The NBA Draft is fast approaching and is shaping up to be not only a hugely impactful one but a busy one as well. With Joel Embiid’s status as it is and the ripple effects that it will cause, teams will be scrambling up until they’re on the clock.
On draft night, deals, moves and picks can move at a hectic pace and predictions can go out the window pretty quickly. Here’s one look though at what the Charlotte Hornets might do with their three picks for the 2014 NBA Draft.
Round one, Pick 9
First and foremost the Hornets will be looking to trade this pick or a bundle for a veteran swingman. It might actually be more surprising if the Hornets still have it when they’re on the clock. The biggest issue that Charlotte needs to address in this draft is perimeter shooting and with the 9th pick there will be numerous players available that Hornets can take to address this issue. With the news that Josh McRoberts has opted out of his contract it would make even more sense for the Hornets to select Doug McDermott.
However, there is also a pretty good chance that McDermott won’t be on the board by the 9th pick and this will likely hinge on how teams feel about Aaron Gordon. His projected pick goes from 4th up until 12th and it’s hard to see a consensus idea. If Gordon isn’t picked before Charlotte then that likely means another team will have selected McDermott—that would likely be Sacramento with the 8th pick.
In this case look for Nik Stauskas to be the Hornets’ choice with the 9th pick. Stauskas is arguably the best shooter in the draft and would give the Hornets exactly what they need at the shooting guard position. He won’t be the greatest defender but Steve Clifford has proven he can make less than stellar players work in his system.
Round one, Pick 24
By this point there will still be numerous good picks available but they will be much more niche or project picks. If McRoberts does not end up returning, the Hornets may do well to look at Kyle Anderson.
Anderson very much likes to think of himself as a point guard but has the size to play power forward while also possessing three-point range. Offensively, he can occupy a very similar role to the one that McRoberts did, providing floor spacing and smart passes. In all likelihood he’ll be off the board here in which case PJ Hairston would make a great pick. The North Carolina native has 3 point range and would likely be a huge fan favorite coming in.
Round two, Pick 45
With Bismack Biyombo on the final year of his rookie deal and Brendan Haywood looking over the hill, the Hornets could make do with drafting another big to play spot minutes and shore up the frontcourt on defense.
Khem Birch would be a great consideration here. Birch is a bit undersized but makes up for it with an excellent motor, rebounding and shot blocking. Outside of Biyombo this team does not have a great rim defender and Birch could be a good fit.