The Charlotte Hornets have announced the team’s full 18-man roster for the MGM Resorts NBA Summer League that begins on July 5.
A few notable bits of news for the Hornets Summer League squad is the absence of Malik Monk along with Hornets assistant coach Ronald Nored serving as the head coach. The roster includes many NC locals from surrounding North Carolina colleges and towns. The Hornets begin Summer League on Friday, July 5 against the Warriors at 9 p.m. ET.
NBA fans go into Summer League not knowing many of the players on their perspective squad so I provided all Hornets and NBA fans a bit on each player so you can get to know them and have a general idea of what to expect from every Summer Hornet.
Here is the full Hornets 2019 NBA Summer League roster:
Francis Alonso, Guard – UNC Greensboro/Spain
The former UNCG sharpshooter is a rookie from Spain. Alonso averaged 17.6 PPG and 37 percent from beyond the arc as a senior last season and averaged 15.3 PPG for his career along with an impressive 40 percent from three and 87 percent from the free throw line, according to sports-reference. The Spaniard helped lead the Spartans to a third straight 25-win season along with setting a school record with 396 three-pointers made. Alonso has a rapid quick release on his jump shot and will provide the Hornets with a knock-down perimeter shooter in Vegas with a high basketball IQ. Alonso had pre-draft workouts with the Hornets in May and is now on the Hornets Summer League roster before he likely looks to play overseas after.
Dwayne Bacon, G/F – Charlotte Hornets
Dwayne Bacon is entering his third season with the Charlotte Hornets. He came out of Florida State as an incredibly raw prospect taken by Charlotte with the 40th overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft. Bacon has spent time with the Hornets G-League affiliate, the Greensboro Swarm, through his first two years. Last season in 17 games with the Swarm he averaged 22.2 PPG, 7 REB, and 2.1 AST, shooting 48 percent from the field, according to G-League.NBA.com. Bacon has a perfect two-way frame (and name) for the modern NBA standing at 6’7″ weighing 220 pounds. His strength and size have made him a solid rebounder and defender along with a strong finisher inside. He needs to improve his ball-handling skills and his three-point shooting, and the summer league is the perfect place for that. Bacon is one of the Hornets young prospects that they expect to make a huge leap this season.
Miles Bridges, Forward – Charlotte Hornets
Miles Bridges is the most compelling player on this summer league squad. The 2018 12th overall pick out of Michigan State has astonishing athleticism and will be a human highlight reel these next few weeks. In his rookie campaign, he averaged 7.5 PPG, 4 REB, and 1.2 AST along with a promising 32.5 shooting percentage from three. Bridges has a raw jump shot and perimeter game which was obvious last year with his inability to create off the dribble and he will likely be one of the Hornets two primary options on offense. Bridges was left off of the NBA All-Rookie teams and acknowledged via Twitter that he “sucked” so it is obvious he has the motivation to get after it and expect many flashy, rim-rattling dunks, emphatic blocks, and exciting finishes around the rim along with numerous rebounds.
Joe Chealey, Guard – Charlotte Hornets / College of Charleston
Joe Chealey signed with the Hornets as an undrafted free agent out of the College of Charleston where he was eventually signed to a two-way contract last October. Last season in 43 games played for the Greensboro Swarm, Chealey averaged 16.3 PPG, 3.6 REB, 5.4 AST, and 1 STL in 31.3 minutes per game. He shot 43.6 percent from the field including 33 percent from downtown. Chealey is an aggressive scorer off the dribble with the size and athleticism that allows him to be a solid scorer inside and from mid-range with a variety of moves to create space. Chealey was the Swarm’s primary play-maker so look for him to run the offense for the Hornets squad in Vegas. Chealey’s season ended in March after a meniscus tear in his left knee and he has now fully recovered from that and now looks to make a splash in Summer League in hopes of landing another contract.
Torin Dorn, Guard – NC State
Torin Dorn, a Charlotte Native, played his freshman year at UNC Charlotte before finishing up his last three years at NC State University. He averaged 14 PPG, 7.3 REB, 1.3 AST, and 1 STL as a senior last season. The combo guard uses his athleticism on both ends. He is a tenacious defender who uses his speed to stay in front of guards and swipe the ball away along with defending passing lanes well. Dorn flies all over the court and is an incredible rebounder for a guard, averaging over seven per game last season at only 6’5″. On offense, he has a capable jump shot and is a crafty slasher and finisher inside. Look for Dorn to compete and be active on both ends in Vegas.
