At The Hive: A
At first blush, I love this draft for Charlotte. They capitalized on Noah Vonleh's slide, grabbing a top-five draft talent with great upside. Clearly the Hornets went with the best player available, throwing Clifford's words about preferring experience over potential into the wind. Vonleh's immediate impact will be defense and rebounding. He's got great hands and good size with strength ready go to work in the paint on offense and defense. He should make entry passes difficult for opponents thanks to his strength and long arms with active hands. His positioning on defense is good, he boxes out well and is a fantastic rebounder. Lest you think this is Biyombo 2.0, he has a great base to develop his offense. He's got good touch with either hand and a pretty solid jump shot. He didn't take many last year, but his mechanics and are good and his length gives him a high release. But his offense lacks dependable consistency, has footwork issues, and his passing is poor. Still, this looks to be a great pick for Charlotte as they continue to add to their young core. Vonleh's got great tools to develop and could be a big value at No. 9.
P.J. Hairston was a favorite option of mine with their second first-round pick. They got a player they wanted at 24 two picks later at 26 and added a couple second round picks. Hairston will add shooting and should be a physical offensive weapon off the bench, which is of course a good fit.
How Vonleh fits into the roster is less clear since the Hornets have now used three top-8 picks on frontcourt players in Bismack Biyombo, Cody Zeller and Vonleh. Maybe they re-sign Josh McRoberts to start and have the other three split minutes off the bench. Maybe Vonleh or Zeller start, with the other coming off the bench with Biyombo. It's hard to say at this point, but the Vonleh pick looks to help Charlotte extend their future and not go into win-now mode too early.
As for the second round picks all being traded, I'm ok with this. The Hornets kept their first rounders and drafted one for the future and one for the present, and getting cap space for the second rounders should help them solve their free agent needs and get experience there. - Ben
"Vonleh projects as a perfect fit next to Al Jefferson because he's a stretch big man with the ability to block shots and rebound the ball."
Ford likes that the Hornets got talent that probably should have gone higher than where they got picked by Charlotte, saying both are serious talents and that Hairston probably would have been a lottery pick had he not had all those off-the-court problems at UNC.
"Vonleh has the physical tools to become an excellent NBA power forward someday. The Hornets will have to be patient [...] he needs to expand his repertoire of interior moves and work harder to consistently get open in the post."
"Spot-up shooting is Hairston's best attribute, but he has the size and athleticism to get to the rim and to defend wings as well."
"If the young man remains diligent, his "Otis Thorpe meets Chris Bosh" style of play could do great things for an improving Hornets team, and give the team a buttress in the eventual post-Al Jefferson era. There is serious potential here."
"I'm not sure this draft could have gone better for the Hornets. Vonleh with the ninth pick might be the best value in the lottery."
"For one, drafting Vonleh (and Powell) means they can allow Josh McRoberts to leave in free agency and let Vonleh and Cody Zeller compete for the starting job next to Al Jefferson. And those two Indiana products could be the frontcourt of the future"