Charlotte Hornets Draft Report

Breaking down the Hornets draft picks and roster outlook heading into the NBA draft

2017-18 W/L: 36-46 2018-19 W/L: 39-43

Finished 9th in the eastern conference (Missed Playoffs)

Team Needs: PG, SG, PF, C

Free Agents: Kemba Walker, Jeremy Lamb, Frank Kaminsky, Shelvin Mack

Under Contract: Nicolas Batum, Bismack Biyombo, Marvin Williams, Cody Zeller, Malik Monk, Miles Bridges, Willy Hernangomez, Dwayne Bacon, Devonte’ Graham

Player Option: Michael Kidd-Gilchrist

Pick 1: 1st Round-12th Overall

Players who could be available and fit with this pick:

PG: Darius Garland, Coby White

SG/SF: Keldon Johnson, Sekou Doumbouya, Romeo Langford, Nassir Little

PF/C: Bol Bol, Bruno Fernando, Jaxson Hayes, PJ Washington

Pick 2: 2nd Round-36th Overall

Players who could be available and fit with this pick:

PG: Ty Jerome, Ky Bowman

SG/SF: Dylan Windler, Chuma Okeke, Miye Oni, Jaylen NowellTalen-Horton Tucker

PF/C: Nicolas Claxton, Luka Samanic, Daniel Gafford, Mfiondu Kabengele 

Pick 3: 2nd Round-52 Overall

Players who could be available and fit with this pick:

PG: Jalen Lecque, Shamorie Ponds, Jaylen Hands

SG/SF: Amir Coffey, Zach Norvell Jr., Cody Martin, Brian Bowen

PF/C: Dewan Hernandez, Tacko Fall, Moses Brown

Charlotte will need to decide how to handle Kemba Walker becoming a free agent, and even if they offer more money than another franchise he may elect to join a contender for a smaller contract. Jeremy Lamb is also a free agent after playing well in 2018-19 becoming a much more consistent scorer while starting 55 games. They have the ability to use their draft picks to add depth and possibly land a player that can compete for minutes should they lose one or both of the Walker and Lamb combination to another team in free agency. The hornets have 3 picks that can possibly help them do that starting with the 12 overall selection in the back half of the lottery. Sitting in this position will cause their first pick to somewhat be determined by what the teams choosing in front of them to do, but there are plenty of options with the 12th pick that could turn into successful NBA players. If one of the point guards after Ja Morant like Darius Garland or Coby White fall to them it could make sense to draft one of those prospects to shore up the position. With that not expected to happen they will most likely be looking at taking a wing or a big man. Keldon Johnson and Romeo Langford are options at shooting guard and would fit in well with the roster. At small forward Nassir Little and Sekou Doumbouya would seem as the most likely options unless a player expected to go in the top ten slips to them at #12. As for the big men, Bruno Fernando would make a lot of sense with his potential going forward but that would be considered a reach by some taking him that early. Bol Bol is intriguing but again some within the organization would consider that a reach with his durability concerns. Jaxson Hayes and PJ Washington are both potential selections along with Rui Hachimura with all three players having the ability to make an impact on a team. 

With their next two picks it will likely be a best player available scenario looking to potentially add depth. There are possible impact NBA players in the early part of the second round and the 36th pick affords the team an opportunity to get a steal. If Ty Jerome is available for this pick he would be in consideration, but many analysts expect him to be off of the board. Ky Bowman could fulfill a role similar to what Kemba Walker has done in Charlotte, however that would obviously be a significant downgrade in the near future should they lose Walker. If they elect to go away from taking a guard with their second pick if a big man like Nicolas Claxton or Mfiondu Kabengele are available both players have a high ceiling with their versatility. Daniel Gafford could fall into the second round and you know what you are getting with him as a prospect bringing elite athleticism and shot blocking, something that the Hornets could use on the interior. The team worked out Talen Horton-Tucker so they are considering him with this selection, but as with Jerome there is a chance that he will not be available here. If a player Louis King could go in the second round, although we have him as a first round pick at this point, and despite the depth at small forward the Hornets have King could be potentially be a high value pick. 

Their last pick at #52 gives them some chances to take on a flyer pick like an international prospect, or they could choose to take a seasoned veteran out of college that it is well established what game they bring to the table. They worked out Tacko Fall who is the ultimate flyer selection with his size and length, and most mock drafts having him going in the 50’s or undrafted. Amir Coffey and Cody Martin both worked out for the team, and they would make a lot of sense with their size and ability to play both shooting guard or small forward at times. If they have not taken a point guard by their third pick there are options that could become NBA players projected to be available late in the draft. Jalen Lecque might not make it to the 50’s, but if he does he has a high ceiling and good size that would give Charlotte a young project to attempt at molding into an NBA starting lead guard. Jaylen Hands has explosive athleticism and scoring ability which would fit in well with the Hornets, and while he is not as explosive, Shamorie Ponds could also be taken by the team to help add point guard depth and scoring. If we were drafting for the Hornets we would choose a shooting guard like Keldon Johnson, Kevin Porter Jr., or Romeo Langford with the 12th pick, unless Coby White or Darius Garland fell to #12 in which case we would go that route. With their second selection a versatile big man or another scorer on the wing would make sense, and if you take either of those second it would make the most sense to take a point guard last and hope they can become a solid NBA player. 


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