The Charlotte Hornets have yet to win a Summer League game, but it isn’t indicative of their progress.
When it comes to the Summer League, there is no pressure in comparison to the regular season and postseason. This is about getting rookies acclimated to the tempo, pace, and size of the NBA. It’s about teams monitoring the progress of their rookies to determine their readiness before training camp starts. Judging from these three games, the Hornets got a couple of steals in the draft in Kai Jones and James Bouknight.
In the draft, the Hornets wanted athletes and scorers around and in those two, that’s exactly what they got. Jones’ athleticism has been on display from the beginning. He had two highlight-worthy dunks already. He has also displayed an inside presence with a few blocks and awareness in transition.
Bouknight struggled a bit in the second game of the Summer League. Against the Sacramento Kings, Bouknight was held to 4-for-11 shooting. He also committed 5 turnovers.
Before the San Antonio game, Bouknight received a text from Michael Jordan telling the rookie to give him a call.
After Jordan’s call, Bouknight redeemed himself- scoring 23 points on 48 percent from the field and totaling eight assists with no turnovers. Bouknight didn’t disclose what was shared between him and Jordan, but the pointers, lessons and advice worked. What Bouknight must take away from this experience is to put the summer league into perspective. He’s not going to figure it all out right away, but use every game as a lesson and an opportunity to learn.