The Hornets are hosting their seventh pre-draft workout today, and it features two guys that are in play for the Hornets at the 11th pick- Zhaire Smith and Collin Sexton.
Smith wasn’t seen as a one-and-done prospect coming into the 2017-18 season, but a strong season where he averaged 11.3 points, 5.0 rebounds, and 1.8 assists while finishing with absurdly high Box Plus/Minus and Win Share metrics has propelled him into the lottery conversation.
The Texas Tech product is one of the most explosive prospects in this draft, frequently leaping over opponents for tip dunks and soaring for blocks from the weak side. His athleticism and effort level should make him a plus defender out of the gate while his offensive game comes along. There are questions about his outside shooting and general offensive polish, but he finds ways to make the team better while he’s on the court. You can read more about him here.
Collin Sexton has been mocked everywhere from sixth all the way down to the back end of the lottery. The Marietta, Georgia native is one of the draft’s most intriguing prospects. He put up very impressive numbers during his lone season at Alabama, averaging 19.2 points, 3.8 rebounds, and 3.6 assists per game. He has all the intangibles coaches and general managers want in their players; he plays with supreme confidence and unwavering energy and competitiveness. He scored 40 points in a game in which his team was playing 3 on 5 for the last 11 minutes of the contest, during which Sexton’s Alabama squad outscored their opposition.
There are questions about his outside shooting and passing ability along with concerns about his size given the tenacity he plays with. He only averaged 3.6 assists to 2.8 turnovers during his freshman season, which is very underwhelming for a top tier point guard. His shooting efficiency was decent in college, but his shot selection doesn’t match his shooting ability, so that may not translate well to the NBA. You can read about him in more detail here.
The rest of the invitees are likely second round and priority free agent targets. Here’s the full list:
- Deng Adel | Forward | 6-7 | 200 | Louisville | Junior
- Gary Clark | Forward | 6-8 | 225 | Cincinnati | Senior
- Devon Hall | Guard | 6-5 | 211 | Virginia | Senior
- Matt Mobley |Guard | 6-3 | 185 | St. Bonaventure | Senior
- Josh Newkirk | Guard | 6-1 | 195 | Indiana | Senior
- Collin Sexton | Guard | 6-3 | 190 | Alabama | Freshman
- Zhaire Smith | Guard | 6-5 | 195 | Texas Tech | Freshman