The NBA Draft is coming up on Thursday and there are a lot of unanswered questions.
That’s where we come in! Swarm and Sting will answer some of those questions heading into the NBA Draft!
1. What is the best case scenario for the Charlotte Hornets in the NBA Draft? Will they finally get it right this year?
Reece Helms – The best case scenario for the Charlotte Hornets is to draft Julius Randle with the 9th overall pick. If he is available at 9, it will be hard to pass up on him. Charlotte is really high on Doug McDermott, but Randle is by far the most talented player, and pairing him with Al Jefferson would form a dynamic duo in the paint. Similar to the Pacers’ Roy Hibbert and David West. The Bobcats never had much luck in the NBA Draft, but I feel the Hornets will have a successful draft this year.
Brett Thompson – The absolute best case scenario for the Hornets? Embiid or Randle fall to 9 and the Hornets get a potential future All-Star talent to join Big Al in the paint. Realistically? The Hornets need a sharpshooter, and this draft is loaded with them. James Young, PJ Hairston, and Nik Stauskas are all potential picks that would give Charlotte a great lift offensively. I think Rich Cho and the Hornets will finally “get it right” this year. I’m a believer simply because the day the name officially changed, the franchise got their first break with the draft lottery EVER. It felt like a curse had been lifted, and I am all in on the Cho Show.
Brandon Bevil - Marcus Smart falling to #9 would be the best case scenario. He’s talented, he’s a leader, and he was impressive in the way he bounced back from adversity. And he’s only 20 years old, 1 year older than Zach LaVine. At#24 if Adreian Payne is still there he’s a perfect fit for what the Hornets want to do, especially if Josh McRoberts isn’t back. Will the Hornets get it right this year? If you believe the experts it’s going to be hard to get it wrong, so if they do swing and miss Cho will start getting some deserved criticism.
2. What is the WORST case scenario? In other words, who do you NOT want to see the Hornets draft?
Reece Helms - Getting the 9th overall pick in the NBA Draft was a miracle for the Charlotte Hornets. They need to be grateful they even have it. But this pick can change the future of the Hornets. It’s safe to say Charlotte can’t afford picking another Adam Morrison. It’s unfair to compare Doug McDermott to him, but it’s kinda hard not to. I am not a fan of McDermott, so my worst case scenario is the Charlotte Hornets drafting him.
Brett Thompson - The worst case scenario, although I don’t find it likely, is that the Hornets spend their first pick on Rodney Hood. Bias aside (I am a UNC student), I really was not that impressed with Hood this year, and he was consistently overshadowed by the greatness that is Jabari Parker. What especially alarmed me was Rodney Hood’s second half performance at UNC in Feburary. Seeing that game in person, I remember specifically asking myself if he’d fouled out, because he was nowhere to be found in the critical final moments of a significant rivalry game. His performance against Mercer in Duke’s first round exit was mediocre at absolute best, and that’s an intangible that matters at the level of play in the NBA.
Brandon Bevil - I have to say LaVine. He’s just too unproven to gamble on in this draft. If he’s there at #24 then sure, let’s roll the dice. But if they take him at #9, even if he does end up a star it will be years later. He most likely doesn’t contribute much until he’s due for a new contract. It’s hard to imagine this team wanting to pay another project when Biyombo is not panning out and MKG still has his doubters (I’m in on MKG by the way).
3. If you’re the Cleveland Cavaliers, who do you pick #1? Or do you trade out?
Reece Helms - A few weeks ago I would’ve said Joel Embiid. But it has been reported that he had another foot surgery and will be out for an extended amount of time. It seems Embiid might be the next Greg Oden, so don’t be surprised if he falls in the draft. He might even be available when it’s Charlotte’s turn to pick 9th. But if I’m Cleveland, I take Wiggins. He has a higher ceiling than Parker, although Parker is more NBA-ready right now. Jabari Parker is also really bad at defense. So bad, that I feel I might be able to take him off the dribble. Anyways, Andrew Wiggins will bring hope to Cleveland, and he will try to get Cavs fans to forget about LeBron for a little while.
