Hornets’ James Bouknight to miss summer league following surgery


Hornets guard James Bouknight, left, leans into Grizzlies forward Santi Aldama as he drives the ball during the game at Spectrum Center on Saturday, February 12, 2022 in Charlotte, NC.

James Bouknight’s summer just got a little longer.

The Charlotte Hornets guard had surgery Monday night to repair a tendon in his right pinky finger, the team announced. No exact timetable for his recovery was given, but the injury will keep him out of the Las Vegas Summer League when it tips off next week. Dr. Brandon Valentine performed the surgery in consultation with Hornets team physician Dr. Marcus Cook at Novant Health Charlotte Orthopedic Hospital.

Bouknight was expected to receive significant playing time in Las Vegas to foster his development heading into his second season. So the news is a rough blow for him after a rocky rookie season that included 31 appearances sandwiched around seven appearances with the G League’s Greensboro Swarm. Selected No. 11 overall, Bouknight never cracked the rotation under James Borrego and was involved in that public incident on the sideline with the Hornets’ former coach.

Bouknight’s absence means he won’t be able to join his fellow rookie classmates in Las Vegas. JT Thor and Kai Jones are also going to be on the Hornets’ summer league roster. Last week’s draft picks, Mark Williams and Bryce McGowens, will also be participating in the action. The Hornets’ first summer league game is scheduled for July 8 against Indiana.

Roderick Boone joined the Observer in September 2021 to cover the Charlotte Hornets and NBA. In his more than two decades of writing about the world of sports, he’s chronicled everything from high school rodeo to a major league baseball no-hitter to the Super Bowl to the Finals. The Long Island native has deep North Carolina roots and enjoys watching “The Fresh Prince of Bel Air” endlessly.
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