Two NBA sources with top-10 picks believe @hornets want James Wiseman in the Nov. 18 draft. Would they have to trade above No. 3 to accomplish that? @BigTicket_JW played just 3 college games at Memphis.https://t.co/gA5Qg0VlqB— Rick Bonnell (@rick_bonnell) October 28, 2020
Wiseman fills a big hole on the Hornets roster, which is why he’s so frequently given to the Hornets in mock drafts. The Hornets badly need a center, and it’s easy to chase need when it’s readily available in the draft.
That said, I’m skeptical about the veracity this report. I do believe that the Hornets are making teams think that they’re locked in Wiseman, but I don’t know if they are actually that interested. It’s too easy. The Hornets have been tight lipped since Mitch Kupchak took over as the team’s general manager back in 2018, and it would be out of character for the team to be so openly enamored with a player so far away from draft day. To me, it sounds like the team is trying to drum up trade interest, either for their own pick at three or an earlier pick so a team can jump ahead of them to take Wiseman.
We have seen something like that before. The Hornets took Shai Gilgeous-Alexander with the 11th pick in the 2018 draft. The Clippers, who were sitting at 12, gave up a second round pick to switch picks with the Hornets and get Gilgeous-Alexander for themselves. The Hornets probably didn’t have much interest in Gilgeous-Alexander at the time, but they bluffed and forced the Clippers hand. I wouldn’t be surprised if this is another one of those situations.