The 2018-19 season was an important year for Frank Kaminsky. The Charlotte Hornets’ 2015 top draft choice is set to become a restricted free agent this summer and if his free agent rights get renounced, he’ll be unrestricted. The fourth year man out of Wisconsin hasn’t exactly lived up to the expectations of a top ten draft pick.
Part of it is his fault, but he isn’t the only one to blame for his struggles. With Cody Zeller sidelined for most of the season once again, it was Kaminsky’s chance to prove that he’s worthy of a second contract with the Hornets. In the end, the results from his performance made fans feel a little bit indifferent.
Kaminsky averaged 8.6 points and 3.5 rebounds per game while playing a career low 16.1 minutes per game. After playing in at least 75 games in each of his first three seasons, he only played 47 in 2018-19. He didn’t play a lot, but it wasn’t because of injury. Hornets head coach James Borrego chose to go with players like Willy Hernangomez and Bismack Biyombo ahead of Kaminsky at times throughout the season.
Honestly, it’s been a tale of multiple seasons mixed into one for Frank Kaminsky. At the beginning of the year, he never got consistent playing time. Then, in late November, he was back in the rotation and he turned in some really good outings and some not so good ones as well. By the time the new year arrived, Kaminsky went back to the first chapter and didn’t see meaningful game action until March. From the beginning of March through the rest of the season, he played in the Hornets last 21 games.
In those games, Kaminsky averaged a shade under 13 points per game and shot over 45 percent from the field. He showed that there was some promise to his game despite being dealt a tough hand with his minutes throughout the season, However, the question isn’t about his upside. The real question is if Kaminsky did enough to warrant a contract extension for at least next season.
Truthfully, I could see the Hornets giving him one more year to prove himself worthy. At the same time, Kaminsky is who he is at this point. He’s played in the NBA for four seasons and has yet to make the proverbial leap to the next level of his game. Hornets fans shouldn’t expect him to do so especially after a tumultuous season like this. There have been some late bloomers in recent memory like Jeremy Lamb for example.
However, developments can be made on both ends of the floor, so we’ll see if Kaminsky can somehow improve. He has to improve his efficiency for a big man (although his 46.3 percent from the field in 2018-19 was a career high). In addition to that, his defense has to be a lot better (not just him, but everyone in the Hornets front court). Overall, it’s up to the Hornets front office to decide if the former Wisconsin star is worthy of another chance.