Tuesday, May 23, 2023

Charlotte Hornets Post-Lottery 2023 NBA Mock Draft Roundup

Leading up to the 2023 NBA Draft, we will update our Charlotte Hornets Mock Draft Roundup showing picks for the Charlotte Hornets from several prominent sites and draft analysts.

The following are picks in recent mock drafts for the Hornets:

The Rookie Wire — Cody Taylor (5/19)

2. Scoot Henderson, G League Ignite

With the draft lottery set, it appears as though Henderson will be heading to the Hornets. He has been long viewed as the No. 2 prospect in this draft class, though, Alabama forward Brandon Miller may have something to say about that. However, Henderson looks to be a great backcourt mate with LaMelo Ball as the two players project to be a good fit with each other on offense.

Henderson has proven to be able to play on or off the ball and will give the team a dynamic scorer that can also get others involved. He will bring great size with him and should have a smooth transition after playing with the Ignite over the past two seasons. Henderson was viewed by many as a consolation prize for the team that missed out on Wembanyama and the Hornets will greatly benefit by his arrival.

27. Olivier-Maxence Prosper, Marquette

Prosper, who was born in Canada, has emerged as one of the top standouts at the draft combine this week. He produced 21 points and seven rebounds in his first scrimmage game and flashed his athleticism and overall skill set on both ends of the court. He hasn't yet decided if he'll return to school or stay in the draft but said this week that he'll do so after meeting with more teams for workouts and interviews. However, his showing in the combine certainly helped his stock among teams.

CBS Sports — Gary Parrish (5/17)

2. Brandon Miller, Alabama

The presence of LaMelo Ball as Charlotte's lead guard is among the reasons Miller is now considered the favorite to go second overall. He's a wing with size who made 38.4% of the 7.5 3-pointers he attempted per game while leading Alabama to the outright SEC regular-season title.

27. Noah Clowney, Alabama

Defensive versatility is a desired skillset these days, and it also happens to be Clowney's strongest attribute. The 6-10 forward has a 7-2 wingspan and the necessary enthusiasm to guard different types of players all over the court.

Sporting News — Kyle Irving (5/17)

2. Scoot Henderson, G League Ignite

The Hornets just missed out on Wembanyama, and now they have a decision to make at No. 2. I'm electing to keep Henderson here (for now) because Charlotte should be looking to take the best player available. However, with a ball-dominant guard like LaMelo Ball as the franchise cornerstone, Alabama forward Miller might be a more seamless fit.

Henderson's second G League Ignite season was riddled with injuries, dealing with a nasal fracture, concussion and ankle injury. He was shut down early out of precaution, finishing with averages of 16.5 points, 6.8 assists, 5.3 rebounds and 1.1 steals per game. The explosive guard is still the second-most NBA-ready prospect in this class.

27. Bobi Klintman, Wake Forest

The Hornets are looking to build for the future and Klintman is a budding prospect who surprised a lot of people when he declared for the 2023 NBA Draft. It was an even bigger shock when he pulled out of the NBA Draft Combine, typically a telling sign of a first-round promise.

This is a shot in the dark that Charlotte is that team, playing his college ball in the same state at Wake Forest. Klintman is a versatile forward who will be selected purely on his upside potential. He's a switchy defender, he showed flashes as a shot creator and he has the tools to play on the wing, even at 6-10 with a reported 7-foot wingspan. It will be intriguing to see where the 20-year-old Swedish prospect ends up.

The Athletic — Sam Vecenie (5/16)

2. Scoot Henderson, G League Ignite

The Scout: Henderson is an explosive playmaker who has been seen as the likely No. 2 overall pick behind Wembanyama all season. In many other drafts, Henderson would be the clear No. 1 pick. He's going to be a difficult problem for defenses to solve from the first day he hits the NBA because of how well-rounded he is in ball-screen actions. He can pull-up and hit floaters, he can get all the way to the rim and finish with authority or touch, he can play slow or fast, and he can make high-level passing reads. On top of that, he's going to force the action in transition and drive easy points that way, as well as be the guy from day one who sets the tone for your organization as the top dog on the team because of his competitiveness and drive. This is truly an elite, franchise-altering prospect. No. 2 is no consolation prize in this year's class.