Brett Thompson - The Cleveland Cavaliers will come away from this draft winners regardless of who they pick. However, they have to pick one player out of this deep field, and the player who impressed me the most in college last year was Andrew Wiggins. Wiggins has the greatest upside out of any player in this draft, despite his freshman campaign that failed to live up to extremely high expectations. Wiggins’ length makes him a formidable defender on the perimeter, his quickness allows him to slice into the lane, and his jumpshot continues to improve. Andrew Wiggins paired with Kyrie Irving, Dion Waters, and Tristan Thompson? I’m sold.
Brandon Bevil - Wiggins. Embiid is out based on the injury problems. Wiggins seems like more of a team player and much better defender than Parker. Cleveland’s offense will get better by default now that Mike Brown is gone, so they don’t necessarily need Parker’s offense. Cleveland’s main goal is progress this year so they can hope to lure you-know-who back to town next off-season. And if that doesn’t pan out the consolation prize may that you drafted the best player in the 2014 draft.
4. Will P.J. Hairston make a good NBA player? Or are his off-the-court problems too much of an issue?
Reece Helms - Yes P.J. Hairston has some discipline issues, but will that keep him from being a good NBA player? No it won’t. If he is on the board at number 24, the Charlotte Hornets HAVE to draft him. That’s all I have to say on this matter. His play at UNC and in the D-League does the talking. Getting that much talent with the 24th overall pick is highway robbery.
Brett Thompson - PJ Hairston will not make a good NBA player. PJ Hairston will make a GREAT NBA player. I cannot stress how high I am on Hairston with the 24th pick, and how perfectly he would fit in a backcourt with Kemba. PJ can do it all; stroke from deep range, defend against larger ballhandlers, drive into the lane, slide down to small forward, raise up for monster dunks, you name it. PJ Hairston, in my opinion, is the missing piece of the puzzle to make it to the second round. Roy Williams said in 2013 that PJ was the best shooter he had ever coached. This is the same Roy Williams that coached Danny Green, Wayne Ellington, and his good buddy Rashad McCants. As for off the court issues, I believe PJ is sincere in his apologies, and he has learned immensely from his troubles at UNC. Charlotte would be foolish not to give him a shot at redemption.
Brandon Bevil - I think long-term he will be a good-but-not-great player that hits some dagger shots here and there. His last season at UNC he was the only player the opposing team was truly scared of with the game on the line. He seems to be handling the off-court issues pretty well and saying all the right things. Phil Jackson is said to want to move the Knicks into the 1st round to draft him, which can’t be a bad thing….right?
5. What are your predictions as to who the Charlotte Hornets will draft in the 1st round? (9th and 24th)
Reece Helms - My dream draft for the Charlotte Hornets is drafting Julius Randle and P.J. Hairston with the two 1st round picks. But realistically, I say they pick Doug McDermott and P.J. Hairston. I also wouldn’t mind Nik Stauskas, but if Randle is available you almost have to draft him.
Brett Thompson - I’m really banking on PJ Hairston to fall to the 24th pick, so I’m going to say Charlotte takes Doug McDermott at 9 and PJ Hairston at 24. The offense will get an immediate boost from this duo, and they both mesh very well with the pieces Charlotte already has. If the Hornets can draft these two, or a comparable pair, they will immediately become a better team than they were in their 2013-2014 campaign.
Brandon Bevil - Charlotte has surprised people the last two drafts. This year I think the only surprise is they choose Stauskas over McDermott. Smart and Randle won’t be there so they go with the shooter that also lets Kemba spend some time off the ball. At #24 I see Hairston gone so they go Cleanthony Early unless Warren or Payne start to slide. Early can space the floor and is a versatile defender.
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