It’s finally draft day. After months upon months waiting for this miraculous event in which the Charlotte Hornets are absolutely destined by God to take another painfully mediocre player, the draft is finally here. These are some of the players currently projected to be selected by the Charlotte Hornets.
CBS Sports (Reid Forgrave)- Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Guard, Kentucky
”Think Kemba Walker will be around after next season? I don’t, so it’s time for the Hornets to start planning for a Kemba-less future that might have a couple more lottery picks since this team needs to go down before it can go up. If Gilgeous-Alexander were to stick around for a sophomore season at Kentucky, add some muscle and some leadership experience, I believe he could be in the running for a top-five or perhaps top-three pick in the lackluster 2019 draft. He was the main reason why Kentucky morphed from an incoherent team in January to a team that was rolling in March. He’s tall and long, a good athlete, and a very good shooter. He’ll need some time to develop. But if the Hornets have anything, it’s time.”
My take: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is my favorite player that the Charlotte Hornets have a realistic chance of picking. His fluidity off the dribble is rare and his defensive versatility would be outstanding paired with Malik Monk. Gilgeous-Alexander has underrated passing and the potential to be the best guard out of this draft class.
NBA.com (Sam Smith)- Collin Sexton, Guard, Alabama
”Buy, bye Kemba? Perhaps by the time you are reading this? The Hornets have been more anxious to shed money than add talent, at least for now. It’s a new management staff and coaching, and Sexton is the sort of tough, no nonsense competitor who would appeal to owner Jordan. He’s small, but so was Kemba, so they’re accustomed to that.”
My take: I’m not as high on Collin Sexton as most people are. But I can definitely see the upside. Sexton is a hound on defense and shows shades of De’Aaron Fox on both sides of the ball. If he can refine his jump shot, Sexton should be a fine NBA player.
Sports Illustrated (Jeremy Woo)- Kevin Knox, Forward, Kentucky
”Charlotte would love it if Shai Gilgeous-Alexander fell here but may settle for Knox, who’s a viable long-term project at this point in the draft and can develop behind the Hornets’ veteran forwards for the next couple of seasons. Knox seems more likely to go in the 10–14 range right now, although he could be a direct beneficiary if Michael Porter ends up falling in the draft. Still just 18, Knox has age, body type and talent on his side and is nowhere near the player he’ll be in five years. He may have been under-utilized at Kentucky and has more ability still to show.”
My take: Kevin Knox would be a bit of a reach with the 11th overall pick. The offensive and defensive upside are certainly there. However, what most concerns me is his motor and inability to take over games as a scoring wing. Knox’s jump shot is transferable to the NBA and shows signs of being a Harrison Barnes-esque scorer. But, I’d be pretty disappointed if Charlotte chooses Knox at eleven over some other players.
My Final Prediction: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Guard, Kentucky
All in all, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is the best fit for the Hornets. It adds another dimension to a backcourt that desperately needs some defense and a backup point-guard. Should Kemba Walker leave or be traded, it also gives Charlotte some insurance at the point-guard position. As I stated earlier, SGA has tremendous defensive potential and the offensive upside to be a stellar two-way player. With a developmental coach like James Borrego, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander would be a perfect fit for the Hornets.