With the draft quickly approaching, a lot of teams have begun targeting in on players they're highly interested in. They create a list of guys that they want based on when the player will be available. Sometimes rumors leak of who teams happen to be targeting in on. Sometimes it's a smokescreen set by the team to keep other teams on their toes but there's still information to be gathered from these leaks.
To go along with the rumors are the mock drafts. Websites and blogs everywhere make predictions of who goes where based on parameters such as fit, talent level of players, or other factors. When it comes to mock drafts it's best to look at as many different mocks as possible to get a general idea of who might be available at that spot come draft time.
As far as Hornets rumors go, there aren't very many. This doesn't come as too much of a shock as the Hornets organization has never been one that leaks very much. That said, they do have one rumor out there and that's Doug McDermott. Nothing major, just a tweet from Rick Bonnell and a handful of mock drafts having McDermott to the Hornets. Which does have some sense behind it. McDermott is supposed to be a very good scorer and have a nice shooting touch, which Charlotte could have used some of last season.
Draft Express has the Hornets taking Nik Stauskas. A lot of mocks out there say Stauskas is the best shooter in the draft. Stauskas would definitely fill a need for the Hornets since they could use an upgrade at the guard spot and desperately need a shooter. It's worth noting that Draft Express had the Kings taking McDermott one spot ahead of the Hornets.
For the 24th pick Draft Express has the Hornets reuniting Kemba Walker with Shabazz Napier. The Hornets do need a backup point guard and Napier could certainly fill that role. He showed he can manage a team no matter the situation after leading the Huskies all the way to this year's national championship. Something he and Walker have in common.
Over at ESPN with Chad Ford, they have the Hornets taking McDermott. As said above, he's potentially a very good scorer, although there are a lot of questions about how he'll fare on defense in the NBA. Most think he isn't going to be strong enough to get over on pick and rolls in the NBA if he's playing power forward. However the Hornets could always put Michael Kidd-Gilchrist on to the opposing team's power forward should they choose.
At No. 24 ESPN has Charlotte taking P.J. Hairston out of North Carolina. Hairston is supposed to be ready to shoot at an NBA level from the minute he enters the NBA. Suspended following an investigation for NCAA violations, the shooting guard declined to return to school, in favor of playing in the NBA D-League. The Hornets could certainly use an upgrade at that position so Hairston fits.
SB Nation has the Hornets taking Jusuf Nurkic, a center from Bosnia. This is the most unique selection I've seen so far. Nurkic is a bruiser down low and would give the Hornets some size on the bench. He's listed as the second best center in the draft class and could replace Al Jefferson when his career starts to wind down. However, I imagine the team will be looking to address their shooting needs before their backup big men needs. Not that this is a bad pick, just a unique one.
Like Draft Express, SB Nation also has the Hornets looking to fill their backup point guard needs with the 24th pick. They have Charlotte taking Syracuse PG Tyler Ennis. Ennis played very well while he was at Syracuse but this will be a fairly dangerous pick as Syracuse isn't the best at producing NBA level talent. However at 24 and considering Ennis won't be asked to start, it won't be a huge risk.
Marc Spears of Yahoo! Sports, projects the Hornets to draft McDermott at No. 9, saying the team is high on his skills.
UCLA's Jordan Adams is the pick at 24, a high-scoring guard in college with almost 18 points per game. His three-point shooting rose to 35.6 percent, which isn't quite the knockdown shooting the Hornets need, but it's could translate to the NBA.
Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders (formerly HoopsWorld) has McDermott and Hairston as the Hornets' two first-round picks. In the website's mock draft from all their writers, Alex Kennedy has Dario Saric and Hairston; Joel Brigham has Julius Randle and Jerami Grant; and Yannis Koutroupis has McDermott and Zach LaVine.
Sporting News' Sean Deveney predicts the Hornets take Stauskas from Michigan and pairs him with his college teammate Glenn Robinson III
The draft is fast approaching and the Hornets remain fairly tight lipped on who they plan on taking. There aren't a lot of rumors and as such the mocks have a lot of variety. There's no clear consensus on who they plan on taking, just that they need shooters. This should make this year's draft very interesting come time for their picks.