New NBA Draft rumor could be great news for the Hornets

A recent Donovan Clingan NBA Draft rumor could be great news for the Charlotte Hornets.
Charlotte Hornets, NBA Draft, Donovan Clingan, NBA Trad Rumors
Charlotte Hornets, NBA Draft, Donovan Clingan, NBA Trad Rumors / Mitchell Layton/GettyImages

As the Boston Celtics and Dallas Mavericks battle it out in the NBA Finals, the other 28 teams around the league are in full-on offseason mode, and that includes the Charlotte Hornets.

Charles Lee, the Hornets’ new head coach, is still with the Celtics in the Finals for now, but the rest of the organization is preparing for the summer and, most notably right now, the 2024 NBA Draft.

Charlotte owns the sixth pick in this year’s draft after falling back in the lottery, but there should still be some solid young prospects available for them to consider at that spot.

Unlike in previous years, the draft order at the top is completely unknown. Guys like Alex Sarr and Zacharie Risacher are projected to be in the top two, but nothing is certain.

And a recent NBA draft rumor could be great news for the Hornets as they await their selection at pick six.

According to Jonathan Givony of ESPN, multiple teams—including the Chicago Bulls, Oklahoma City Thunder, Memphis Grizzlies, and Utah Jazz—could attempt to trade up in hopes of selecting UConn center Donovan Clingan.

"Clingan isn't expected to drop past the Portland Trail Blazers at No. 7, whom he just visited for a private workout as well. He is being discussed among teams as a possible target for the likes of Chicago, Memphis, Oklahoma City or Utah, who all might explore trading up for a player in his mold."

Jonathan Givony, ESPN

The big man is fresh off two National Championship runs with the Huskies, and his defensive presence alone is enough to make teams salivate over him in this year’s draft.

So, why is this good for the Hornets?

Well, first of all, the Hornets probably weren’t going to take Clingan anyway. They already have Mark Williams, who, despite being hurt for much of last year, looks like their center of the future.

Second of all, it means that one of the five spots in front of them will almost certainly be Clingan, leaving more prospects for them to choose from.

But perhaps most interestingly, this rumor could give the Hornets a chance to trade back and select multiple players.

That’s the best potential outcome from this, but it seems unlikely, as Clingan will probably end up going before the sixth pick. Teams like the Houston Rockets (No. 3) and San Antonio Spurs (No. 4) could be willing to trade back for the right price.

However, if a team comes calling for the sixth pick in hopes of snagging Clingan, the Hornets should jump at the chance to add pieces and/or more picks.