Jun 26, 2014; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Elfrid Payton (Louisiana-Lafayette) is interviewed after being selected as the numberten overall pick to the Charlotte Hornets in the 2014 NBA Draft at the Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Why the Hornets must be patient with Noah Vonleh


With the 9th pick in the 2014 NBA Draft, the Charlotte Hornets select, Noah Vonleh from Indiana university.

Those were the words from NBA commissioner Adam Silver that no one in Charlotte was expecting to hear.

Doug McDermott and Nik Stauskas were rumored to be atop the Charlotte Hornets draft board, but that was assuming Noah Vonleh was already drafted.

That wasn’t the case.

Noah Vonleh took an unexpected fall in the NBA Draft. Every year someone does, but it’s usually injury related. As far as we know Vonleh is 100% healthy.

He was projected to go as high as the 4th overall pick to the Orlando Magic, but instead Orlando chose another Power Forward in Arizona’s Aaron Gordon. After the Joel Embiid foot surgery, rumors started that Vonleh might even go 3rd overall to the Philadelphia 76ers, but they stuck with Embiid despite the injury.

Julius Randle, another PF, was also drafted before Noah Vonleh, which wasn’t as big of a surprise as Aaron Gordon going 4th overall to the Orlando Magic.

The fans of Charlotte were excited about the pick, as you can see from the video below:

 

A lot of hype will be placed on Noah Vonleh in his rookie season with the Charlotte Hornets, but the fans will have to be patient.

The most amazing thing about Vonleh is his youth. He is only 18 years old right now…18!! He will turn 19 in August, but he is very young. Which means he has plenty of time to develop as a player.

At 18 years old, Noah Vonleh is already ready to play in the NBA. But there is still a lot of time before the season starts, so what can he improve on?

First of all, let’s take a look at what makes Vonleh NBA ready right now. He is a great low-post defender and rim protector. Noah Vonleh has a 7’4 wingspan, so that alone makes him a great shot blocker. Vonleh is also great at rebounding, and has the potential to be a beast on the offensive side of the ball as well.

That’s what he can improve on. Offense.

Noah Vonleh is already great at scoring inside, but if he can expand his shooting range he could be a super-star in the NBA. Last season at Indiana he shot 57.9% from 3-point land, and was a 71% free throw shooter. Obviously he didn’t shoot a lot of 3′s considering he shot almost 58%, but he is still a pretty good shooter.

There is room for improvement for Vonleh when it comes to shooting, but if he works on it over the off-season, don’t be surprised if you see Vonleh not only starting for the Charlotte Hornets, but in contention for the Rookie of the Year award.

He doesn’t have to be able to shoot three-pointers like Ray Allen, but if Vonleh can develop a long-range shot over the off-season, he could have success right away in the NBA. Noah Vonleh has the potential to be a Chris Bosh type of player, or even LaMarcus Aldridge or Kevin Love.

It will take time, so the Charlotte Hornets must be patient with Vonleh. Again, he’s 18 years old (soon to be 19) so you don’t want to place too much pressure on him right away.

If Josh McRoberts comes back, he will likely start over Vonleh. Cody Zeller is also still on the roster, so there shouldn’t be any pressure for Noah Vonleh to perform right away.

In conclusion, Noah Vonleh has the potential to be a star in the NBA. He’s a great defender, shot blocker, and is already a good shooter. With some work, he can become a great shooter. He’s still very young, so he has plenty of time to develop, so the Charlotte Hornets shouldn’t place too much pressure on Vonleh in his rookie season.

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By the end of the season, will Noah Vonleh be starting for the Charlotte Hornets?

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