Robert Franks, Forward – Washington State
Robert Franks is a perfect modern NBA scoring forward. Measuring 6’9″ and weighing in at 225 pounds, he is the perfect size for the modern NBA. Franks is a pure shooter and scores the ball with ease. A four-year player at Washington State, Franks averaged 21.6 PPG, 7.2 REB, and 2.6 AST while shooting an impressive 49 percent from the field and 40 percent from beyond the arc. He has a very high release on his jump shot which helps him excel as laser spot-up shooter. Last season Robert Franks was 2018-’19 All-Pac-12 as well as the 2017-’18 Pac-12’s Most Improved Player. In his junior year, he improved from 6.3 PPG to 17.4 PPG, shooting 48 percent from the field and over 40 percent from three. Franks is a confident scorer and will get his fair share of three-pointers off in Summer League.
Devonté Graham, Guard – Charlotte Hornets
The Charlotte Hornets traded two future second-round picks to acquire Devonté Graham with the 34th overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft. Obviously, Charlotte saw promise in the All-American Kansas product. As an undersized guard in the NBA it takes a while to find a groove and to get comfortable adjusting to the size and speed of the NBA and Devonté had times like that through his rookie year. Graham played 13 games for the Greensboro Swarm in the G-League where he averaged 23.3 PPG, 4.6 REB, 4.9 AST, and 1.5 STL shooting 38 percent from three on 9.8 attempts per game. Devonté actually got solid playing time, backing up Kemba Walker, playing almost 15 minutes per contest where he averaged 4.7 PPG. During college, he shot over 40 percent from three in three of his four seasons at Kansas so he is a proven dead-eye shooter from deep but in his rookie year, he only shot 28 percent from deep and 34 percent from the field. Graham will lead the Hornets G-League squad as the point guard and look for him to be aggressive off the dribble, working on in-game three-pointers where he struggled last year. Graham is a proven leader and will be one of the most crucial Hornets players this month in Vegas.
Isaiah Hicks, PF/C – New York Knicks / UNC
Isaiah Hicks is another local NC player, from Oxford and went on to play four years at UNC where he was the ACC’s Sixth Man of the Year in 2015-’16 along with being on the 2017 All-ACC Tournament team, finishing his collegiate career winning an NCAA Championship. Hicks was on a two-way contract with the New York Knicks for his first two seasons in the NBA. Hicks averaged 16.5 PPG, 7.3 REB, 2.7 AST, 1 STL, and 1.8 BLK in 27 games for the Westchester Knicks in the G-League last season. Hicks is a potent post player on both ends, being able to use his size and skills to convert layups, hooks, and baskets inside but the most impressive part of Hicks’ game is the development of his three-point shot where he shot 31.3 percent on 2.5 attempts per contest in the G-League last year. He came into the NBA without a trace of a perimeter shot, only attempting six total during his four years in Chapel Hill. Hicks struggled with various injuries (ankle, hamstring, groin, and back) last season that limited him to only three appearances for the New York Knicks compared to 18 in his rookie season. The Oxford native is looking for a place to rejuvenate his career and the post scorer can do so starting in Vegas with the Hornets NBA Summer League team.
Arnoldas Kulboka, Forward – Brose Bamberg (Germany) / Lithuania
Arnoldas Kulboka was the Hornets 55th overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft and spent last summer playing on Charlotte’s summer league team before going back overseas. Kulboka is the Hornets only “draft-and-stash” prospect and he spent last season playing for Brose Bamberg in the BBL, Germany’s most competitive professional basketball league. During the 2018-19 season with Brose, he averaged 6.1 PPG shooting an outstanding 46 percent from three, according to proballers.com. Arnoldas Kulboka is about a year away from being able to join the Hornets full-time but they drafted him so the 20-year-old could develop in the highest level of competitive basketball overseas with the BBL last year and Italy’s Serie A with Orlandina. Kulboka is a very intriguing prospect for the modern NBA, standing at 6’9″, weighing 220 pounds, he has the length and size to bang around with the big guys in the NBA. Kulboka is a sharpshooter and his numbers prove it. He has a comparable game to other Europeans such as Bojan Bogdanovic and the Australian, Joe Ingles, in that they are all knock-down shooters with great playmaking instincts on the wing. Kulboka is also a great athlete with speed to blow by defenders and the athleticism to finish over the top of taller defenders and put down rim-rattling put-back dunks off of teammate’s misses. Not many Hornets fans have much knowledge on Arnoldas Kulboka, he is really a mystery. This summer they will be pleasantly surprised with his progress from a year ago with his three-point percentage increasing from 36 to 46 percent along with his overall game.
