Thunder vs. Hornets Preview (Summer League Game 1)

okc logo vshornets logo

  • When: Friday, 06 July 2018 at 4:30 pm CST
  • Where: Thomas & Mack Center, Las Vegas, NV
  • TV: ESPNU

Every time summer league approaches, I get giddy with anticipation. I know it usually won’t amount to anything in the future, but it’s always fun to see a random Robert Vader or a Ryan Reid “career” game in summer league. It’s great to see a second year player like Reggie Jackson go off in the second half of a summer league game while the team’s last 21 points and bringing the team back to victory. 

Terrance Ferguson will likely be this year’s version of the summer league veteran. He played in 61 games last season and showed a ton of potential as a true shooting guard. Dakari Johnson is, in actuality, the true veteran on this team. This is his fourth summer league, but his first as an NBA veteran. They’ll both likely garner a lot of prime time minutes in the first two games.

In addition, Daniel Hamilton and PJ Dozier will bring some NBA experience onto the floor. The point of a two-way contract is for that player to hopefully develop into an NBA caliber player within two seasons. This will be year 2 for both players on their two-way contract journey.

But the players that will generate the most interest will be the rookies. Devon Hall has a skill set that will likely see him on an NBA floor soon. He’s a great defender from the guard spot and has become a dead-eye shooting from deep. The Thunder has been in the market for a player like that seemingly for years. Now, they definitely want to see if they have the player within their organization.

Kevin Hervey, another of their rookies, will be looking to prove his worth as a stretch 4. The 6’8″ forward with a 7’3″ wingspan not only has to prove that he can play in the league after playing in a mid-major conference, but he also has to prove that he is completely over his injuries (two torn ACL’s while in college). The Thunder’s third rookie, Hamidou Diallo, was part of a draft day trade and he just recently became an official member of the Thunder today. It is unknown if Diallo will play in today’s game or in any other game of the summer league.

For Charlotte, their main players will be NBA vets Willy Hernangomez and Malik Monk. Hernangomez was traded mid season from New York to Charlotte. In 22 games played for Charlotte, Hernangomez averaged 6.1 points and 5.3 rebounds. Monk had, by all accounts, a disappointing rookie season. He started on the injured list with an ankle injury and when on to only average 6.7 points on 34% shooting from deep.

The Hornets’ main attraction will likely be rookie Miles Bridges, out of Michigan State. The 6’7″ forward is often compared to a more offensively adept Draymond Green. If the Hornets get anything resembling that, they’ll be very satisfied with their pick.

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