The draft-day decision Charlotte will likely be forced to make:
An athletically-insane two way prospect with the potential to help take down the Empire, and a guy whose best years will most likely be at a private school that annoys most people.
It feels weird to talk about ideas of pro potential vs. NBA ready. It’s like a chicken vs. egg argument that keeps happening over and over again even though EVERYONE KNOWS IT WAS THE CHICKEN.
The Hornets will choose a Luke Kennard in this draft because of course they’re destined to. They will choose a player whose skills are self-evident, and available the nano-second they take that dopey picture with Adam Silver, and sit and nod at that even dopier press conference with Rich Cho. Drafting has always been the personnel-related blind spot of an otherwise pretty good front office, and we should fully expect the front office’s tendencies to have not changed one iota.
Forget for a second all of the flaws both Kennard and OG and the players like them, posses. Decision making for a middling team with even-enough roster distribution to adequately improve homegrown talent (i.e. a player’s development not being overly hampered by teammate’s shortcomings) should be fairly straight forward. Pick the player that has the best chance to help you win the most games for the most seasons. Kennard and his stylistic ilk, could be fine NBA role players or busts. OG and his, could be All-Stars or bust.
Hopefully this decision can be avoided.
Hopefully the Hornets will watch one of the more-or-less consensus top-9 prospects in the draft fall to them and in a sense strip them of any real decision-making agency i.e. eventual and totally inevitable culpability. If not, there’s always a player in the mold of Donovan Mitchell, except for the fact that he’s the only one. A player whose ceiling isn’t as limited as the Kennard’s and floor isn’t as sub-terrestrial as the OGs. Mitchell has been the player most often linked with the franchise in the pre-draft build up / hysteria / league-wide existential panic, and should be viewed as Charlotte’s last resort. If The Nine are gone, and if the FO movers and shakers lack the testicular fortitude to take a stab at a project, than Mitchell would be a more-than-acceptable consolation prize, with very real NBA attributes and characteristics that would suggest a shot at top 20-ish potential.
However, with the Cho-ster’s recent fleece of whoever runs the Hawks, the roster has less holes, and there’s more room to be creative. Drafting a Kennard and selling the 31st is the stuff of lesser men.
Let it fly, Richard. Pretend you’re the chef of one of the pristine foodie destinations we know you so enjoy. Who cares if the Warriors are unbeatable and currently seated comfy on the NBA mountain top? The joy is in the climb and mixing of analogies.
Here’s to Draft Day 2017. Enjoy.