How many rounds are in the NBA draft? How many picks do the Hornets have?

2023 NBA Draft
2023 NBA Draft / Sarah Stier/GettyImages

NBA fans, and Charlotte Hornets fans have certainly started thinking about the 2024 NBA draft which will take place on June 26th and 27th this year. The draft order will be determined by the lottery on May 12th, but regardless of the order, the draft will be a massive event for the future of the Hornets franchise.

How many rounds?

The NBA draft spans two total rounds, as has been the case since 1989. When the draft picked up steam in the early 1960s, it would last until there were no more prospects available, going as long as 21 rounds. It was shortened multiple times over the years until it was cut to two in 1989 so undrafted players would be free to sign with any team.

Has it always been a two-day event?

For the first time, the draft has expanded to two nights this year. The first round will take place on Wednesday night, June 26th at 8 PM, with the second round the following night at the same time. 

Teams will still get 5 minutes for each pick in the first round, and they’ll now have four minutes in the second round - up from just two minutes in years past. This makes each night a ~3-hour standalone made-for-TV event.

Along with making the draft a better TV event, the league also expressed a desire to give teams a chance to meet and get reorganized between rounds. I’ll be interested to see if it also leads to more draft-day(s) trades.

How many picks do the Hornets have?

It’s complicated (kind of). The Hornets will almost definitely have two total picks in the 2024 draft, one in the first round and one in the second round. But both picks come with some interesting caveats.

Technically the Hornets traded their first-round pick back in 2021 for the rights to Kai Jones - an absolute disaster of a trade. But luckily for the team that pick is lottery protected. That means that unless the Hornets go on the most improbable of runs and make the playoffs, they will get to keep their first-round pick.

The Hornets also traded away their 2024 second-round pick, back in 2020 for the draft rights to Nick Richards. This deal looks better as Richards has come on lately, but still hurts to give up will likely be a pick very early in the second round.

Thankfully, the Hornets should also have a decent second-round pick as they acquired Houston’s pick at the deadline from Oklahoma City in the Gordon Hayward trade. 

A lot can change in the standings between now and the draft and there are many more trades to be made. But as of today’s standings, the Hornets would have the 4th and 40th overall picks in the draft, and they’d owe the 34th pick to the Blazers.