Early Draft: Should the Charlotte Hornets target Rui Hachimura?

Gonzaga Bull Dogs Rui Hachimura. (Photo by Peyton Williams/UNC/Getty Images)
Gonzaga Bull Dogs Rui Hachimura. (Photo by Peyton Williams/UNC/Getty Images) /
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With the NBA Draft four months away, how can the Charlotte Hornets improve their roster, if they do not possess a lottery pick?

With the All-Star break looming, it’s time for the Charlotte Hornets to set their sights on the NBA draft and begin preparations for June. There is a lot of talent in this year’s draft, so it would be hard for Charlotte to go wrong.

The Hornets are currently on track to be a playoff team; this means that the team will not be in the lottery this year if they make the playoffs. With the amount of talent in the draft, the Hornets may be able to snag themselves a solid late first rounder.

The Hornets have lacked production from their front-court during this season. If the Hornets would like to improve this part of the team, they should target Rui Hachimura in the upcoming draft.

Hachimura is an extremely athletic prospect that finishes well at the rim. He excels in the fast-break game, and plays similar to Michael Kidd-Gilchrist when he is going in for a fast-break layup. As a player, he has a lot of energy and would fit in nicely with James Borrego’s style of uptempo basketball.

When analyzing Hachimura’s height, he is at times listed as being between 6’8 and 6’9. As a player who is being labeled as a power forward, his vertical ability around the rim makes up for his lack of height.

During this college season, Hachimura has averaged 20.2 points and 6.4 rebounds per game for Gonzaga. While he has averaged these numbers, he has also shot the basketball at an efficient percentage of 60% from the floor.

Hachimura has started every game that he has played in this year, and has given Gonzaga a lot of production from his position in the starting lineup. As a smaller or hybrid power forward, he is actually similar in height with Marvin Williams.

I feel that Hachimura can be an asset for the Hornets and that he may end up being a late first rounder in this year’s draft. The Hornets should look to draft him at their draft spot if they are not in the lottery.

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The NBA draft is getting closer, as the season is only two months away from the beginning of the playoffs. The Hornets must begin to scout the right players for the 2019 draft; they must find a way to help Kemba Walker in the offseason.