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Projecting the Hornets Summer League Starting Five

Quick glance at who could see a lot of action in the 2022 Summer League for the Hornets.

This Friday, the Charlotte Hornets will begin Summer League play against the Indiana Pacers at 6 p.m. EST on ESPN2. We'll see all sorts of lineup combinations throughout the four Summer League games, but we're going to take our best shot at projecting the starting five.

PG Jalen Crutcher

With Jordan Surenkamp leading the team, I wouldn't be surprised to see Jalen Crutcher run the point. He played for Surenkamp last season with the Swarm and averaged 16.2 points and 6 assists per game. 

SG Scottie Lewis

This is where it could get tricky. McGowens could slide in here at the two, but I'll go with Scottie Lewis for now. I expect McGowens to play both the two and three during Summer League anyways, but I feel like Charlotte wants to see more of Lewis up close and in-person. He didn't shoot the ball particularly well last year from deep (29%) and will need to take a step forward if he wants a crack at making the opening day roster.

SF Bryce McGowens

You could really throw out about three or four different combinations for who to put at the three, four, and five. With Gordon Hayward's durability issues, the Hornets want to establish some depth at the wing. McGowens may never develop into a starter but does have the look of a quality bench player. It'll be interesting to see if his scoring translates to the professional level. 

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PF JT Thor

With McGowens on the wing, I slid JT Thor to the four spot. The Hornets could go with two bigs and play Kai Jones and Mark Williams together, which we will likely see at some point. Thor showed flashes throughout the season and offers a ton of length. Defensively, he's ready for quality minutes. If his offense comes along, he'll be in the rotation on a nightly basis.

C Mark Williams

The Hornets could go with Kai Jones here and I wouldn't be completely surprised. I just don't know if Jones is going to be a true five in the NBA. He's extremely athletic and can handle the ball fairly well for a big. I see him more as a four more than anything. Plus, the Hornets want to get a good feel for where Williams is at so they know whether or not they need to make a move for another big man ahead of the season. 

Bench: Kai Jones, Ty-Shon Alexander, LiAngelo Ball, LJ Figueroa, Brady Manek, Cameron McGriff, Justin Minaya, Nick Richards, Isaiah Whaley.

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