The Charlotte Hornets are still pushing for the playoffs but if they do miss and end up in the lottery, these are some of their options in the upcoming draft.
There has been a debate about whether or not the Charlotte Hornets should tank. The Hornets started the season off strong but injuries derailed their hopes at a high playoff seed. It is worthwhile to see who’s coming out in the draft to properly weigh the option of tanking. Let’s take a look at who the experts have us taking in the draft.
Miles Bridges, SF/PF, Michigan State, Freshman (Draft Express)
Measurables: Age: 19 Height: 6’6″ Wingspan:6’8.8″ Weight: 226 lbs
Season Stats: 16.9 Pts, 8.3 Rebs, 2.1 Ast
Tremendous athlete. Has a rare and impressive combination of power, body control and explosiveness off two feet that is difficult to find. Quick off his feet -Strong 225 pound frame. -Quick first step and strength makes him difficult to contain in straight line driving situations . – Source: http://www.draftexpress.com/profile/Miles-Bridges-81785/©DraftExpress
My biggest concern with Miles Bridges is his size. He played power forward for most of his time at Michigan State, but he does not have the size to get away with that in the NBA. Standing at just 6’6″, he is severely undersized to play either forward position. Bridges is a gifted athlete that has amazing body control for someone his age.
However, he does not possess the ball control or shooting ability to play Shooting Guard or Small Forward yet. As it stands, I believe Bridges is the wrong kind of tweener that the Charlotte Hornets should stay away from.
Robert Williams, PF/C, Texas A&M, Freshman (NBADraft.net)
Measurables: Age: 19 Height: 6’9″ Wingspan: 7’5.5″ Weight: 235 lbs
Season Stats: 11.9 Pts, 8.2 Rebs, 1.4 Ast
Huge upside … Has tremendous physical attributes with elite level length (7-foot-5.5 wingspan) and high level run/jump athleticism … Shows excellent rebounding ability, utilizing his length for rebounds … A dominant shot blocker showing the timing and aggressiveness to be a rim protector (2.5 blocks per game in 24 mpg) … Offensive game has a lot of promise as he shows the ability to legitimately create offense for himself at an early stage – Source: http://www.nbadraft.net/players/robert-williams
Stop me if you have heard this one before…the Charlotte Hornets take a chance on a raw athletic power forward with a lengthy wingspan. If that sounds familiar, you may be thinking about Noah Vonleh. The problem with Vonleh was that he had a low basketball IQ that limited his athleticism at times. He was out of place far too often on defensive rotations.
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But hey, maybe the basketball gods owe the Hornets after years of bad draft luck. Maybe this raw, rim protector can become the next Rudy Gobert or Hassan Whiteside. Drafting on potential is risky but can pay off if the team can successfully develop the player. I just don’t know if the player development staff has earned Rich Cho’s trust yet.
Justin Patton, C, Creighton, Freshman (Sports Illustrated)
Measurables: Age: 20 Height: 6′ 11″ Wingspan: 7’1″ Weight: 215 lbs
Season Stats:12.9 Pts, 6.2 Rebs, 1.2 Ast
Patton is another center with mysterious upside. Patton was unheralded coming out of high school in Nebraska, and he actually redshirted his freshman year, which I didn’t even know was possible anymore. Now, at 20 years old, he’s been productive on both ends, and he’s averaging 14 points and 6.5 rebounds for a Creighton team that’s spent much of the college basketball season in the top 10. – Source: http://www.si.com/nba/2017/01/27/nba-mock-draft-prospects-rankings-lonzo-ball-markelle-fultz
Justin Patton is another raw prospect. However, he is a late bloomer unlike Robert Williams. The knock on Justin Patton is his toughness. He struggles to establish positioning against larger centers. That is something that may show up against NBA competition.
Despite the apparent lack of toughness, he has shown great footwork in the post and he shot a ridiculous 67.6% from two-point range as well as 53.3% (8-15) from three-point range. He’s not the defender that Robert Williams is, but he is more polished offensively.