clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Frank Kaminsky expected to have impact for Charlotte Hornets as a rookie

New, comments

According to Kevin Pelton's latest ESPN Insider article, Frank Kaminsky should make an impact his rookie year.

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

If there's one thing Frank Kaminsky brings to the Charlotte Hornets it's NBA readiness, and the possibility of being able to help the team win games his rookie season. That's largely why the Hornets drafted him, as the front office sits in a win now state of mind, and it's going to force high expectations for Kaminsky early on in his career. After all, if he's not having an impact as a rookie then what was the point of drafting him over players with supposedly higher potential?

According to Kevin Pelton of ESPN (Insider), the Hornets have a better chance than most of Kaminsky turning out to be an impact player his rookie season. Pelton ranks him second among rookies, and mentions that while it's unlikely he's the best player from the draft, Kaminsky could very likely turn out to be the best rookie. Not a crazy thing to believe after he racked up quite a few major college awards his senior year at Wisconsin, and entered the NBA draft as arguably the most NBA ready player there was. So who did Pelton have ranked first? The number one overall pick, from the 2015 NBA Draft, Karl-Anthony Towns.

Honestly, putting Towns ahead of Kaminsky might be the wrong thing to do in these kinds of rankings. As a rookie, Towns is definitely going to get more of an opportunity to show what he can do on a team like Minnesota than Kaminsky is going to get on a playoff hopeful like Charlotte, but that isn't always a good thing. Big men historically take longer to show NBA readiness than other draft picks. Anthony Davis didn't win rookie of the year, and it took Cody Zeller half of his rookie season to even look like he deserved minutes. Kaminsky, playing on a playoff team with low expectations, has a chance to come in and just play really well thanks to his ability to shoot.

Of course, that was the reasoning many had for why Doug McDermott could win rookie of the year last season with the Chicago Bulls, but McDermott ended up never getting playing time. Although this is a different situation, McDermott was playing on a team with title aspirations while Kaminsky is on a team merely trying to make the playoffs. Kaminsky's mistakes will be much easier to overlook than McDermott's were.

That said, Kaminsky's rookie season is going to have higher expectations than average. The Hornets will be looking for immediate impact rather than potential. If Kaminsky isn't showing that he belongs on the floor, and the team isn't getting as many wins as they hope, then Charlotte could look for alternatives in Spencer Hawes or even Tyler Hansbrough. Obviously it's not fair to judge his rookie season of all things by results, but that's the kind of situation Charlotte has put themselves in.