Normally we don’t do stuff like this so early in the season, but the Charlotte Hornets have been unwatchably bad, so we need something to cling to if the season continues down this path. If it does, here are a few prospects you can keep your eye on when you’re looking for solace in a terrible season.
First things first. If the season ended today, the Hornets would tie for the fourth worst record in the NBA. That means they would have an 11.8% chance of winning the Victor Wembanyama sweepstakes. That would be a franchise altering stroke of good fortune. The same could be said to a lesser extent if the Hornets jump up to the second pick to get Scoot Henderson. Those two are the clear one and two of this draft and both will provide immediate boosts to whatever teams get them.
If neither of those happen, here are some other guys that could end up in the purple and teal come next summer.
The Athletic: 6th pick, Keyonte George, Guard, Baylor
George is a smooth guard that can run point and score at all three levels. He’d pair really with LaMelo Ball to form a one-two punch in the back court of guards that can score and facilitate.
Bleacher Report: 3rd pick, Amen Thompson, Guard, Overtime Elite
Amen is one of two Thomspon twins projected to go in the top 10 of next year’s draft. He has the frame and athleticism of a wing with the playmaking ability of a guard. He needs to improve as an outside shooter, but having two 6’7” point guards that can score and passs would make the Hornets a tough cover.
Sports Illustrated: 5th pick, Jarace Walker, Forward, Houston
Walker is a tremendous defender at the hybrid forward spot. He’s also got a good outside shot and stuffs the stat sheet at a decent rate.
Yahoo Sports: 5th pick, Ausar Thomspon, Guard, Overtime Elite
Hey it’s the other Thompson twin. Ausar profiles very similarly to his brother. Both are explosive athletes with play making chops and high level slashing ability.
NBA Draft Net: 4th pick, Dariq Whitehead, Forward, Duke
Whitehead was one of the top prospects entering this collegiate season, but he’s gotten off to a slow start after foot surgery just before the start of the season. He projects as a do-it-all wing, but he needs to find his footing at Duke first.
Tankathon: 5th pick, Brandon Miller, Forward, Alabama
Miller looks like a sharpshooter on the wing, converting 48% of his 3-point attempts on high volume so far this season. He doesn’t have any glaring holes in his game, and every team has room for 6’9” shooters that can handle the ball and defend.
Hopefully the Hornets start winning some games to make this season more enjoyable in the present, but if they decide not to do that, there are some very enticing prospects awaiting them in the lottery.