Aaron Harrison sure looks like a keeper based on what he has done so far at the Orlando summer league.
Harrison, a 6-6 guard out of Kentucky, went undrafted last month. The Charlotte Hornets added him to their summer-league roster and based on his performance in the first two games, plenty of teams missed by not selecting Harrison among the draft’s 60 picks.
Harrison started Sunday’s 79-75 loss to the Memphis Grizzlies. He finished the game with 16 points, eight assists and four rebounds. He got to the rim with ease off pick-and-rolls and nearly brought the Hornets all the way back from what had been a 19-point deficit.
The Hornets need a third point guard. If Harrison continues to play as he is in Orlando, it would make great sense to bring him to training camp in October.
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Hornets associate head coach Patrick Ewing, who is in charge of the summer-league team, said after Saturday’s game against the Oklahoma City Thunder that he wanted Harrison to be more aggressive both offensively and defensively and to share the ball more. He did all of that Sunday.
“He played a pretty good game; he attacked,” Ewing said. “There were a couple of times when I thought he should have kicked it back to Frank (Kaminsky). But overall he did a pretty good job.”
Harrison and Kaminsky looked quite effective in the high pick-and-roll. That sets up Kaminsky as a jump-shooter, and Harrison’s drives to the rim.
“He’s been able to get to the rim, get some shots off ball screens or kick it back to me,” Kaminsky said. “I like playing with people who like playing off screens. He’s definitely one of them.”
Harrison played as a reserve Saturday against the Thunder, finishing with 10 points, five rebounds and three steals. That’s when Ewing gave his feedback about being more aggressive and a more willing passer.
“You get better every day, just by getting a feel for it. I’m still not shooting the ball particularly well, but I think I did what I was supposed to do for the most part,” Harrison said.
“Coach told me to be more aggressive, make decisions and be more of a leader. That’s what I’ve tried to do every day.”
Sunday was a first for Harrison, playing against his twin brother, Andrew, a rookie for the Grizzlies. The two never went head-to-head Sunday, since Memphis is using Andrew as a wing player. Still, they did a post-game interview together.
“We don’t look at each other as competition,” said Andrew Harrison, who was drafted by the Phoenix Suns, then traded to Memphis. “We push each other, but we support each other, too.
“And I won tonight, so...”
Kaminsky had another strong game Sunday with 14 points and eight rebounds. He shot 6-of-8 from the field and 2-of-3 from 3-point range. Similarly to his game against the Thunder on Saturday, Kaminsky had a slow first half but a head-turning second half.
“I was setting a lot more screens; I was more active within the offense,” Kaminsky said of the difference in the two halves.
“A lot of it for me is feeling things out. That may happen during the course of a game or at the start of a game. Especially in that fourth quarter, setting a lot of screens; I felt a lot more comfortable.”
Bonnell: 704-358-5129; Twitter: @rick_bonnell