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Summer League Review for Hornets, Spurs, and Kings

I was lucky enough to watch two Summer League games at Golden 1 Center. The Hornets took on Team China, and the Spurs (without Stephon Castle) took on the Kings. The games lasted from about 5 PM to 9:30. I'll give a few inside stories, but this will mainly be about the players I got the opportunity to watch.

The first game was Charlotte taking on Team China. Team China had no one I could recognize, except for one center (I don't remember their name, and I couldn't find their jersey number) who hit the same spin move on Mouhamadou Gueye twice, and instantly gained so much respect from the fans. About the Hornets, they quickly became public enemy #1 among the fans (except me, I felt weird about that lol).

Nick Smith Jr.

He was someone I was excited for. I've always loved his playstyle and I really hope he can find a home, Charlotte or not. He showed out, being a overall net positive, the most out of anyone in their starting five. He started off hot, but eventually cooled down likely to a better defense in the 2nd half from China.

Leaky Black

Incredible defense, even made a threes and was feeling himself. Locked down positions 1-4 and looks like a serious threat this coming season if he can make at least 35% from three on consistent attempts. Definitely someone to watch for if Charlotte keeps him and if they make the Playoffs again

Bryce McGowens

I was expecting not much from him, especially after he got waived. However, he immediately took charge, making a few jump shots, but more importantly, foul baited Team China likely knowing that the referees would absolutely call that. He had the game-high of 20 points (that feels weird to say lol) with 12 free throws made in 14 attempts. Hopefully he can find a spot on another team, knowing Utah they could take him if Sexton is gone within the next 2 seasons.

Mouhamadou Gueye

I can't say much about him. He has a defensive beast, until he suffered a bad fall and had to be walked off of the court. I'm wishing him the best.

Xavier Simpson

He looked way shorter than he actually is. This guy is 6 feet tall? He's incredibly fast, a pest on defense, and was a surprisingly good rebounder. Sounds a bit similar to Russell Westbrook, because Simpson's game definitely does resemble Russ, just being a bit shorter. I doubt he makes it out of Summer League especially because he was in the 2020 Draft, but I wish the best for him. (if you see this comment Cade Cunningham)

Jake Stephens

Because Gueye was out, Jake Stephens, along with James Banks III flip-flopped being the replacement for him. While Banks somehow got a negative +/- and was overall not useful for Charlotte, Stephens balled out. He made 4 three-pointers (he only made 4 shots in total), got 4 rebounds, and even blocked one shot. Impressive showing from him. He's only 24, maybe a G-League team could use him.

A brief summary for the rest of the players: RaeQuan Battle had some nice dunks, Brandon Slater should be cut from the roster, Caleb McConnell plays a little bit like T.J, and Pember might have potential as an NBA player (he should've got more minutes). Charles Lee was an an alright coach, a lot more engaged than the Chinese coach just from him standing, but some of his substitutions were a tiny bit questionable.

The second game I had the pleasure to watch was the Spurs vs. Kings. This was a lot louder than the first game (I wonder why) and the atmosphere was a lot more alive. The Spurs tema got announced first, and it was relatively lame considering the announcer sounded like he had just woken up. Then the Kings lineup got announced.

The first few players were a bit dull, Kings fans had unfortunately never heard of Drew Timme or Isaac Jones. But after Mason Jones got introduced, the place started shaking, because after him, everyone knew who was coming. Colby Jones was introduced first, and then the big reveal was Keon Ellis. The emotions were perfectly described by my post: (sorry for the shameless plug I just wanted this post to do better lol). They knew about his true heroics in the latter half of the season, now they were very excited for him.

I'd like the acknowledge the person sitting a few rows away from me who booed every single call against the Kings in unison with me. Unfortunately he didn't pay attention to me trying to start a refs you suck chant every call. There was a loud boo after one of the calls which was oddly normal. Don't know what it was about, but I continued the trend of making the lives of referees miserable.

Colby Jones

Colby Jones

Mason Jones

What happened to him. I remember he got the worst foul call ever in his favor back in 2021 vs. the Hornets (link:, but I have no clue what happened to him, because he played very well in his minutes.

Isaac Jones

He had an incredible poster dunk on Yauhen Massalski (link: and overall played great on the floor. Underrated pickup from the Kings, contributed a lot on the defensive end.

Drew Timme

Didn't play much, but he looked solid. Wished he got more minutes, I remember everyone drafting him late first-round in 2K not too long ago lol. Did get 2 blocks and 7 rebounds because they couldn't really stop him.

King Keon

Everything I would say about him has already been said. He could've for sure gone for 30, but he took a more passive approach, which did help them win by more.

Boogie Ellis

Lead the team in scoring, splashed a few threes, played incredibly well. Let him start Mike Brown, he deserves a chance. I also do want an Ellis-Jones-Ellis-Jones-Jones starting five (it's very unpractical because none of them are centers). High hopes for him based off of what I saw

Isaiah Crawford played well and is a great pickup, I hope he can do great things in the G-League before getting a roster spot. Jo Lual-Acuil Jr. can hopefully learn how to shoot in the near future, but I really liked how he played.

The Spurs didn't have many fans in attendance. Mostly silence whenever they scored. Very awkward to abide by the fact that Spurs fans don't exist in California.

Tyson Ward

A Michael Porter Jr. type of player. The possession ended with him or another upcoming player many times. He took 14 shots. He made a grand total of 3 shots, which did include 2 threes. Huge ball hog, but he had the best +/- on the whole team, so it must've amounted to something.

Luke Avdalovic

Went 0-6 from the field and 0-6 from three, but apparently he played good enough on the court to only have a +/- of -4 while losing by 22? I don't fully get it. Didn't play well at all, but he got a G-League spot last season, where he shot 37% from the field.

Jamaree Bouyea

I know him only for 2 things; carrying his team in college, and having statistically the 2nd-worst game of 2024. He actually showed out, getting 6 rebounds and making a three (in three attempts). Hope he can get on to a G-League roster and compete.

Nathan Mensah

He has some good games. He just had a huge block vs Team China. The game I watched was not one of those games. For a center, he took a whole 3 shots and made one, had 2 turnovers, and 4 fouls in 22 minutes. To his credit, he did have 7 rebounds and 3 blocks.

Harrison Ingram

If this name sounds familiar, that's because it is. Not only was he a contributor to UNC being the #1 seed going into March Madness, he's one of the 5 players AsapCohen said to watch out for in Summer League. I was excited for what he could do. The result: he is a very good slasher, can get to the rim pretty easily. He can kinda shoot, felt comfortable shooting despite his form being a bit weird. He shoots like a big man, hopefully he can get that fixed (or it's natural and I sound like an idiot).

The bench didn't shoot that great. Well, neither did anyone on the team. They shot 21% from the field, and 16% from three. A disgusting performance, they somehow kept it close until halftime. Kinda bummed that I missed Stephon Castle playing, because it looked like their guards weren't "ready" to start per say. Jameer Nelson Jr. alone shot 1-8, for the bench's combined 19.2% from the field (5/26).

That is all I had to say, just wanted to write up something quick on my experience (something "quick" happened to be a whole essay) because I really enjoyed watching the games back-to-back.