Who Should The Hornets Draft At No.2 Overall? - NBA Draft Room

Who Should The Hornets Draft At No.2 Overall?

Each year I like to take a deep dive and give my opinion on who should be the top pick in the NBA Draft. With such a clear no.1 prospect this year that case is open and shut. The Spurs will undoubtedly take Wembanyama.

Instead I’ll take a longer look at who should be drafted no.2 overall, a pick that is currently owned by the Charlotte Hornets.

The main contenders are Scoot Henderson (PG, G League Ignite) and Brandon Miller (SF, Alabama). There is close to zero percent chance that anybody other than Henderson or Miller land at no.2. Which of these players would be a better fit in Charlotte and could a trade down be in the works?

The Hornets Roster

The Hornets roster is a bit…lacking. They have LaMelo at the point guard spot, who is an obvious keeper (as he enters into the final year of his rookie deal). Last year’s first round pick center Mark Williams also looks like a nice piece of the future. But besides that there are a bunch of free agents, restricted free agents, veterans coming towards the end of their contracts and a few developmental players.

Gordan Hayward is a nice piece when healthy but doesn’t really fit their timeline and doesn’t move the needle that much. He could be trade bait this year, assuming he stays healthy, as he goes into the final year of his contract.

PJ Washington could be back (he’s a restricted free agent this summer) and there’s a chance the team looks to bring back Miles Bridges after his suspension (I wouldn’t). And then there are some young developmental players like Bryce McGowens, who could be part of the future.

With all that said there’s a clear need for pretty much every position outside of point guard and perhaps center. And there’s a major need for a scoring wing. Brandon Miller makes a ton of sense in terms of fit but there’s a legit argument to be made that Scoot Henderson is the superior prospect.

Option 1: Draft Scoot Henderson

For most of the year Scoot was the consensus no.2 player in this class and was even getting the “generational” label put on him after an incredibly impressive performance in a showcase game against Wembanyama’s Mets 92 team this past fall. There is no doubt that Scoot is an elite prospect. But does he makes sense with LaMelo?

One possible path would be to draft Scoot Henderson and see how well he can play alongside LaMelo, with both sharing on the ball reps and taking turns playing off the ball. They could form a dominant backcourt – one of the most exciting backcourts in the league. As interesting and exciting as this would be it’s an out-of-the-box solution that is definitely not guaranteed to work. And if it doesn’t work the only option might be to trade one or the other.

Option 2: Draft Brandon Miller

Brandon Miller is such a clean fit on the Hornets. He’s exactly the type of scoring wing the team needs to play off the ball, and off of Ball. But at no.2 overall you don’t draft for fit! So he should only be selected at no.2 if the Hornets brain trust really thinks he’s a better or equal prospect to Scoot.

Miller has the makings of an All Star level wing who could be one of the leading scorers in the league one day. He’s also a really talented passer, a solid defender and a player who brings a ton of confidence and passion to the court. While there are a few orange flags with him, if the intel checks out and if he grades out equal to Scoot, this should be the selection.

Option 3: Trade Down?

A third option for the Hornets would be to trade down. If they really like both Scoot and Miller they could try to trade down one spot with the Trailblazers and pick at no.3. This would make sense for the Hornets but I don’t see the incentive for the Blazers, who could be looking to move their pick for a win-now player.

Trading down past no.3 doesn’t make sense at all. If you get a chance to draft a star or potential superstar player you should take it, even if it’s not the perfect fit with your roster. The Hornets would have to receive a massive package to trade out of the top 3.

Trade LaMelo and Draft Scoot?

A fourth option would be to straight up trade the enigmatic LaMelo Ball (who surely wants to play in a bigger market), then draft Scoot and rebuild with a new star point guard. I know this is a long shot but it’s honestly a path I would consider. Scoot has a chance to be special. And a LaMelo trade would bring in a monster package of picks and young star players.

I know this is risky. LaMelo is a superstar personality who sells tickets, merch, and brings much needed publicity to the Hornets. And he’s also really good on the court. From a financial perspective it doesn’t make sense (and money makes the world go ‘round) but purely from a basketball perspective Scoot plus a monster trade package would be…at least something to consider.

At the end of the day (or the blog post) I’d simply go best player available at no.2. If the Hornets believe Scoot is the best player available they should just draft him and figure out how to make it work with LaMelo. Having two star guards is never a bad thing, even if they both prefer to have the ball in their hands.

2023 NBA Mock Draft