Hornets rookie selected for 2024 NBA Rising Stars

Jan 29, 2024; Charlotte, North Carolina, USA;  Charlotte Hornets forward Brandon Miller (24) reacts
Jan 29, 2024; Charlotte, North Carolina, USA; Charlotte Hornets forward Brandon Miller (24) reacts / Sam Sharpe-USA TODAY Sports

One of the lone bright spots for the Charlotte Hornets this season has been the play - especially recently - of 2023 first-round draft pick, Brandon Miller. Miller was selected 2nd overall, only behind the French phenom, Victor Wembanyama.

Miller’s stellar play has been recognized by the NBA, as Tuesday afternoon Shams Charania of the Athletic reported that he was named as a participant in the 2024 NBA Rising Stars, as part of All-Star weekend in Indianapolis.

The Hornets almost certainly will not be represented in the actual All-Star Game on Sunday, February 18th, so it is nice to see that at least one member of the Hornets will be making the trip to Indiana and displaying his talents on the national stage.

The Panini Rising Stars event will take place on Friday night, February 16th at 9 PM EST, televised live on TNT. This year’s showcase will include a tournament between four teams made up of rookies, sophomores, and G-Leaguers. 

In the latest edition of the Kia NBA Rookie Ladder, which was released on Friday, January 26th, Miller vaulted into the top 3, overtaking the Heat’s Jaime Jaquez Jr., and trailing only Wembanyama and Chet Holmgren of the Thunder. Holmgren was the 2nd overall pick in the 2022 draft, but missed the entire season due to injury, pushing his rookie year back to the 2023-24 season.

While Miller has virtually no chance to catch up to Wembanyama and Holmgren for the Rookie of the Year Award, it has been great to see his rise and it seems like the #3 spot is now his to lose. For the season, Miller is averaging 15.1 points, 4 rebounds, and 2.3 assists per game on 43% shooting, 38% 3-point shooting, and 81% free throw shooting.

But lately, Miller has even taken his game to another level. Since returning from injury on January 19th, Miller has played in seven games and scored 23+ points in five of them. In that span, he’s averaging 20.4 points and five rebounds per game.

With LaMelo Ball nursing an ankle injury and Terry Rozier off to Miami, Miller has taken on a bigger role lately and he’s handled it like a seasoned pro. Miller has been showcasing his scoring ability from all three levels, getting to the rim, scoring from the midrange, and hitting the three-ball. He’s also been using his length to play serviceable defense, which is not the easiest task on this current Hornets team.

There will be plenty of growing pains, like his 5-point performance against the Rockets recently, or his 0/7 3-point shooting night against the Jazz, but we’re starting to see glimpses of what Miller can be. And those glimpses look like an NBA superstar. 

There aren’t many players with his combination of size, athleticism, and shooting ability. His game is reminiscent of that of someone like Brandon Ingram, but Miller has the potential to be a much better and higher volume 3-point shooter, which raises his ceiling significantly.

Miller certainly still has a long way to go and many hurdles to clear before he comes close to his potential, but it’s still great to see these positive signs, especially on such a dysfunctional team. Hornets fans have to be feeling good about the pick lately, and it looks like they’ve found another young star to pair with Ball and rebuild the team around.