By Brad Kirby
With the draft occurring tonight, can we find a gem at pick number 22? If you are asking me, I believe we can. The Hornets most likely will stay at pick number 22 to select a player but could eventually decide to trade up, down, or even out of the draft tomorrow night. If Cho decides to trade up in the draft tonight, the asking price will not be as much due to it being a weaker draft than others in the past. Rumors regarding the Hornets have said that we are eyeing to trade up tonight. If this is the case, look for Cho and company to target a proven player with the pick. To move up into the top 10 of this draft, the Hornets would need to trade their 22nd overall first round pick, and package a duo of Cody Zeller, Jeremy Lamb or Spencer Hawes. Would it be worth it? Yes it would because the Hornets could get a more impactful player right away. The Hornets hopefully will have many appealing options to select from in the first round tonight. Charlotte will not have a second round pick tonight due to the Jeremy Lamb trade last offseason in June. At the end of the night, I believe the Hornets will end up trading for a second round pick though. Now let’s dive into the predictions for the 22nd pick tonight.
The Hornets Front Office will have a mindset to select the best player available on their board when it’s our time to select a player on the clock. The Hornets have no certain position to fill which is why they may go in the direction of choosing the best available player on their board. Tonight, I believe the Charlotte Hornets will be selecting from one of these 4 players below who will might still be available ranked from my favorite to least favorite player.
Thon Maker: Power Forward/Center: Australia
If you want 7-foot-0 enthralling prospect, here is the pick. Thon Maker has all the talent to make a massive impact at the next level. Maker, a 19 year old who hasn’t played a college or overseas game, is a complete mystery worth the risk. His game is sensational and can translate to the NBA perfectly. He has a high running motor and good shot that can stretch to the three-point line. Maker, if drafted by the Hornets, would be well-liked among our fans due to his willingness to work hard, his mobility, and his competitiveness on the court every day. From numerous rumors around the league, Maker is at the top of our board and is very loved by the Hornets front office but some teams have written him off all together over rumors that he may be 23 not 19… drama.
Malik Beasley: Combo Guard: Florida State University
If you want a Mr. Do it all, here is the guy you may want. Beasley, a 6-foot-5 true freshmen, made a big impact for the Seminoles this past season dropping 15.6 points per game and hauling in 5.3 rebounds to go along with that. Beasley is a very explosive player who can knock down a shot from anywhere on the court and can explode for a dunk from anywhere in the paint. He has all the tools and attributes to make a impact right away in the league. If he was drafted by the Hornets, he would a provide a huge spark off the bench and give Buzz City many minutes every night for the upcoming years. The Hornets have been very linked to him in the draft process and he’s very high on our board so don’t be surprised if you hear his name called on draft night.
Brice Johnson: Power Forward: University of North Carolina
If you want a very well polished AP All-American senior, here is your guy. The 6-foot-10 Johnson averaged 16.6 points and 10.6 rebounds this past season. Every given night he was a double-double machine. He provided the Tar Heels with a big low-post presence on both sides of the ball and a pretty good mid-range jumper. Brice Johnson could easily make a huge impact for the Hornets right of the bat and make Time Warner Cable Arena erupt after his fascinating dunks and unbelievable blocks into the stands.
Diamond Stone: Center: University of Maryland
If you want an Al Jefferson 2.0, here is your 6-foot-11 replacement. Could Diamond Stone be a diamond in the rough? I believe he can. Stone has all the qualities of a true center. He has an outstanding skill level that cooperates well with his very strong body and long arms. This past season, Stone was a true freshman and provided the Terrapins with 12.5 points and 5.4 rebounds a game. Diamond Stone would be an outstanding fit for the Hornets because they play with their bigs very well in the paint. If we draft him, Diamond Stone could own the paint in the upcoming years.
10 other intriguing players for the 22nd overall pick:
- Malachi Richardson: Shooting Guard: Syracuse University
- Denzel Valentine: Shooting Guard/Small Forward: Michigan State University
- Demetrius Jackson: Point Guard: University of Notre Dame
- Malcolm Brogdon: Combo Guard: University of Virginia
- Cheick Diallo: Power Forward/Center: University of Kansas
- DeAndre Bembry: Small Forward: St. Joseph’s University
- Damian Jones: Power Forward/Center: Vanderbilt University
- Taurean Prince: Small Forward: Baylor University
- Dejounte Murray: Point Guard: University of Washington
- Timothe Luwawu: Shooting Guard: France
3 Possible Trades for the Draft:
- Hornets trade Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and the 22nd overall pick to the Suns for the 4th Overall Pick and 13th Overall Pick. The Hornets would most likely select Buddy Hield, Jaylen Brown or Kris Dunn with the earlier pick and they would go with a massive upside player at the 13th pick.
- Hornets trade the 22nd overall pick and Jeremy Lamb or Spencer Hawes for the Hawks 12th Overall Pick.
- The Hornets trade the 22nd Overall Pick, Cody Zeller, and Jeremy Lamb for the Bucks 10th Overall Pick and Greg Monroe
Rich Cho and the Hornets love to deal so we shouldn’t be surprised if the Hornets are in many trade rumors tomorrow. I’d be highly surprised if the Hornets didn’t make a trade to move up, down, or even receive a second round pick. I believe Cho tomorrow will be on the phone with many teams and will eventually wind up with a very good deal that will benefit us next season. Let’s hope the Hornets pick some very superb talent in the draft tomorrow to help us leap to a very high level next season. May the draft be thrilling to Buzz City. In Cho we trust.