The Fit: I love the idea of putting Henderson in the backcourt with LaMelo Ball. It would create one of the most exciting, up-tempo attacks in the NBA with how good both players are at pushing pace. But more importantly, they complement each other well. Both have the ability to blend scoring and playmaking together, but Henderson tends to think more about the scoring side of the things, and Ball thrives as a creative decision-maker who can make high-level passing reads from any angle. Henderson's elite midrange game would complement Ball's 3s and layups approach. And I would bet Henderson's overall competitiveness and attitude will really vibe with the intensity coach Steve Clifford brings. Don't rule out Miller here, though. The team does have a significant need on the wing long term. This will be the swing point of the top five.

27. G.G. Jackson, South Carolina

The Scout: One of the more difficult evaluations in this class. Along with Whitehead, his range is as wide as any player's. Some evaluators are really intrigued with Jackson's shot creation. Starting the past season at just 17 years old, Jackson showcased some really intriguing tricks in his bag, using his advanced handle. He is a legitimate midrange weapon, and his jumper looks translatable long term. But his overall production was a really rough, and his tape this season was not that of a first-round pick's. He struggled immensely on defense and was among the worst passers and decision-makers in college hoops this season (averaging just 0.8 assists versus 2.7 turnovers with a ton of difficult, contested shots that acted in a similar effect to the turnovers). There are also some real questions about his maturity: His on-court body language was poor, and he publicly questioned his coaching staff on Instagram Live earlier this season. Jackson is clearly talented, though, and the context of his season is incredibly important to keep in mind with just how young he was.

The Fit: Under the Jordan regime, the Hornets tend to either draft guys who produced at an exceedingly high level (think P.J. Washington, Cody Martin, Cody Zeller, Kemba Walker, etc.), or who are really young with high-level tools (think J.T. Thor, Bryce McGowens, Kai Jones, others). And over the last few years, they've actually tended to be willing to draft the latter more than the former, especially outside of the lottery. Jackson would be intriguing as a talent bet who largely fits their modus operandi.

Yahoo! Sports — Krysten Peek (5/16)

2. Brandon Miller, Alabama

The Hornets already have a point guard in LaMelo Ball and will look to add an offensive threat and size on the wing with this pick. Miller possesses a great combination of shooting mechanics, positional size and natural feel for the game. He was one of the best 3-point shooting wings in college basketball this past season and will also bring defensive versatility to the Hornets next season with his length and athleticism. Despite a poor showing in the NCAA tournament, Miller was effective on high volume during the regular season and helped lead Alabama to the No. 1 overall seed for the first time in school history. He averaged 23 points per 40 minutes as a freshman and shot 38.4% from 3-point range on seven attempts per game.

27. Bilal Coulibaly, Metropolitans 92

Coulibaly, Wembanyama's current teammate, has burst onto the scene after giving NBA scouts glimpses of how his game could translate to the NBA with his long frame and 7-3 wingspan. Coulibaly is a raw prospect with a ton of upside, growing from 5-11 to 6-6 in just two years. His high-release jumper gives any NBA team room to work with and at just 18 years old, Coulibaly has a ton of time to develop his game under the NBA umbrella.

Bleacher Report — Jonathan Wasserman (5/16)

2. Scoot Henderson, G League Ignite

Brandon Miller is the cleaner fit, but Henderson would give the Hornets a backcourt advantage that few teams could match. With Henderson and LaMelo Ball, they'd have two high-level playmakers to generate pace and easy offense. And between Henderson's explosiveness and rim pressure, and Ball's passing and shot-making, it's worth betting on the pair working together.

