In the past few years, the Charlotte Hornets have picked players in the draft based on their overall potential. Guys like Bismack Biyombo, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Cody Zeller all were players that were selected on what they would become, not necessarily for who they were at that point. In the 2014 NBA Draft, the Hornets need to look for a player that can come in and make a difference now and later, not just later.
The Hornets have a decent team now but with the right moves this offseason they can become an even better team. Charlotte isn’t seen as the hottest free agent destination so the team will have to get it right in the NBA Draft. The Hornets have picks at numbers nine, 24 and 45, so that’s three chances to get a good player.
The Hornets should look to pick up a versatile player at the No. 9 spot and then go for specific skill-based players with their later draft picks. A player that can score and defend would be ideal at that spot. There are a lot of good players projected in the top 10 of the draft. Getting a guy who can contribute now is a must.
The Hornets need to learn from their past mistakes when picking guys for their supposed upside. Biyombo is a great shot blocker but that’s it and that’s probably all he’ll ever be. Zeller supposedly has a LaMarcus Aldridge-type ceiling but showed no signs of it in his first season. Kidd-Gilchrist is a good defensive, energetic player but the guy just isn’t a scoring threat.
That’s three lottery picks in the last three drafts that aren’t scorers — this year the Hornets can’t afford that type of mistakes. This next season the Hornets are looking to make the playoffs again and hopefully get out of the first round. The Hornets need someone who can come in and contribute right then and there.