The Charlotte Hornets are currently sitting with the 22nd pick in the 2016 NBA Draft. The rumor mill is in full swing, throwing names in the air that the Hornets should pursue in free agency, in the draft, and/or in trades. It all boggles my mind. I dislike that the draft is before free agency begins because I want to see what players we will be able to retain from last season. Instead, we have to go through the NBA draft tomorrow night, and then a week later, we get to see who we could keep and who is a free agent we can chase.
Yesterday I threw out some names of players I think the Hornets should consider drafting. Keep in mind, I keep asking you guys for feedback on who YOU think we should go after. After some deep thought and meditation (and looking at various mock drafts), this was the list of names I came up with:
Malcom Brogdon – 6’6” 223lbs SG 23 Years old with a 6’11” wingspan
Denzel Valentine – 6’6” 210lbs SG 22 Years old with a 6’11” wingspan
Ante Zizic – 7’ 249lbs C 19 Years old with a 7’2” wingspan
Taurean Prince – 6’8” 220lbs SF 21 Years old with a 7’ wingspan
Damian Jones – 7’ 244lbs C 20 Years old with a 7’3” wingspan
Ivica Zubac – 7’1” 265lbs C 19 Years old – I couldn’t find his wingspan
So now that you’ve read my list, you can only guess where my concerns lie. I have concern of size at C as well as a backup for MKG. I am also considering Batum and MKG being interchangeable at small forward, depending on matchups. For that reason, there are a couple of shooting guards on my list.
I do not claim to be, in any form or fashion, an NBA scout. With that said, I am going to share my reasoning for my list.
To start at the bottom of the list, I threw out 19 year old Ivica Zubac. You can’t teach big. The guy is a massive 7’1” and 265lbs. I see him and I believe he has lots of room to grow at the C position in the NBA. I also like a BIG center on the court. He’s way bigger than Al in terms of height, and I think a big guy like him could fit well here (I thought Mozgov would fit well here). I also included in the search for a center, 7-footer Ante Zizic. At 249lbs, he’s around Zeller’s weight, but the 7’2” wingspan, and 9’3” standing reach, I was thinking that perhaps we could have some “twin tower” action with he and Cody starting at PF and C. The last and most intriguing “big” that I listed is Damian Jones. He’s 7’ tall with a 7’3” wingspan. If you pair that with his 244lb frame, I like this 20-year-old the best among the centers that I mentioned.
As for the small forward position, I am fond of 6’8”, 220lb Taurean Prince. He’s 21 years old and has a 7’ wingspan. I want to be well prepared for the worst in 2016, and I want a solid backup for MKG, just in case of injury. I like the size and length that Prince has, and I wouldn’t have a problem with the Hornets drafting him at 22.
Lastly, I would have no problem drafting either 6’6’, 223lb Malcom Brogdon, who is a 23 year-old shooting guard with a 6’11” wingspan, or 22-year old Denzel Valentine, a 6’6”, 210lb shooting guard, who also has a 6’11” wingspan. I believe that either of these guys are pretty close to NBA-ready and at the 22nd pick, either would be a great addition.
So who is my main standout to draft? I refuse to pick one. I would be happy with Damian Jones, Malcom Brogdon, Denzel Valentine, or Taurean Prince. Take note, I do not have these choices of mine in any order. I also welcome ANY player that Rich Cho and the scouting staff decides is the best fit for Charlotte. I just think that these guys should be near the top of the list.
None of us know what is going to happen in free agency. We don’t know what free agents will return and we don’t know what positions we will need to gain depth in. We don’t even know if there’s a chance that we will try to move up, back, or out of the draft altogether. I guess we’ll all find out about it after the draft tomorrow.
Stay tuned for a “Post Draft” article on Friday. Until then…
Let’s Go Hornets!