The Charlotte Hornets received some good luck during the NBA Draft Lottery earlier in August, acquiring the No. 3 overall pick. For the Hornets, this represented one of their best lottery results in franchise history.
It’s no small thing given that Charlotte has not finished with a winning record since the 2015-16 season. This gives front office head Mitch Kupchak and Co. an opportunity to add more star power to a talented young core. Here’s a look at the Hornets’ top options for the draft.
Hope that James Wiseman lands on their laps
- This would be the ideal scenario for Charlotte. It already has a star back-court tandem in that of Terry Rozier and Devonte’ Graham. There’s no need for a guard.
- That would make the decision rather difficult if Wiseman is off the board at three while either LaMelo Ball or Anthony Edwards is available.
- Charlotte doesn’t necessarily have a need at forward, either. P.J. Washington and Miles Bridges have both shown flashes.
- In Wiseman, Charlotte would be completing its starting five with a legit center that has tremendous all-around ability. The team has to be hoping that the former Memphis star is available here.
Trade up with hopes of landing James Wiseman
- Given what I noted above, there’s also a chance that Charlotte looks to move up a spot or two.
- It likely wouldn’t cost an incredible amount given that Wiseman, Edwards and Ball are the top-three prospects in the draft with a major drop off after that.
- Purely hypothetical, but Charlotte could potentially offer up draft bust Malik Monk to the Golden State Warriors for the right to move up to the second spot for Wiseman.
- Golden State will be fielding offers for that pick. Meanwhile, the Minnesota Timberwolves have no need for Wiseman with Karl-Anthony Towns on the roster.
Move pick for star big man
- What would it take to acquire a player like Utah Jazz All-Star center Rudy Gobert? That’s a question Charlotte’s brass needs to be asking itself.
- With one more year left on his contract, trading for Gobert would be a risk. He’s highly unlikely to sign an extension this fall given the economic climate around the NBA.
- With that said, Gobert could be the missing piece Charlotte needs for a return trip to the playoffs. Offering up the third pick, Malik Monk and a future protected first-round pick could get it done.
- Other notable big men potentially available in trade scenarios include Draymond Green and Kevin Love. Each one would require less in a trade than Gobert. That’s for sure.
Trade down, acquire more assets
- At this point, it’s clear that the Timberwolves and Warriors, selecting No. 1 and No. 2 respectively, are looking to trade down. That complicates things a bit.
- With this said, there’s a scenario in play here that suggests Charlotte could receive offers for the third pick from teams looking at adding either Wiseman or whoever is left on the board between Anthony Edwards and LaMelo Ball.
- Maybe a team like the Knicks wants to move up for Ball or Edwards. They could offer up the eighth selection, taking on Nicolas Batum’s bloated contract, while yielding Kexin Knox and Julius Randle as well as a future protected first-round pick.
- A move of that ilk would help Charlotte create more depth behind the starting five while still being able to add someone like former USC star big man Onyeka Okongwu to the mix.
Charlotte is in a unique situation in that it can target one position or specific player in the draft. It has the ability to move up and down the board, if needed.
Either way we spin it, this organization under the leadership of owner Michael Jordan has been irrelevant on the broader NBA stage. That must change this fall, starting with the No. 3 overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft.