1. Who helped their stock with the Hornets the most thus far this summer?
Doug @QCHDoug: Hairston needed to prove something to fans, coaches and himself and I think he did that. After all of the offseason troubles, he was able to do exactly what he said he was going to do, which was let his play do the responding. Both Hairston and Vonleh proved that they are the players, for better and worse, that we drafted. That’s a big sigh of relief. Drafting young players is, despite all of the data we have, an imprecise science. To see that P.J. was able to shoot anywhere in the gym, show a willingness to attack the basket and not let his offseason issues take him out of his game are all good signs that we made a decent gamble with Hairston late in the first round.
Spencer @QCHSpencer: Josh Davis. The undrafted rookie averaged 8.9 PPG (51.3% FG) & 10.1 RPG during seven games in Vegas. Davis was arguably the most versatile defender in all of summer league, guarding everything from ball-handlers to centers during SL.
2. After their summer league showing, what kind of roles do you expect for the Hornets’ first-round picks (Vonleh & Hairston) in the upcoming season?
Doug: Limited, save for injuries. Coach Clifford has made it clear that these are both prospects on a team that is growing older together. Vonleh especially fits the term “prospect” as I and others feel he’s going to need a few off-seasons to develop his awareness and touch around the rim. While P.J. might be more ready now because of his D-League experience and translatable skill as a three point specialist. His game still has a ways to go before it is complete enough to deal with substantial minutes in a rotation. Cutting down on turnovers, taking fewer chances on defense and shot selection will be hills Hairston will climb before inevitably starting for an NBA team.
Spencer: Very limited, and coach Clifford has already publicly made that clear.
3. The Hornets have been extremely active this offseason. There has been a lot of player movement and changes. Although it is still early, take a stab at predicting what the Hornets’ starting 5/rotation will look like for the upcoming season.
Doug: I’m shaving with Occam’s disposable razor and going with what seems the simplest solution here: Kemba, Lance, MKG, Williams & Jefferson. Hendo is first off the bench followed by Roberts, Zeller and Taylor and Biyombo in the second unit. Vonleh and Hairston see limited minutes. Pargo and Neal become utility players. ALTHOUGH, if Taylor shows a slow recovery from his injury, slide Neal comfortably back into this rotation.
Spencer: My best guess: PG – Kemba Walker, SG – Lance Stephenson, SF – Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, PF – Marvin Williams, C – Al Jefferson. 6th man: Gerald Henderson/Gary Neal.
Michael: Things could certainly change between now and opening night, but as it seems, the Hornets’ starting lineup in pretty straightforward. You have Walker at point guard, new addition Lance Stephenson at the shooting guard spot, and Kidd-Gilchrist will again get an opportunity at the small forward spot. In the frontcourt, Marvin Williams will play power forward alongside Big Al Jefferson. Gerald Henderson will be the first off of the bench, with Zeller/Biyombo providing front court fortification off of the bench.