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Hornets will look for a second round steal in next Thursday's draft

Second round picks are typically inconsequential. Except when they're not. The Hornets will try to uncover their diamond in the rough next Thursday.

Who should the Hornets take with the 45th pick? Russ Smith volunteers as Tribute.
Who should the Hornets take with the 45th pick? Russ Smith volunteers as Tribute.
Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Second round picks are kind of fun because you can do whatever you want and get away with it. Cash it out? Nobody cares. Trade it for a future second? Nobody cares. Select that undersized combo guard out of Wyoming State Institute of Technology? Nobody cares. Second round picks are the perfect time to take a flier on a player you don't want to invest guaranteed money into or call around and see what you could sell it for. Yes, other than a handful of exceptions, second round picks usually wind up being rather inconsequential, and the Hornets' 45th pick in this year's draft is probably going to be no different.

Projecting a second round pick for a team with multiple firsts is tough, but it's even more difficult when 44 other picks are made beforehand. Sure, the team has needs, but you don't know if they've already met those needs or who will be available. And even if you're right, the player could still be cut after training camp, so you could argue that you were never really right.

Anyway, let's take a couple shots in the dark, throw some stuff against the wall to see what sticks, and figure out what Charlotte could do if they keep the pick.

Russ Smith - PG - Louisville

Smith had a strong combine and posted good numbers at Louisville. Though he is already 23 years old, he expanded his range and demonstrated an understanding of the point guard position. He doesn't have great size or anything, but he was a pest to opposing guards at the combine, and draws stylistic comparisons to Russell Westbrook. With all of this being said, if Smith proved to be a competent bench player in the NBA, this would be a good selection. Worst case scenario would be he gives Hornets fans a fun prospect to watch in summer league and training camp.

Jabari Brown - SG - Missouri

Brown is a 21 year old 6'4 shooting guard with good range. His 41 percent shooting from three doesn't initially blow you away, but it gets a little more impressive when you see he took 5.6 attempts per game. Yeah, he's no Steph Curry, but that's pretty good. Additionally, Draft Express says he's a great spot-up shooter, so he's not just a chucker from behind the arc.

If Brown is a second rounder for any reason, it's because of his passing...and his defense. He's not very good at either. Brown produced an assist just 11 percent of his possessions and is also limited defensively by his size. Hey, if you're looking for an inexpensive shot creator off the bench for unguaranteed money, Brown could be your guy.

Patric Young, Nikola Jokic and Johnny O'Bryant - C - Florida, Serbia, and LSU

There could be a run on centers in this range, but adding another center doesn't make a ton of sense for the Hornets with Al Jefferson and Bismack Biyombo. Well, if there is no one else really desirable on the board and no one wants an extra second, why not? Not like the Hornets would really be hurting anything.


At least it appears that the Hornets will have some options should they choose to keep the pick. Anyone they choose is automatically low-risk, so I'm pulling for someone fun. This is where teams should take a chance on someone they liked, but not necessarily as a first round pick. Who knows? They may connect on one. If it doesn't work out, just move on. Actually, when you consider everything, the 45th pick could be kind of fun.