Charlotte Hornets 2015 Draft Preview

By The Sports NetworkJune 23, 2015 at 12:04 PM
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The Charlotte Hornets were one of the most disappointing teams in the NBA last season, but they'll have yet another lottery pick to try and sort things out.

They made the postseason in 2013-14 and were swept by the Miami Heat. Al Jefferson was barely a factor in that series due to injuries, so the Hornets brimmed with optimism in 2014-15. They signed Lance Stephenson, who would fit in defensively and become a creator offensively.

It was a disaster. Stephenson struggled shooting the long ball, clashed with head coach Steve Clifford and became a DNP-CD late in the season when the Hornets tried to still make the playoffs.

Jefferson and starting shooting guard Gerald Henderson both have player options. Both are expected back, so the nucleus remains intact. It could use an upgrade, but at No. 9, that player probably won't be there.

Charlotte finished dead last in the NBA in 3-point shooting. It seems like Kentucky's Devin Booker would make the most sense. He's the best shooter in the draft and talent-wise, No. 9 is a logical slot for him.

If Booker went earlier (which could happen because Detroit could use some shooting), the Hornets could look for help on the interior. Jefferson is great when healthy and Cody Zeller emerged as the power forward. There wasn't much depth behind them. Marvin Williams played stretch four and last year's first- round pick, Noah Vonleh, did not contribute at all.

If big man is the route, Texas' Myles Turner is a nice project, but Frank Kaminsky, the national player of the year from Wisconsin, could kill two birds with one stone. He can log interior minutes and shoot from the perimeter.

Players under contract: G Kemba Walker; G/F Lance Stephenson; F Marvin Williams; F Michael Kidd-Gilchrist; C/F Cody Zeller; G Brian Roberts; F Noah Vonleh; G P.J. Hairston; G Troy Daniels

Free agents: F/C Al Jefferson (player option); Gerald Henderson (player option); C Bismack Biyombo; G Mo Williams; F Jason Maxiell; F Jeff Taylor

Recent Draft History:

2014: Noah Vonleh (9), Shabazz Napier (24), Dwight Powell (45)

2013: Cody Zeller (4)

2012: Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (2), Jeff Taylor (31)

2011: Kemba Walker (9), Tobias Harris (19), Jeremy Tyler (39)

2010: No picks

2009: Gerald Henderson (12), Derrick Brown (40), Robert Vaden (54)

[SportsNetwork.com]

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