CHARLOTTE (CHARLOTTE SPORTS LIVE) — The Hornets tip off their preseason schedule Tuesday night against the Heat in Miami.
The four-game set includes two on the road and two at home. The team will then have six days in between before their first regular season game on Wednesday, Oct. 25.
The Hornets have a young core with guard LaMelo Ball, center Mark Williams, and second-overall pick Brandon Miller. All of whom are 22 or younger.
Injuries held Ball to only 36 games in 2022, but he still led the team in points per game (23.3) and assists per game (8.3).
Miller will be an instant impact player for Steve Clifford. In one season at Alabama, he had 18.8 points per game and 8.2 rebounds per game, leading the Crimson Tide to their second SEC title in three years.
The only player 30 years or older on the roster, forward Gordon Hayward, returns for his fourth year in the Queen City.
Although injury-prone (he hasn’t played more than 50 games in a season with the Hornets), he is a very productive player.
Since signing his four-year deal in 2020, Hayward is shooting 46.9% and averaging 16.7 points per game.
The team is facing a little bit of drama heading into the season. Kai Jones, the team’s first-round draft pick in 2021, requested a trade Monday.
On Sept. 30, the Hornets announced Jones would not participate in the team’s training camp after a bizarre post on Instagram Live and was making questionable comments about his teammates.
The Hornets play four preseason games with the last one being at home against the Boston Celtics on Oct. 19.
The first regular season game is Wednesday, Oct. 25, at Spectrum Center against the Atlanta Hawks.