The Charlotte Hornets continue their workouts today as the 2015 NBA Draft quickly approaches. Charlotte has been doing their due diligence this year in workouts with players being projected as high as the top 10 pick to as low as not being drafted entirely. Today, the Hornets will be working out Kevin Looney of UCLA and a handful of players projected to go in the second round.
Kevin Looney (UCLA)
Looney will be the big name in today's workout as he tries to impress teams in workouts in order to raise himself into lottery range. He's currently projected just outside the lottery at 17, by Draft Express, and that would be a bit of a reach for the Hornets. This is most likely a workout similar to Kelly Oubre, where if the Hornets are involved in a trade that moves them down, they want to know what players will be available to them.
Looney is a power forward that built his stock on good physical gifts, rebounding, and lots of potential on the defensive side of the ball. Despite being 6-foot-9, Looney should be able to guard taller players with his 7-foot-3.5 wing span, and a very impressive 9-foot-2 standing reach. Using his physical superiority, Looney showed good rebounding skills in college, averaging 9.2 per game, but had a surprisingly small amount of blocks.
On offense, Looney showed decent jumpshooting skills in a small sample size, but it's hard to gauge how much of this will translate over to the NBA. He has the potential to be a stretch four big man in the NBA, but that doesn't feel as guaranteed as other parts of his game. However, he's only 19 and has plenty of room to grow.
Looney's fit with the Hornets would be a weird one. On a team that already features Al Jefferson, Bismack Biyombo, Cody Zeller, Noah Vonleh, and Jason Maxiell it's hard to find where Looney would get any minutes as a rookie. Even if Jefferson were to leave next season, Looney doesn't show the skill set to be an undersized Center in the NBA. His fit on this Hornets team would be a strange one.
Jonathan Holmes (Texas)
(Ed note: It turns out none of this matters as Holmes cancelled his workout with the Hornets. Rather than delete this though I'll leave it up in case you're interested in him as a player. Just know that he's probably not coming to the Hornets)
Unlike Looney, Jonathan Homes is a player that we know what we're getting. At 22 years old there's not much more room for big steps in growth, but he comes with NBA ready skills that might translate over into the NBA. At 6-foot-9 he has the height to be a stretch four, and some solid perimeter skills allows him to play as wing on offense, but he will likely struggle to guard NBA small forwards. He showed the ability to make 3-pointers in college, and everybody knows how desperate the Hornets are for shooters, but he wasn't incredibly efficient.
Holmes has the height, wingspan, and ability to be a pesky perimeter player for the Hornets if they chose to draft him. He won't get much time as a power forward due to there being enough big men on the roster as is, but his ability to make 3-pointers would get him minutes. However, his lack of efficiency is worrisome. If Holmes going to make an NBA roster then he's gonna have to become a more consistent shooter, or a great defender. He has a chance to show the Hornets today that he can do that, and make it worth using their second round pick on him, but right now he doesn't appear worth it unless he's able to to guard wings.
LeBryan Nash (Oklahoma State)
LeBryan Nash enters the draft with the physical skills of an NBA wing, but there are questions about him due to a lack of efficiency, and not a great shooting touch. Using his size and athleticism, Nash is able to force his way to the rim with the ball in his hands and finish relatively well. The majority of his scoring comes in this fashion, and it's probably his greatest skill.
Unfortunately, Nash is likely to struggle at doing this in the NBA. Considering he's 22 years old, and lacks efficiency, it's hard to see him using his physical gifts to dominate NBA games. It wouldn't be as bad if Nash had a jumpshot to open up his drive game, but he never showed a solid range in college, and it's hard to see him developing one at the NBA level.
Nash's fit with the Hornets is a bad one. Another wing that can't shoot is not what the roster is in need of.
Josh Richardson (Tennessee), Cady Lalanne (UMASS)
Richardson and Lalanne are two players that are on the very fringe of Draft Boards. It won't be surprising if they're drafted late in the second round, but it would also not surprise anybody if they went undrafted. They're gonna need a solid workout to get their name called on draft night.
Jay Hook (Tulane)
Jay Hook is a guard out of Tulane. It's very unlikely he gets drafted. He's a possibility for Charlotte's Summer League and D-League team.
Shane Heyward (Columbus State)
Shane Heyward is a 6-foot-6 big man from Columbus State. He does not appear to have a Draft Express profile, and information out there is slim. Most likely a Summer League or D-League potential rather than a possible draft night selection.