The 2023-24 NBA regular season has brought little joy for fans of the Charlotte Hornets, who have stumbled to an NBA-worst 11-41 record so far. However, rookie Brandon Miller, selected second overall in the 2023 NBA Draft out of the University of Alabama, has been a bright spot. He will likely be one of the most popular Hornets players for North Carolina sports bettors when betting launches March 11.

Through 46 games, the 6-foot-9 forward has posted 0.4 win shares, averaging 16.5 points, 4.0 rebounds and 2.3 assists per contest on 44.4% shooting. After a strong 10-game stretch where Miller averaged over 22 points on 60% true shooting, the rookie looks poised to make an impact as the Hornets rebuild.

How does Miller’s production compare to recent number two overall picks in their debut campaigns? Using, compiled the rookie scoring averages for the last 10 players selected second overall:

Rookie Scoring Leaders Out of Recent No. 2 Draft Picks

If he maintains his current 16.5 point per game average, Miller would rank third among this group in rookie scoring, ahead of current teammate and 2020 Rookie of the Year LaMelo Ball. Only Ja Morant (17.8 PPG) and Jalen Green (17.3 PPG) bested Miller’s current numbers as rookies.

The only absent name is 2022 number two selection Chet Holmgren, who missed all of 2023 with a Lisfranc injury. He is averaging 16.8 points this season for the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Where Miller Stacks Up

Factoring out Holmgren due to his extra year of NBA experience, Miller’s 16.5 PPG clip is third-best among number two picks since 2012. He trails Morant and Green but places ahead of Marvin Bagley III (14.9), D’Angelo Russell (13.2), Jabari Parker (12.3), Ball (10.5) and Brandon Ingram (9.4).

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Though Miller may not be rookie of the year, the young talent has brought excitement during a dreary season in Charlotte. Along with the imminent launch of legal wagering, Hornets fans have reason for optimism about the future.

If Miller continues his rapid development, he will likely become a centerpiece for the next successful Hornets team. His scoring knack and athletic versatility perfectly fit the modern positionless NBA.

Surrounded by talent like Ball, talented big man Mark Williams and eventually a likely high 2023 lottery pick, Charlotte could quickly reshape into a young, dangerous squad. Miller’s early play indicates he will be right at the forefront.

Of course, a league-worst record means a full rebuild is still in order for the Hornets. With Russell Westbrook’s massive expiring contract and untapped assets like PJ Washington Jr., GM Mitch Kupchak can accrue assets to pair with his new cornerstone piece.

What Other Numbers Can We Expect From Miller?

While scoring stands out for any rookie, what other statistical contributions can we project?

Floor-spacers are integral in the contemporary game, and Miller is no exception. He takes over five 3-point attempts per contest, hitting at a 36% rate. Getting that percentage nearer 40% should be a goal entering his sophomore season.

Similarly, continuing to improve his playmaking ability can raise Miller’s all-around impact. If he can push closer to five assists per game, it would unlock another dimension to Charlotte’s offense.

One area that likely will not change much is rebounding. Miller lacks the size or physicality to consistently battle on the glass. His athleticism affords some second chance opportunities, but getting over six rebounds a night seems unlikely.

Nonetheless, if Miller keeps progressing as a shooter, scorer and facilitator, he will provide immense value. Building around his versatile skill set can quickly get the Hornets back into Eastern Conference contention.

And when North Carolina sportsbooks open for business March 11, expect avid NBA bettors to take plenty of action on the budding star. Though Charlotte likely remains a lottery squad next year, count on Miller to stuff stat sheets and cash tickets on a nightly basis.

✅ Updated on February 24, 2024 by Frank Sutton