Think back to last season before the All-Star break. Imagine I told you Cody Zeller would be the likely starting power forward coming into the 2014-2015 season. I know, I would’ve cringed too. Many were ready to label the fourth overall pick a bust early into the basketball year. However, he was able to turn things around in the second half of the season to finish would a modest rookie campaign. This year, the athletic seven footer will be looking to prove he was worthy of his top five pick.
At this point in the offseason, many believe the power forward race is between the aforementioned Zeller and Hornets newcomer Marvin Williams. Williams is a former number two overall pick and played his college basketball under Roy Williams at the University of North Carolina. He spent last season in Utah playing alongside Gordon Hayward, the $63 million man the Hornets barely missed out on. Williams can be a decent option at the four spot with his ability to shoot the basketball and space the floor for Al Jefferson, however at 6’9 he’s relatively undersized. A pairing of Williams and Big Al could be a liability on the glass.
The casual fan may wonder why this year’s ninth overall pick, Noah Vonleh, isn’t penned into the starting rotation. He is a biological specimen with high upside and was mostly drafted as a prospect. He showed why he’s a prospect during the Summer League games in Las Vegas, at times looking lost and overmatched. Patience with Vonleh will pay off if he’s allowed time to grow and develop behind a combination of Cody Zeller and Marvin Williams. In a couple of years we may be discussing whether we have the NBA’s best power forward as opposed to who should be starting there.
So, Hornets fans, what do you think? The unproven sophomore with high upside, Cody Zeller? The solid veteran, Marvin Williams? Or do we throw development to the wayside and start Noah Vonleh? Cast your vote in the comments section!
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