The SB Nation team of bloggers conducted a mock draft in preparation for the real NBA Draft that happens exactly one week from today. I was torn between two prospects, but I ultimately decided to go with the perimeter scoring ability of James Bouknight. My explanation:
The Hornets have a glaring need at center, and many fans and pundits expect they’ll target that position with a lottery pick. However, the Hornets spent two second round picks on centers last year, and they may want to use free agency to find a quicker fix. Their wing depth was strained last season, and Malik Monk’s pending free agency won’t help that. Bouknight can immediately shore up the depth at that position while adding some scoring punch on the perimeter.
The other prospect I considered taking was Alperen Şengün, but I was more drawn to the three-level scoring and guard/wing production Bouknight brings to the table. Bouknight struggled with his outside shot in his sophomore campaign at UConn, but he was dealing with a significant elbow injury (to his off arm, to be fair), and he shot the lights out at workouts. He’s a big time athlete that has the potential to be a terrific defender as well as long as he gives consistent effort on that end.
For what it’s worth, I took LaMelo Ball when we did this exercise last year. Here’s to making it two years in a row, hopefully with just as much success.
Grade my pick of James Bouknight at 11th overall
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