Charlotte Hornets: 5 potential NBA Draft lottery prospects to target

USC Onyeka Okongw. (Photo by John McCoy/Getty Images)
USC Onyeka Okongw. (Photo by John McCoy/Getty Images) /
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Charlotte Hornets
Duke Vernon Carey Jr. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images) /

Vernon Carey Jr.

Vernon Carey Jr. is having a spectacular season with the Duke Blue Devils, and he’s established himself as a lottery pick for this year’s draft. Drafting Carey Jr. would be historic, as the Hornets have only drafted one player from Duke, which was Gerald Henderson.

As a 6’10 center, Carey Jr. still has the potential to continue to grow in length. Carey Jr. will not turn 19 until February 25th, so he would be a great young prospect for any team to draft.

So far this season, he’s averaged 17.6 points and 8.7 rebounds per game; Carey Jr. has started in all 25 games that he’s played in. His current 7’0 wingspan is not too exciting since its only two inches longer than Cody Zeller’s, but it’s an improvement.

Carey Jr. is currently shooting 59% from the floor, and he has the ability to space the floor when needed. Carey Jr. has not established himself as a consistent three-point shooter yet, but anything can happen.

However, Carey Jr. has been a consistent threat on the defensive end so far this season for Duke. So far, he’s averaged 1.5 blocks per game and has good size to go up against NBA bigs.

Carey Jr. is a smart player with a high basketball IQ, and he could be a great asset to this young Hornets team. I expect his draft stock to rise if he continues to play well for Duke in March.