J.P. Macura, Guard – Charlotte Hornets / Xavier
J.P. Macura is the Hornets second two-way player, a graduate from Xavier where he made his name known across the country as a flashy perimeter shooter who could score on command. Last season with the Greensboro Swarm, he averaged 16.4 points, 3.8 rebounds and 2.6 assists in 30 games. Macura will likely serve on a two-way contract for the second season in a row as he looks to continue to improve his game on both ends. J.P. has average athleticism so improved his defensive IQ and play-making skills are things he has slowly improved on in hopes of landing a permanent NBA contract. Macura runs through screens and moves off the ball extremely well, but he loves when the ball is in his hands to create his own offense from anywhere on the floor. He is well adept to shooting difficult contested threes off the dribble as well as off the catch or handoff. Macura can score in bunches and expect many threes from him this summer in Vegas.
Greg Malinowski, G/F – Georgetown
Greg Malinowski will be a rookie this season with the intent to make an impression on the Hornets in hopes of making their G-League affiliate, the Greensboro Swarm. Malinowski spent his first three years at William & Mary where he started 24 games as a junior averaging 7.7 PPG, shooting 40 percent from three on 4.2 attempts per game. Malinowski is not coming in as one of the top prospects for the Summer Hornets but he brings valuable shooting to the table with a solid 6’6″/200-pound frame. Malinowski will hope to make an impact with his three-point shooting abilities in hopes of landing a spot on the Greensboro Swarm.
Cody Martin, Guard – Nevada (previously NC State)
Cody Martin played his first two collegiate seasons in Raleigh at NC State before spending his finals two years of eligibility at Nevada where he led the Wolf Pack to the Sweet 16 in 2018. Cody Martin is a smart wing defender who has long arms, and a strong build who can defend multiple positions. Martin is also a solid rebounder for a wing, who averaged 5.4 per game over his two years as a starter for Nevada. Offensively, he is a smart ball handler that controls the tempo and a good pick-and-roll playmaker and scorer capable of finishing at the rim or pulling up off the dribble. Martin will likely make the Hornets roster this season and will make an immediate impact defensively but needs to improve his mechanics on his jump shot. He is a capable spot-up shooter (35.8 percent from three last year) and has an excellent pump fake he utilizes to attack the rim, so with improved mechanics look for Cody Martin to be a three-and-D contributor for the Hornets in the future.
Jalen McDaniels, Forward – San Diego State
Jalen McDaniels was one of the most interesting prospects coming out of San Diego State. He has the height and of a big (6’10”) and the skills of a wing but needs to develop those wing skills to be able to compete at the NBA level. For a big, he only weighed in at 193 pounds at the combine while being 6’10” so beefing up and adding some muscle will be key for his NBA success. But McDaniels will be exciting to watch in Summer League. His athleticism is off the charts, being able to catch lobs from anywhere around the rim. His finishing ability inside is great and can finish with both hands along with having a reliable floater. Jalen also has great vision for a big making cross-court passes frequently during his time at SDSU and creating offense off the dribble. For the modern NBA, he can fit in as a tweener if he continues to improve his three-point and overall jump shot (32.3 percent last year). Immediately in the summer league, he will showcase his flashy athleticism with his emphatic dunks, put-backs, and finishes inside along with grabbing plenty of rebounds and exposing his constant energy on the floor.
