NBA’s Oldest Rookie Thriving With Charlotte Hornets

Vasilije Micic, Hornets, NBA
Mar 15, 2024; Charlotte, North Carolina, USA; Charlotte Hornets guard Vasa Micic (22) drives to the basket against the Phoenix Suns during the second half at Spectrum Center. Mandatory Credit: Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

There has not been much to get excited about when it comes to the Charlotte Hornets during the 2023-24 NBA season. They are 17-52 to this point, which is the third-worst record in the league.

The team’s future looks decent enough with young players such as Brandon Miller, the No. 2 pick in the 2023 NBA Draft, LaMelo Ball and Mark Williams as foundational pieces. However, it is another “youngster” that has been stealing the show in recent weeks.

Ahead of the trade deadline, the Hornets made a deal with the Oklahoma City Thunder centered around Gordon Hayward. In return, one of the pieces Charlotte received was rookie Vasilije Micic. Alas, Micic wasn’t like your everyday rookie.

NBA NEWS & SCORES: Vasilije Micic & Charlotte Hornets Updates

Miller, who is only 21 years old, and Micic, who is 30, draw the same designation as this is their first season in the NBA. However, Micic has been playing professionally overseas for years, as he was a draft and stash prospect 10 years ago by the Philadelphia 76ers.

Playing overseas, Micic developed into one of the best players in the EuroLeague and came over to the NBA this past offseason. He signed a three-year, $23.5 million deal with the Thunder, which includes a team option and was signed partly to make him a trade asset.

Since landing with the Hornets, we have seen just how useful of a player Micic can be. He has found a consistent role in Steve Clifford’s rotation and has made the most of his opportunities, showcasing that he can, at the very least, be a solid backup point guard option.

With Charlotte, Micic has already recorded four 20+ point games, averaging 12.3 points while making 57 percent of his 2-point attempts. He has struggled with the NBA 3-point range, making only 29 percent, but that isn’t too much of a surprise as he was a sporadic shooter with the shorter international line.

NBA NEWS & SCORES: Vasilije Micic & Charlotte Hornets Updates

His playmaking has been excellent, as he averages 5.5 assists per game. Standing 6’5”, he has an advantage over most of his defenders being able to see over the top as he brings some cleverness to his passing as well.

Veterans such as Micic and Grant Williams are exactly what the Hornets needed to show some improvement during the 2023-24 NBA season. While they aren’t going to be making a playoff push, their presence has helped bring out better team results in the last few weeks.

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