The Charlotte Hornets franchise, at least from the outside, doesn't appear to be particularly well-run at the moment. But Hornets fans still have plenty of reasons to be excited about the upcoming season. For one, fans will be hoping that LaMelo Ball puts his injury-riddled 2022-23 campaign completely in the rearview mirror. Another reason is that Brandon Miller, the prospect the team selected with the second overall pick of the 2023 NBA Draft, could give the Hornets the sort of elite wing talent who can help lead the team to great heights if his development goes according to plan.
And the early review on Miller behind the scenes seem to be promising, according to Hornets head coach Steve Clifford. In an interview with Steve Aschburner of NBA.com, Clifford raved about what a complete package of a player Miller is, especially when he's coming off a solid collegiate basketball infrastructure in Alabama.
“He has a combination of size, skill and IQ that’s hard to find even in our league. Almost 6-foot-9. Very good decision maker. Great skill package. Better off the dribble than I realized. He has a big advantage in that he played for a terrific college coach [Alabama’s Nate Oats] where there’s a lot of structure,” the Hornets head coach said.
That structure, Clifford adds, has helped the Hornets youngster conduct himself in a mature, professional manner during practices. This then bodes well for Brandon Miller's potential emergence as a do-it-all wing in the mold of his idol Paul George.
“We could see it even in Summer League practices – he knows how to practice, everything is very serious, about doing his best. That’s the best for young guys to get up to speed quickly,” Clifford added.
The Hornets coaching staff, however, have their work cut out for them in terms of making sure that the environment in the locker room is conducive to bringing out the best in their players. One NBA veteran, in particular, thinks that the Hornets are lacking in that department. But cream always manages to rise to the top, which is certainly the franchise's hope not just for Brandon Miller, but for LaMelo Ball as well.