The Charlotte Hornets nearly missed hitting the ‘jackpot’ of the NBA Lottery. Still, they own the second pick in the upcoming draft and have arguably the toughest decision to make on June 22, as they own the No. 2 overall pick.
The franchise possesses five picks to make in the two-round draft. Again, a chance to make wholesale changes to the roster as another rebuilding job is upcoming.
The San Antonio Spurs won the lottery and everyone, themselves included, know they will be selecting Victor Wembanyama from France. Who the Hornets take at No. 2 is not so clear. Brandon Miller or Scoot Henderson are the top two options.
The current roster has 11 players under contract for next season. Adding five draftees would put the Hornets over the roster limit so there could be some trade activity before or during the draft.
Charlotte is coming off a season where it finished last in the Southeast division for the first time since 2012 with a 27-55 record. It was the seventh straight season that the Hornets missed the playoffs. The 27 victories were also their second-fewest victories during this seventh-year stretch.
I would think Charlotte will look for offense. The Hornets finished 30th in the league in offensive rating while ranking 29th in field goal percentage and 29th in three-point percentage. Defensively, Charlotte is not much better as it was 20th in efficiency. Rebounding and rim protection, in particular, were the Hornets’ most glaring weaknesses.
This team needs scoring from a wing player and a big man to protect the rim. and from a wing slot. While the Hornets haven’t indicated their plans, it is widely assumed that they will select either Miller or Henderson.
Miller is a big man with wing skills. He could fill many needs this team has. The 20-year-old Tennessee native had an impressive freshman campaign earning SEC Player of the Year and first-team All-American honors. However, while not charged, Miller was also connected to the fatal shooting of Jamea Jonea Harris in Alabama.
Miller is an elite-level scorer with excellent shot-making ability from anywhere on the court. Miller is an explosive athlete with great size and for a wing. He is also an excellent rebounder and versatile defender with sound instincts.
Henderson is considered a top-notch guard with a lot of upside. The 19-year-old muscular frame of 6’2”, 195 pounds. He is explosive athletically and was easily one of the top guards in the G-League. Henderson recorded 16.5 points, 6.8 assists, 5.3 rebounds, and 1.1 steals a game. It has been awhile since the franchise had a reliable point guard who ran an efficient offense.
In addition to their lottery selection, Charlotte owns the 27th pick in the first round. The Hornets’ three second-round selections are No. 34, No. 39, and No. 42.
Reports have surfaced that Charlotte like Jordan Miller out of Miami (FLA). The 23-year-old wing finished his collegiate career at Miami (FLA) after spending the first three seasons at George Mason. He is an efficient scorer with good size and a nearly 7-foot wingspan allows him to play a bit bigger.
These are just a few of the possible changes upcoming for the Hornets. Again, it looks like a new-look Charlotte Hornets team will be taking the floor in November.