The Hornets should also prepare for trade offers from teams looking to move up, whether it's the Houston Rockets targeting Henderson or the Detroit Pistons hoping for Miller. Charlotte will have plenty of interesting options at No. 2, though this early, drafting Henderson to help the NBA's worst-ranked offense could be Plan A.

27. Rayan Rupert, New Zealand Breakers

Teams will be eager to work out Rupert, whose shot-making highlights and 7'3" wingspan are appealing on paper. He just may have some extra convincing to do during the predraft process considering how little he played in the NBL.

SB Nation — Ricky O'Donnell (5/16)

2. Scoot Henderson, G League Ignite

Henderson is a super athletic point guard prospect who can break opposing defenses with his speed and rim pressure. The 6'2 guard is incredibly fast with the ball in his hands, burning defenders to the cup both in transition with a head of steam, and in the halfcourt with a wicked first step. Henderson should be a great finisher around the rim as he refines his craft: he can get off the ground quickly as an explosive one-foot leaper, he's strong enough to absorb contact, and he's agile enough to avoid defenders mid-air when he has to. He's also a skilled operator in the pick-and-roll, but still has some learning to do in how to blend his own scoring with playmaking. Henderson is not a great three-point shooter (27.5 percent on 2.7 attempts per game this season), and will need to figure out how to threaten defenses when he doesn't have the ball.

27. Noah Clowney, Alabama

Clowney is a raw big man with the upside to space the floor on offense and protect the rim on defense has he continues to grow into his game. A 6'10 big man with a 7'2 wingspan, the Alabama freshman showed the ability to fight on the glass and offer supplemental shot-blocking defensively. He took a ton of threes (120) for someone so young and so big, and while he only made 28.3 percent of them, the volume is encouraging and the shot look clean. He was also an impressive finisher at the rim. It will probably take him a couple years to make an impact in the league, but a patient team could find a gem in the late first with the right development.

CBS Sports — Kyle Boone (5/16)

2. Brandon Miller, Alabama

Hard to imagine Charlotte taking Scoot Henderson with LaMelo Ball in place. Miller fits perfectly in the Hornets' system as a big, scoring wing.

27. Jaime Jaquez Jr., UCLA

A four-year player who may be overlooked by teams looking for youth, Jaquez doesn't wow with athleticism, but he's a smooth operator who has the smarts and skill to stick as a role player.

For the Win — Bryan Kalbrosky (5/16)

2. Brandon Miller, Alabama

Brandon Miller was incredibly productive during his one-and-done campaign at Alabama. The only freshmen 6-foot-9 or shorter on record with a higher box plus-minus are Zion Williamson, Michael Beasley, James Harden, and Lonzo Ball.

He was a consensus All-American who was named SEC Rookie of the Year, SEC Tournament MVP, and SEC Player of the Year. His blend of size and shooting touch makes him a perfect fit for the modern NBA.

But he had a nightmarish month during the NCAA men's tournament and, perhaps due to a groin injury, struggled while on the court. Miller was highly inefficient on 2-pointers and when finishing at the rim when he was matched up against a strong opponent, which was an alarming trend for Miller throughout the year.

Also concerning: Miller is celebrated for shooting 40.4 percent from beyond the arc during the regular season but he was actually just 35-for-113 (30.9 percent) on 3-pointers taken from NBA distance while at Alabama, per AI-Powered statistics provided by Stats Perform.

27. Jalen Hood-Schifino, Indiana

Indiana's Jalen Hood-Schifino earned Big Ten Rookie of the Year after averaging 13.5 points, 4.1 rebounds, and 3.7 assists per game.

He desperately needs to improve his jumper considering, per AI-Powered statistics provided by Stats Perform, he was just 8-for-36 (22.2 percent) on 3-pointers from NBA distance. But any freshman who is his size and who looks as comfortable as he does in ball screens is a sure-fire first-round draft pick.

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