The Charlotte Hornets are performing fairly well considering the expectations assigned to them at the beginning of this season. That said, the Hornets still need to be doing their due diligence on 2022 Draft prospects, considering they will, likely, have at least one top-18 draft pick this summer.
The Hornets traded a heavily protected 2022 draft pick to the New York Knicks to select Texas big man Kai Jones. However, if they finish among the worst 18 teams in the NBA – they keep their pick, and the protections change in 2023 (as in the Knicks would receive the pick if it lands outside the top-16 in 2023).
With that said, here is a shallow overview of some player the Hornets could potentially target this offseason come draft time.
Charlotte Hornets draft targets: Nikola Jovic, forward, Serbia
No, this isn’t a prank. There is actually a lottery-projected player named Nikola Jovic – and he’s actually pretty good. Jovic is a versatile forward player that stands at 6-foot-10 – and has tools to become a solid, complementary basketball player. Jovic can handle the ball a little bit, makes open outside shots, and makes the correct passes when initiating for others. He’s a player that would make sense for the Charlotte Hornets as an upside bet – one that also has a solid floor.
Charlotte Hornets draft targets: AJ Griffin, forward, Duke
The Charlotte Hornets need defense, and AJ Griffin could provide a lot of that as a versatile forward player from Duke. Griffin, though a bit undersized for a forward, brings solid athleticism and a built frame. Through five games, Griffin is averaging six points per game on 46-percent shooting. If he keeps it up, he could be an intruiging 3-and-D player on Charlotte’s radar.
Charlotte Hornets draft targets: Caleb Houstan, wing, Michigan
Caleb Houstan is a perimeter player that brings forward-type size. Houstan is a really solid passer and playmaker for his age, has a solid 3-point stroke, and makes the right decision most of the time. Houstan is one of the better players on a Michigan team that is currently ranked in the top-5 of the AP poll. He should be a lottery pick in 2022, if his game continues to progress.
The Charlotte Hornets, in addition to their own top-18 protected pick, will get a selection (or two) from the New Orleans Pelicans. If the Pelicans fail to make the playoffs, the Hornets will get two second-rounders from New Orleans.