so that was significant...between Brandon, a very high pick in this year's draft, LaMelo and Mark coming back, we start to form a core nucleus that can help us build a team well into the future.""

Gabe Plotkin

Ball hasn’t been able to stay on the court for a few seasons, but when he is able to play, he’s one of the most dynamic point guards in the NBA, both as a scorer and a playmaker.

Miller just wrapped up a very impressive rookie season. The 2023 second-overall pick looks ready to blossom into one of the best young wings in the league.

Williams didn’t play much this past season while dealing with an injury, but at the beginning of the year, he looked like a center that will fit perfectly with Ball on offense while also anchoring Charlotte’s defense.

Lastly, the Hornets will have a few solid options with their sixth pick this year, likely including Kentucky guards Reed Sheppard and Rob Dillingham, Tennessee wing Dalton Knecht, UConn guard Stephon Castle, and G League Ignite forward Matas Buzelis.

Ball, Miller, and Williams will undoubtedly be a part of the Hornets’ starting lineup next year, barring any unforeseen injuries, and thee rookie they draft could be as well.

New head coach Charles Lee will have the chance to take the team in whatever direction he sees fit, but with his highly-touted assistant coaching tenure, it’s clear that the team wants to win. No more rebuilding.

Led by their newly-named “core nucleus,” the Hornets are very eager to push forward.