2014 NBA Mock Draft: Predicting Charlotte Hornets’ Picks
The Charlotte Hornets immediately changed the energy of their draft board by gaining the No. 9 pick from the Detroit Pistons in the first round. The Hornets also select No. 24 overall (via the Portland Trail Blazers) and finally at No. 45 overall. The team formerly known to many as the Charlotte Bobcats suffered through horrible draft luck during their history, but they have immediately turned it around since rebranding themselves to the Charlotte Hornets. The Hornets are in dire need of shooters and scorers on the wing, in addition to a backup point-guard.
At No. 9, the Hornets will select Michigan shooting guard Nik Stauskas. Stauskas has the range and technique to get his shot off at the next level and is a marksman from all over the court. At 6-foot-6 and 205-pounds, Stauskas is an ideal shooting guard with a smooth stroke. He is a sneaky athlete and is a great distributor when his shot isn’t there. His defense leaves a little something to be desired, but at 20 years old, he still has room to polish his game. He is an ideal catch-and-shoot SG who fits perfectly beside Kemba Walker to complete Charlotte’s backcourt.
With the No. 24 pick, Charlotte will select Shabazz Napier out of Connecticut. Napier is very similar to Kemba Walker and both share the same alma mater. Napier fills a void as a backup point man for Charlotte and brings a solid pedigree to reflect his skills. Napier is a versatile PG with a good shot and has no problem scoring baskets. He might not be a true point guard, but Napier is the kind of player who makes a team better when he is on the court.
With their final pick, the Hornets select Isaiah Austin from Baylor. Austin is a versatile big man coming in at 7-foot-1 and is equally adept at playing PF or C. He will need to bulk up a little bit to avoid being abused down low, but his game is more relegated to floating out to the perimeter. Austin is blind in his right eye, but that has never stopped him from contributing on the floor. Austin was once one of the top recruits in the country, and he still has room to grow his game. For reference, he resembles Channing Frye and Austin Daye.