Hornets picking KJ Simpson is peek into future: Instant reaction & analysis

By selecting Colorado guard KJ Simpson, the Charlotte Hornets gave fans a glimpse into their future.
Charlotte Hornets, KJ Simpson, 2024 NBA Draft, NBA Draft
Charlotte Hornets, KJ Simpson, 2024 NBA Draft, NBA Draft / Dylan Buell/GettyImages

The Charlotte Hornets selected Colorado point guard KJ Simpson with the No. 42 pick in the 2024 NBA Draft, giving fans a glimpse into the future of the roster.

Simpson, who played three years with the Buffaloes in college, enters the league as an intriguing shooter and playmaker who can play behind LaMelo Ball.

That’s why this pick screams “future.” Simpson probably isn’t ready to contribute big-time minutes right away, but the Hornets drafted a guy who has the mold of a backup point guard. And that’s what they need.

Hornets picking Colorado guard KJ Simpson is peek into what future of roster could look like

Vasilije Micic and Tre Mann are fine players, but bringing in a near-22-year-old guard with Simpson’s tool set gives them a clear path forward at the backup point guard position.

Despite being undersized, Simpson is always fighting on that end, with Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer comparing him to Fred VanVleet and George Hill.

That, combined with his three-point shooting and nifty shot creation, make him a legit option at the guard position for Charlotte in the future.

In the first round of the NBA Draft, the Hornets took Frenchman Tidjane Salaun with the No. 6 pick, and now, they snag a guard who could give them real minutes down the line.

That’s what the Hornets seem to be doing in this draft—planning for the future. They have a guy in Salaun who could be their starting power forward, and with Simpson, they have someone who could play real minutes at the point guard spot.

Ball, Brandon Miller, and Mark Williams are going to lead the way, so it’s up to the Hornets to fill out the rest of the roster with guys who could help them compete for the playoffs at some point soon.

Simpson, despite being a bit undersized at six feet tall, has all the tools to play point guard at the NBA level and all of the heart to help change the culture in Charlotte.

Obviously, at his height, he’s going to get bullied a bit on the defensive end of the court, but that hasn’t stopped guys like VanVleet, Payton Pritchard, and TJ McConnell from being effective NBA players.

That’s the mold the Hornets will be hoping Simpson can step into, and they are right to take a chance on his potential.

Charlotte is a long way out from competing for postseason runs, but in this draft, they have started to outline the shape of what their roster could look like in the future.