2021 NBA Mock Draft: Predicting the Charlotte Hornets’ 3 selections

Charlotte Hornets PJ Washington (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)
Charlotte Hornets PJ Washington (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images) /
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The dust of March Madness has settled and the Charlotte Hornets are in the final stretch of games that will determine if they clinch their first playoff berth since the 2015-16 season.

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There’s a lot of basketball left to be played but it is never too early to take a look at what may fall the Hornets’ way as they look to add more talent to their roster in the 2021 NBA Draft.

The Hornets got lucky last offseason when they moved up in the lottery and claimed the third overall pick. With that selection, Charlotte picked LaMelo Ball, the rookie sensation who outperformed every expectation that anyone, outside of probably his father, LaVar Ball, had for him this season.

Ball hasn’t been the only surprise this season for the Hornets, the team as a whole has shocked the league and has become an NBA League Pass favorite among league media and fans.

Most predicted the Hornets would finish with a win-loss record at the bottom of the league, but the Hornets enter Tuesday night’s game against the New York Knicks with a 28-28 record, currently sitting at eighth place in the Eastern Conference standings. Charlotte was as high as fourth place in the East until injuries to multiple rotation players hit the roster.

However the Hornets’ season ends, Charlotte is in a great position to retain a couple of key rotation players after contracts expire at the end of the season, sign an impact player in free agency, and add depth through the draft.

The Hornets own their first-round pick in the 2021 NBA Draft. Charlotte traded their second-round pick to the New York Knicks in February 2018; the pick has since been traded to the Detroit Pistons. However, the Hornets acquired a 2021 second-round pick from the Los Angeles Clippers in June 2018 and another from the Brooklyn Nets in July 2018.

After years of missing on first-round picks, the Hornets have hit in recent years. Under the management of Rich Cho, the Hornets saw second-round picks more as trade chips. Current general manager Mitch Kupchak has valued those picks as a means to acquire developmental talent and players such as Devonte’ Graham and Jalen McDaniels have looked like solid picks. Let’s take a look at who the Hornets may pick up on July 29.