Few fanbases know the pain and suffering of the NBA draft lottery better than the Charlotte Hornets, who have swung and missed more times than followers across North Carolina sports betting would like to admit. For every Kemba Walker, there are a few more Adam Morrisons, Frank Kaminskys and Noah Vonlehs. Having not made the playoffs since the 2015-16 season, the Hornets – to their detriment – have depended on the draft more than other organizations. And that is a tough way to live.
But hope arrived again this past summer, as the Hornets for the first time since 2012 (Michael Kidd-Gilchrist) landed a top 2 pick. In walks Brandon Miller, a 6-7 wing player who managed to win SEC Player of the Year in his one-and-done season at Alabama.
BetCarolina.com – your source for NC sports betting apps - used StatMuse and Basketball-Reference.com to show the production of the second overall pick since 2010 in key statistical categories to project if Miller can help lead the Hornets to greener pastures in the years to come.
How Overall No. 2 Picks Have Fared
Give Miller More Time Out of the Gate
Miller to this point has only played in 11 regular season contests, missing one due to injury. The good news is he has been more than a serviceable player early in his rookie campaign, at just 20 years old. Miller is averaging just over 14 points per game, with 4.1 rebounds to go along with it. He’s shooting nearly 47% from the field and has started recently with injuries to Terry Rozier and Gordon Hayward. He had a season-high 29 points in the Hornets’ last game, a 122-108 loss to the New York Knicks.
Like most rookies in a Steve Clifford system, Miller is likely learning the ways of defensive strategy while ball-handlers like LaMelo Ball and Rozier set the offensive pace. How that affects the Hornets’ playoff chances remains to be seen.
Which No. 2 Pick Does Miller Most Resemble?
Judging by our chart, being the No. 2 pick is by no means indicative of long-term success. Players like Jabari Parker, Marvin Bagley III and James Wiseman all put up similar numbers as Miller in their first 10 games or so but did not end up being in their respective team’s future.
Judging by this list, and their similar builds and style of play, Miller should look to the 2016 No. 2 in Brandon Ingram for inspiration. Also a one-and-done in college, Ingram improved every year in a tough situation with the Lakers (not dissimilar to what Miller might be in for in Charlotte), became a top notch defender and ended up making his first All-Star Game at the age of 23 with the Pelicans.
Can Miller follow a similar growth pattern and stick with the Hornets? Only time will tell, but the early returns are at least somewhat encouraging.
Stick with BetCarolina.com for coverage of pro teams in the state as well as for NC sportsbook promos.