Comparing three NBA mock drafts for the Hornets

2023 McDonald's All American Game
2023 McDonald's All American Game / Michael Hickey/GettyImages
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ESPN: Matas Buzelis, Forward, G-League Ignite

Jonathan Givony and Jeremy Woo are the draft experts for ESPN and they have mocked 6’11” Lithuanian forward, Matas Buzelis of the G-League Ignite to the Hornets. Fans got a glimpse of Buzelis recently when he went head-to-head with Brandon Miller in the Panini Rising Stars event as part of the NBA’s all-star weekend.

Buzelis is a long athletic wing who can do a little bit of everything. He can handle the ball and run some offense, he can pass and playmake, and he can shoot and score. He’s also very versatile for his size and should be able to fit in with almost any NBA team.

He needs to bulk up a bit, but that goes for almost every 6’11” 19-year-old NBA prospect. Offensively he’d be a seamless fit in Charlotte as a playmaking forward who can play on or off the ball.

The biggest issue for Buzelis is his defense. He’s not a great defender, as he struggles to match the strength and physicality of forwards, and struggles athletically to stay with guards. While the Hornets' defense has looked better in recent games, they’ve still got a long way to go on that end.

Drafting a clear defensive liability could be a tough sell for a team in need of major improvement in that department. But Buzelis is young and tall; he has plenty of time to get better. But on offense, he could potentially take the team to the next level as a sort of giant Swiss army knife.

A lot will change between now and draft night, but it’s not too early to start thinking about the possibilities. We’ll keep monitoring prospects and mock drafts, and see how things play out as we get closer to draft day.