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Charlotte Hornets: First Round Draft Predictions

The Charlotte Hornets recently struck gold when they received the ninth overall pick in the 2014 NBA draft as well as the 24th pick. The Hornets have a lot of flexibility with their picks because the are already a playoff team. What the Hornets need most is somebody who can shoot the ball from three and add some consistent scoring. The Hornets ranked third to last in three point production last year and if they want to advance in the playoffs they will need to improve beyond the arc. The Hornets could also use a good long defender who can guard the other teams best player without being a complete liability on the offensive end like MKG. With the ninth pick in the draft the Charlotte Hornets should select one of many excellent players who could be available to them. The first option is is Aaron Gordon who is an excellent defender and has good size at the three. His offensive game is a bit shaky at times but if that pans out he could do wonders for the Hornets. The second option is Nik Stauskas, a scrappy guard out of Michigan. Stauskas had an incredible college career and the best aspect of his game is his shooting. Stauskas is a lights out three point shooter which would do wonders for the Hornets by spreading the floor and adding a very threatening pick and roll option.

photo via fametelevision.ca
photo via fametelevision.ca

The Hornets could also select Gary Harris, who is an athletic guard that could bring scoring to the Hornets – something they have lacked for a long time. Harris is versatile and could prove to be most NBA ready player. Another option is Julius Randle. Randle will most likely be gone before the ninth pick rolls around but if he does slide he could be excellent for the Hornets. Randle brings good size and tough rebounding to the table. He can score on the block and would compliment Big Al nicely.   My final pick for the Hornets is Rodney Hood out of Duke.  Rodney Hood would be an interesting pick but he fits the bill for everything the Hornets are looking for. Hood stands at six foot eight inches and could potentially guard all five positions given his athleticism. The best part is that Hood shot 42% from three in college and is big enough to bang in the paint. He could do it all for the Hornets given his versatility on defense and his ability to score from anywhere on the court. Many mock drafts have the Hornets taking Doug McDermott at nine but I don’t think his game translate well to the NBA and his lack of athleticism scares me a bit. He would be a liability on defense and would have to shoot his way to any playing time. Charlotte Hornets Luckily for the Hornets they have another first round pick this year at 24. This gives the Hornets the opportunity to get two high quality role players in this draft which is an incredible opportunity to improve for a young, up and coming playoff team like the Hornets. At 24 there are less options for a player who can truly change the game but if the Hornets play their cards right they could pick up a second rookie of the year candidate. The Hornets will essentially be looking for best available and some offensive fire power. Their first option is TJ Warren out of NC State. TJ Warren led the ACC in scoring and went on to be the conference MVP. He has an icredible knack for scoring and, if available, would make an excellent pick for the Hornets at 24. The second option for the Hornets is PJ Hairston. PJ spent the last year in the D-League after dealing with NCAA issues while at North Carolina. Coach Roy Williams said over the summer while doing summer workouts that PJ was the best player he had ever coached at that point. That is incredibly high praise coming from Roy Williams who has coached some truly great college basketball players. PJ Hairston can shoot the lights out and has the size and athleticism to drive the lane and guard bigger players in the NBA. I truly believe that PJ Hairston will be the steal of the draft and will do wonders for whatever team drafts him. He fits incredibly well with the Hornets given his defensive and scoring capabilities and would deepen the bench for a young Charlotte team. If he is available the Hornets would be wise to pick him.

photo via crabdribbles.com
photo via crabdribbles.com

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