When the Charlotte Hornets moved up to the second overall pick in the 2023 NBA Draft, many fans were disappointed. The Hornets had nearly secured Victor Wembanyama, who some project to be the greatest draft prospect of all time. This is the second time in recent memory that the Hornets had a shot at the first overall pick, only to fall just short. However, despite the disappointment coming from some fans, the Hornets find themselves in a quite favorable position with the second overall pick. Though the thought of Wembanyama paired with all-star guard Lamelo Ball is enticing, Having the second pick opens doors that were not previously open for the Hornets.
The First and obvious option presented before the Charlotte Hornets and General Manager Mitch Kupchak is using the pick on Scoot Henderson. Henderson is a tremendous athlete many believe would have been the first pick in a draft without Victor Wembanyama in it. Henderson is also the consensus second-best player in this draft class. Despite his natural athleticism and talent, there are questions regarding how Henderson would fit alongside Lamelo Ball. Henderson is a guard who thrives when he is operating with the ball in his hands. Unfortunately, so is Ball. With both players being ball-dominant guards, a decision would have to be made regarding who is the primary ball handler.
On the plus side, Lamelo Ball could be a fantastic off-ball player. His height and length would provide a mismatch against most guards, and his elite shooting from deep is a tremendous threat. If the Hornets were to draft Henderson, Moving Lamelo Ball to the shooting guard position could unlock an untapped potential with the Hornet’s offense.
The other prospect the Hornets could take with the second overall pick is Brandon Miller, the sophomore All-American out of the University of Alabama. The main reason Miller is on the Hornet’s radar is his fit on the current roster. Miller would undoubtedly be a better fit than Henderson, as there would be no necessary tweaks to positions. Miller is a high-level 3&D guard who led Alabama to one of the best records in the NCAA Division 1.
Similarly to Henderson, Miller does have some question marks. Miller appeared to fizzle out in the NCAA tournament. In the three games played, he scored a total of 28 points on 19% shooting from the field, including a 9-point effort in an elimination game against San Diego State. In addition to his performance questions, he also has well-documented off-court issues. Overall, Brandon Miller is on the Hornet’s radar for good reasons.
The last relevant option for the Hornets is to trade back from the second overall pick. There will surely be great value for the pick, which could land the Hornets a top-five selection this season, along with future assets. There have not been any credible rumors or rumblings from league insiders, however, which probably means the Hornets are looking to draft either Scoot Henderson or Brandon Miller.
Though many fans were disappointed that the Hornets wouldn’t land Victor Wembanyama, moving up to the second overall pick is a huge boost for the Hornets, providing a much-needed talent and youth boost. Though Charlotte is not landing Wembanyama, the second-overall pick could fast-track the Charlotte Hornets back into the post-season.