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Charlotte Hornets to participate in expanded dual California Classic summer league

It’s back to the West Coast for the Charlotte Hornets.

After making their inaugural appearance at the California Classic summer league in Sacramento last year, the Hornets will participate again in the event, which has expanded and is going to be spread across two venues.

The Hornets, Sacramento and San Antonio will play each other at Golden 1 Center from July 6-9 while Golden State, the Los Angeles Lakers, Miami Heat and Kings match up at Chase Center in San Francisco from July 6-10. Besides the Kings and Warriors meeting on July 10 in Golden State’s home venue, specific pairings, times and dates have yet to be announced.

Presuming the Hornets keep the sixth overall selection in next month’s NBA Draft, the first glimpse of Charlotte’s latest youthful addition should come during its contest either on July 6 or July 7.

Broadcast information hasn’t been released yet, but ESPN televised both of the Hornets’ games last year. Modified game play rules will be in place, including 10-minute quarters.

The three-day, 12-team event precedes the annual Las Vegas summer league. Charlotte will head to Nevada following its final outing in Sacramento to compete in that NBA’s signature summer tournament.

Given the uncertainty around which players will be taken off the board before the Hornets are on the clock, the lead into the summer should have a completely different feel than it did a year ago. With Victor Wembanyama a lock to go No. 1 to San Antonio, the Hornets had their choice of Brandon Miller or Scoot Henderson.

Everyone knows how that turned out.

Time will tell whether it’s Kentucky’s Reed Sheppard, G League Ignite’s Ron Holland, Donovan Clingan or Stephon Castle from Connecticut. But that answer is less than a month away. The Hornets also hold the No. 42 overall selection and anyone taken in the second round will be on the summer league roster.

Nick Smith Jr., taken with the 27th pick last year, is expected to compete in summer league as well.

Charlotte Hornets guard Nick Smith Jr. (00) dribbles against Golden State Warriors guard Yuri Collins (41) during the third quarter at Golden 1 Center.
Charlotte Hornets guard Nick Smith Jr. (00) dribbles against Golden State Warriors guard Yuri Collins (41) during the third quarter at Golden 1 Center.