Hornets Notes: Miller, Oubre, Williams, Ball

The Hornets don’t want to ask too much of No. 2 overall pick Brandon Miller at the start of his rookie season, and the roster depth at the forward spots puts the club in a good position to avoid putting pressure on him in the early going, writes Roderick Boone of The Charlotte Observer. As Miller notes, with plenty of reliable veterans, he can focus on getting comfortable in his role.

“It definitely gives me a lot of confidence just to come in here and take an open shot on a passed ball from LaMelo Ball or one of our vets out here,” Miller said. “It’s just a confidence thing.”

While Miller may not immediately be a focal point on offense or the player who’s taking on the toughest defensive assignments, he has been a quick study so far in training camp, impressing his Hornets teammates.

“Yeah, I think it’s definitely rare, but his game speaks volumes,” P.J. Washington said. “I’ve been saying this a long time, but he doesn’t do anything (wrong) on the court. I’m very happy the way he’s been working. He’s getting extra shots, he’s doing everything to be successful in this league. And I just can’t wait to see him play.”

Here’s more on the Hornets:

  • In his initial comments to reporters as a 76er this week, former Hornets wing Kelly Oubre appeared to take a shot at his old team, as Boone relays. “Honestly, this team wins every year, right?” Oubre said of the Sixers. “The fan base wants them to win more, but I’ve come from teams where they have no hope. Like, zero hope within the whole city. And this is not that at all. … The organization gives its players the platform to do so with everything around us. So, it’s night and day from what I’ve been to, and I’m going to just take advantage of it, soak it all in, and take it day by day.” Oubre spent the past two seasons with the Hornets.
  • Second-year big man Mark Williams wasn’t able to play in Summer League or complete his usual offseason workout routine since he spent part of the summer recovering from thumb surgery. Instead, he focused on spending extra time in the weight room, adding roughly 12 pounds without sacrificing speed and lateral movement, Boone writes for The Observer.
  • Within the same story, Williams said he’s looking forward to picking the brain of Patrick Ewing, the former star center who has rejoined the Hornets as a coaching consultant. “Obviously, what he can do, what he’s done, and then now to have a legend like that here will be great for me,” Williams said. “He obviously played the five, played against a lot of greats. So, to have him here will be really cool.”
  • LaMelo Ball, who signed a five-year, maximum-salary contract extension with the Hornets in July, is embracing his role as a team leader, according to Boone. “(We) see the difference in him from last year and the last couple of years,” veteran guard Terry Rozier said of his teammate.
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