The Latest from Priority Sports
The Latest from Priority Sports
CHARLOTTE - Gabe DeVoe’s NBA dreams get real on Friday afternoon in Las Vegas.
That’s when Shelby’s DeVoe and the Charlotte Hornets begin their MGM Resorts Summer League play at 5:30 p.m. against Oklahoma City at 5:30 p.m. ET on ESPNU.
“It’s exciting,” DeVoe said Thursday before the team boarded a charter plane bound for Las Vegas. “I’m ready to go to Vegas and get a couple of games under my belt.”
A 2014 Shelby High graduate, DeVoe set Cleveland County scoring records in high school before spending four years at Clemson, capped by an honorable mention All-ACC senior season in which he averaged 14.2 points, 4.7 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 1.1 steals.
In March, he helped lead the Tigers to their first NCAA Sweet 16 appearance since 1997.
A 6-foot-3, 207-pounder, DeVoe played mostly off-guard in college. But NBA scouts think DeVoe will have play at least some point guard in the pros and improve his defense so he can be effective against both positions.
DeVoe worked out at the Hornets practice facility before the minicamp began on Monday and has been showing Hornets’ coaches his versatility in practice sessions.
“I want to see him move the ball,” Borrego said of DeVoe on Thursday. “He’s a shot maker and he can score. Can he be a part of a team that moves the ball and shares the ball? So far he’s shown that he can.
“When we put him in an environment like Las Vegas, we’ll see how he responds.”
DeVoe is confident he can meet that challenge that continues Sunday against the Miami Heat at 5 p.m. ET on NBA TV, Monday against the Boston Celtics at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN2 and in at least one more playoff game whose date and time will be determined.
“I’m just continuing to learn as much as I can on the defensive end and pick up the terminology,” DeVoe said. “So it’s been a big learning experience and I’ve been soaking it all in.”
DeVoe is one of nine players who can play guard on the Hornets’ 14-player summer league roster and he’s already survived one cut in which five players were let go, among them former University of North Carolina first-round draft pick Brice Johnson.
Veterans Malik Monk and Dwayne Bacon, recent draft pick Devonte’ Graham and fellow free agents Joe Chealey, Terry Henderson, B.J. Johnson, J.P. Macura and Shannon Scott are guards or swingmen on a roster that also includes veteran center Willy Hernangomez, veteran forward-center Mangok Mathiang, recent draft picks Miles Bridges and Arnoldas Kulboka and free agent Luke Petrasek.
“He’s a combo guard,” Borrego said of DeVoe. “Can he playmake? Can he make enough shots to stay on the floor? Can he defend his position? When he slides to the 2, can he guard the 2s in this league?
“I’m interested in watching him just playmake and create shots for others. I think he’s done that a little bit in college, but I’m expecting more of that this week with us.”
As for his team, Borrego hopes a roster that will be led by assistant coach Jay Hernandez has developed in this week’s minicamp and will continue to develop.
“I want to see them play together, get a feel of playing together and establishing a culture of unity and playing together and playing disciplined,” said Borrego, who was hired in April as Hornets head coach to replace Steve Clifford after five seasons. “If I see that this week, the results will take care of themselves.”
Richard Walker: 704-869-1841; twitter.com/jrwalk22