The Charlotte Hornets are not expected to make any sort of impact in the Eastern Conference this season. That is why it is hardly surprising to see them predicted to be in the mix for a top draft pick in next year’s draft lottery. Bleacher Report’s Jonathan Wasserman gave an overview of the Hornets in his Way-Too-Soon Lottery Predictions article before making a mock draft selection.
"“It’s unrealistic to expect instant impact from Miller, and Gordon Hayward is entering his 14th season at age 33. Ball, Bridges and Terry Rozier figure to provide regular firepower, but it’s still unlikely to be enough to elevate Charlotte’s 30th-ranked offense into one that can regularly take down playoff teams. Charlotte’s goals this year will focus on Ball’s trajectory and durability, Bridges’ rehabilitation and the development of Miller, Williams, Nick Richards, Bryce McGowens, James Bouknight and Kai Jones.”"
This seems a bit harsh, but this is the reality for Charlotte. This is not a team that is ready for prime time. This is why Wasserman has projected the Hornets landing the fourth overall selection and taking Duke guard Tyrese Proctor.
"“Teams could think about Proctor as a 6’5″ lead guard, but those who already have ball-handlers like Ball could also picture the 19-year-old as an interchangeable combo guard. A crafty touch-scorer and clever, willing facilitator, Proctor has the chance to leave scouts with little to question, assuming he’s more consistent from three and comfortable finishing.”"
This could be an intriguing pairing for the Hornets. As mentioned by Wasserman, the Hornets already have their primary ballhandler in LaMelo Ball. Additionally, the hope in Charlotte is that 2023 second-overall pick Brandon Miller develops into a worthy rotation player for the Hornets. Adding yet another talented player into that mix should help their cause to become a relevant team in the Eastern Conference.
Outside of Ball, Charlotte needs to focus on adding talent regardless of position. This is a team that cannot be worried about adding a player at a position that is currently filled. The Hornets need talent, period. Should the Hornets find themselves in the NBA Draft Lottery again and end up with the fourth pick, taking Proctor could be a way to jumpstart their way toward relevancy.