Kennedy Meeks, Center – Aishin SeaHorses (Japan) / UNC
Kennedy Meeks is a West Charlotte Native who spent his four years of college at UNC where he won a Championship with the Tarheels in 2017. Meeks averaged 12.5 PPG and 9.5 REB, 1 STL, and 1 BLK as he worked alongside now Summer League teammate, Isaiah Hicks, dominating the post on both ends. Meeks went undrafted in the 2017 NBA Draft and spent his first season with the Toronto Raptors G-league affiliate, the 905 Raptors, where he averaged 12.8 PPG and 9.6 REB in 27 games. Last season he decided to go overseas and play with the Aishin SeaHorses in Japan to further develop and improve his game where he averaged close to 15 PPG, 11 REB, 5 AST per game, according to real.gm.com. Meeks has always been an efficient post scorer, using his large frame at 6’10″/270 pounds to move big out of his way to get off various forms of interior shots and uses his size on the boards on both ends as well. He improved his jump shot and has looked to extend his game to the three-point line so look for Meeks to attempt a few threes in Vegas this summer.
Josh Perkins, Guard – Gonzaga
Josh Perkins was arguably Gonzaga’s most important player last season, due to him being the primary play-maker in coach Mark Few’s complex motion offense. Perkins is an older NBA prospect and will be 24 years old by the time he plays his first NBA game but his experience he gained at Gonzaga be valuable in Vegas this summer. He is an all-around point guard who can create his own shot when needed and was a solid three-point shooter last season at 36.6 percent (38.6 for his career on 4.3 attempts per game). Perkins is a high IQ player with plenty of college experience with how to lead an effective offense with top tier efficiency. The Hornets get another experienced guard who can limit turnovers and help find teammates open shots.
Kerwin Roach, Guard – Texas
Kerwin Roach is a pit-bull out of the University of Texas. He is an energetic speed demon that is easy to spot as he is constantly flying all over the floor on both sides of the ball. Defensively he is a menace, harassing opposing teams guards and uses his speed, 6’4″ frame to disrupt opponents. In the open court, Roach uses his speed to get past the defense, exploding to the rim for tough layups with both hands in-air. Kerwin averaged 14.6 points per game with the Longhorns during his senior year and improved his shooting each and every year, including his free throw shooting which started around 60 percent his freshman year, making its way up to 69 percent as a senior. He is a solid shooter (35.5 percent from three) but his offensive value comes with his ability to finish at the rim with his speed and his play-making ability off the pick-and-roll. Jaxon Hayes and Roach loved their pick-and-rolls last year where Kerwin could zip a pass into tight windows between defenders or he could use his speed and athleticism to explode to the rim. Expect to see roach active on the defensive end in Vegas and pushing the ball in transition coast to coast for layups.
Elijah Thomas, Center – Clemson
Elijah Thomas is a beast of a big man. The Clemson graduate averaged a dominating 13 PPG, 7.8 REB, and 2.2 BLK as a senior last season. The double-double machine is a constant force on both ends and uses his size and strength (6’9″/240 pounds) to push opponents out of his way to grab rebounds and finish tough layups inside. Thomas weighed 270 pounds during high school and trimmed down once he got to college and turned himself in a two time ACC All-Defense member. While undersized, Thomas uses a variety of post moves to get his shots off over taller big men. He has a craft right-handed hook shot, a solid drop-step, and a post-spin that he uses to blow by defenders to get off layups. Elijah Thomas is similar to another Clemson Tiger graduate, Trevor Booker. They are both mobile bigs who hustle for rebounds, loose balls, and are excellent shot blocks for being under 6’10”. Elijah Thomas will have to find his own niche in the NBA and that is likely as a hustle guys who rebounds the ball on both sides and can slash to the rim off rolls.
P.J. Washington Jr, Forward – Kentucky
P.J. Washington was the Hornets 12th overall selection in last months NBA Draft. The University of Kentucky graduate went against the usual UK status quo and stayed in Lexington for his sophomore year. Washington in a strong, built combo forward with the length (7’2″ wingspan) that allow him to be a mobile defender on-ball (6’8″/230 pounds). Last season he averaged 15.2 ppg with a three-point percentage of 42.3 that is rapidly being improved along with his range. He is also a good passer for his position and also has a quick first step when attacking and has ambidexterity on his layups. P.J. is the most hopeful Hornets prospect right now with his scoring ability/potential being the selling point of his game. With Kemba Walker and Jeremy Lamb gone, Charlotte has a large gap to fill offensively and P.J. Washington has the potential to be the scoring wing the Hornets so desperately need. Though P.J. Washington will not participate in Summer League due to a sore left foot, he will definitely be a key part of this Hornets franchise for the foreseeable future.