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2020 Hornets prospect scouting report: Vernon Carey Jr.

Can the 19-year old Duke Freshman be a viable option later in the draft for the Charlotte Hornets?


Height: 6’10”

Weight: 265 lbs

Wingspan: 7’0”


Offense: Vernon Carey Jr. is your classic rim rolling big, who will almost certainly find a role within an NBA offense catching lobs off pick-and-roll action. The Duke Freshman is listed at 6’10 which would normally classify him as an undersized center, but nothing about his game is undersized. Carey Jr. is an uber-athletic, physical player in the paint who can get under the rim almost at will. He has decently good feet and a few post moves coupled with a soft touch around the rim, his postgame is very mature for that of someone at just 19-years old. Carey Jr. has shown the ability to pick the ball up and use his athleticism to drive by his defender he’s also flashed his ability to stretch the floor albeit in a small sample size Carey jr. converted 8 of his 21 three-point attempts.


Defense: Vernon Carey Jr. shows flashes as a rim protector using his athleticism to get vertical and block defender’s shots. But the floor IQ is just lacking which is really disappointing for a player with this much athletic ability. Carey Jr. is an absolute liability in pick and roll action almost to the point where he can become unplayable. He can also get lost in switches on defense and more than occasionally loses his defender giving up easy scores. Opponents love taking him to the top of the key and just driving by him for easy scores.

Footwork: His footwork needs work on both ends Carey Jr. got caught often traveling and shuffling his feet too many times to dismiss it as a mental blimp. Defensively he’s slow to meet defenders and has to improve his footwork horizontally. It can be brutal watching opponents’ completely go around Carey Jr. like a pylon cone during practice. Hopefully, an NBA coach can get Carey Jr. to at least decent.

NBA Comparison: Jahlil Okafor / Ivica Zubac