A rookie's situation can be everything when he hits the professional ranks. From the onset of his pro career, Frank Kaminsky will be in a competitive environment. Not only does he embrace it, he sees the benefits it will have on his new team.
"Even in workouts, you know it just makes it that much more competitive, which is going to make us better as a team," Kaminsky told "Primetime with Chris Kroeger" on WFNZ 610 The Fan at Hornets Media Day last week.
Kaminsky was drafted ninth overall in the 2015 NBA Draft. Before draft night, the Hornets already had a few pieces in their frontcourt - Al Jefferson, Cody Zeller, Marvin Williams and the recently acquired Spencer Hawes.
The selection of Kaminsky signaled a future battle for frontcourt minutes, especially at the power forward position. "Each guy pushing each other to get better, it's what you want in a team," Kaminsky said.
After Kaminsky's selection, the Hornets made a move in free agency, signing the 2008 National Player of the Year, former UNC star Tyler Hansbrough. The July signee adds yet another body into Charlotte's frontcourt competition.
Al Jefferson, along with Hansbrough, will likely only play center while the rest of the bunch will play minutes at power forward. Jefferson is the obvious starter at center and Hansbrough's physicality and defense will be needed at times throughout the season at center.
The incumbent at the 4-spot is another former Big Ten star, Cody Zeller. He comes off a solid second season and although he's not a 3-point threat like Kaminsky, he's been working on his outside shot. Zeller is coming off shoulder surgery and still needs to add strength to his body but he rebounds and does the little things - sets screens, moves off the ball and runs the floor.
"You want competitions like that inside of the locker room, where you are going to do what you can to get better, to beat out the next guy and you got to know at the same time that he's doing the same things to beat you out," Kaminsky told the weekly 3-7 p.m. ET program on WFNZ in Charlotte, NC.
Spencer Hawes and Marvin Williams align with Kaminsky's skill set as they are both shooters. Williams is much more versatile defensively than the other two with the talent to switch on to guys at the perimeter. Williams may play some small forward this year as well.
In Hawes, Williams and Kaminsky, the Hornets have three "interior" players that will counteract defenses from overloading Al Jefferson around the basket. Zeller provides more defense and more physicality than the other three and Hansbrough seems headed for the Red Bull role when the team needs a boost.
All the competition doesn't frighten the rookie however. He sees the benefits of all the talented players around him and in fact, he has the best attitude when discussing the competition at his position. "That just makes us better as a team and adds to the completion and it will help us in the long run," Kaminsky says.
Whether the rookie leads the pack heading out of training camp or not, he's heading into the gauntlet with the right attitude.