By Cody Williams @TheSizzle20 on May 22, 2014
The now Charlotte Hornets caught a bit of luck in the 2014 NBA Draft Lottery when the Detroit Pistons dropped down to the ninth pick. Subsequently, the Hornets acquired the top-eight protected pick from Detroit due to the trade featuring Ben Gordon and Corey Maggette in 2012. Given the franchise’s history with the draft, though, Charlotte has to take advantage. Which five players should they really be targeting?
Vonleh was terrific in his one season with the Hoosiers. The freshman averaged 11.3 points, nine rebounds and 1.4 blocks on 52.3 percent shooting in 26.5 minutes per game. He’s both smart and skilled on both ends of the floor, but even better is that he’s so young as he doesn’t turn 19 years old until August. That means worlds of potential. The only worry is that he’ll be gone by the ninth pick.
When it comes to the physical tools, Aaron Gordon has them all. His vertical is unreal, his quickness is solid and his height and length could get even more impressive considering his youth. However, the skills are a work in progress for Gordon. The reason he’s not higher on this list is that I’m not crazy about Charlotte taking another guy based on physical tools (see Biyombo, Bismack).
The Hornets are more than likely going to be looking for a big man with the ninth pick, but if they choose to look to address issues on the wing here, Young is likely going to be the best available. Young is a versatile scorer, a solid athlete, and a lengthy perimeter player that would be interesting in Steve Clifford’s defense. It might be a reach, but Young would fit well in Charlotte.
Unless you follow European basketball, you might not be familiar with the 6’10” Saric. However, the 20-year-old big man has shown he can score the ball quite well in his play overseas and in international competition. While he needs to put more meat on his frame, Saric has a ton of upside and could potentially develop into a force for Charlotte.
After the Draft Combine, McDermott silenced a lot of doubters by showing off superb athleticism. With four highly prolific years in college and the ability to stretch the floor, McDermott could be the offensive big man that the Bobcats have been seeking for quite some time now. Everyone in Charlotte should be hoping that McDermott falls to nine come June 26.
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