Spotlight Prospect: Noah Vonleh, PF, Rookie
The Charlotte Hornets might have gotten away with robbery in June's draft. Though viewed more as a long-term project, given he's just 18 years old, Noah Vonleh has tremendous offensive potential as an inside-outside power forward. Physically, he's a monster at 6'10", 240 pounds with a 7'4" wingspan and oven mitts for hands.
This is a guy Charlotte should eventually be able to feature in the post as a back-to-the-basket scorer. But he's also a capable shooter, having hit 16-of-33 three-pointers in his one-and-done year at Indiana. Summer league will give us a chance to see how Vonleh measures on the NBA-ready scale.
Prospects to Watch
P.J. Hairston, SG, Rookie
After getting the boot from the North Carolina basketball program for some off-the-court legal issues, Hairston found himself in hot water again recently, with news that he punched a high school opponent during a pickup game.
It's too bad, because Hairston is a can't-miss talent from a basketball perspective—at 6'6", he's athletic, lethal from outside and dangerous attacking the rim. And he averaged nearly 22 points a game in the D-League this past season. The Hornets could certainly use Hairston's scoring touch off the bench, and they'll get it—as long as he keeps his head on straight.
Cody Zeller, PF, Second Year
It took him a while to get going, but Zeller came on strong late last season, having averaged 8.0 points and 4.4 boards on 51.3 percent shooting in the crucial month of April. He's a skilled 7-footer who runs well and jumps high, and he's got nice touch around the basket.
But he really struggled playing through contact at both ends of the floor. Look for a stronger Zeller in 2015 and hopefully a more accurate shooter, as he's just not overly comfortable playing in traffic around the rim.
Jordan Bachynski, C, Rookie
Standing 7'2", Bachynski led the country in shot blocking as a senior at Arizona State last season (4.0 per game). But without much of an offensive game, he went undrafted this past June. If he's able to make an impact this summer, I wouldn't be shocked if the Hornets gave him a chance, given his size and defensive tools.