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Charlotte Hornets with the #9 Pick – What do we Do With It?

For the record, I have stated many, many times before, my only true pro sports passion is the Charlotte Bobcats.  Well, now my only true sports passion has morphed into the teal and purple machine known as the Charlotte Hornets.  I only make mention of this because there haven’t been any articles from Trade Street Post in a while.  Honestly, there’s these NBA playoffs going on and there are some teams that I don’t care about that are playing right now.  I honestly have not been watching much of the playoffs.  I did, however, watch the NBA Draft Lottery.  The last thing that I ever thought would happen actually happened.  The Charlotte Hornets are in the top 10!  I had already started researching who we should get at our higher pick from Portland and instead, I need to study the top 10 guys instead.

I was satisfied with getting the pick next year from Detroit next season because it was only top-1 protected.  I didn’t think Detroit would be much better next season, so we would get to cash in on that pick being as high as #2.  Instead, we have the #9 pick in what some are saying is the deepest draft in years.  For me, I don’t watch college basketball, but the likes of Wiggins and Parker I have heard of.  They will most likely be franchise changers.  As for the rest, I guess we take the “experts” opinions to heart and believe what they say.

There are many philosophies in the draft.  Some believe that you must draft team needs.  I always have an issue with that because just because your team is in desperate need of a C, it doesn’t mean you should draft the 7’1” 200lb kid that is the 14th most talented kid in the draft that plays C.  My belief is that whatever the most talented player is that is available is who you draft.  After that pick, let the offers begin.  No one says you have to stand pat with the kid you picked.  You might even be able to just move that pick to a team that has their eye on a player that would really pull what existing players they have together.   In return, you can get multiple picks, players, or maybe both.  There just aren’t that many teams that have every piece that they need to make a run to the NBA finals.  Most teams are in need of something.  This is where my philosophy of what the Bobcats should do begins.

Every Charlotte Hornets fan has their opinions as to what the team needs to go to the next level.  I believe we are all in consensus that we need more scoring.  Big Al was wonderful this season, but 1 guy isn’t enough.  Even Jordan discovered that with the Bulls.  Every star has to have a great supporting cast.  Now, I’m not going to knock the players we have.  I’m only going to point out issues that I can see that we have.

I am absolutely pleased with Kemba Walker at point guard.  He continues to improve each season, and that is what everyone should want and expect from their team.  As he matures and the right pieces get put around him, you will see him flourish as one of the best point guards in the league.

Big Al.  WOW, what can I say about this guy that hasn’t already been said?  His defense was the best he has played in his career thus far and his offense in and around the paint was a work of art.  He’s exactly the piece that you need at center because in addition to his game, you have his knowledge and experience to teach Cody Zeller and Bismack Biyombo the ins and outs of the NBA.

Josh McRobers went from what appeared to be a body brought in as part of a salary dump to become the “glue guy” that holds the team together.  He’s the perfect power forward compliment to Al and Kemba’s game.  He’s a really good jumper, rebounder, and phenomenal passer for a player at the power forward position.  He also has a nice shooting touch and can hit the 3-pointer when he needs to.  He needs to be returning to the Hornets, and we need to be ready to sign him in for a few more years.  He can also help Cody and Biz with their game.

Here’s my speed bump on the team.  Gerald Henderson and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist cannot coexist on the same team.  This is my opinion and if you want an explanation, please keep reading.  Both guys are hustle-guys.  Michael Kidd-Gilchrist will fight you for every rebound, play stifling defense, and can get to the rim fairly well.  He’s great in transition and on fast breaks.  He would have more opportunities to get to the basket if his jump shot wasn’t so terrible.  Mark Price said that he got MKG’s feet right before last season started, but did not touch anything else.  This off-season is where Coach Price begins the task of tearing down and building back a jumper for MKG.  Gerald Henderson’s game regressed this past season.  There were times (more often than not) where he was invisible in games.  He had been improving his 3-point shot, but it just has not been enough.  If we need more scoring, with the type of PG and C that we have, it has to come from the SG or SF position.  We have Jeff Taylor who will be returning from an Achilles injury who was showing that he might be our answer at the SG position.  He’s 2-3 inches taller than Hendo, has a bit more shooting range, and plays defense well.  Time will tell if he still has the same game as he did prior to the injury.  I think he’s worth the gamble considering his 2nd round contract is so cheap.

Now the name of this article had you believing that I have an answer to what we should do with the #9 pick.  Well, I have a couple ideas that may or may not be popular.  I may share more as draft day nears, but here is my first reach at a move for us…

Let’s trade that pick and a player for a player and perhaps a future pick.  The Golden State Warriors have plenty of scorers on the team.  More specifically, they have more than enough jump shooters.  I think that they need a guy who will chase every loose ball, grab a few points in transition or put-backs, and can give them a defensive boost that they could definitely use.  The question becomes just how valuable they view my target to get from them.  Would a Harrison Barnes for MKG trade cost us the #9 pick, the #24 pick, or maybe even both picks?  I think he may provide the scoring boost at SF that we really need.  MKG would definitely give the Warriors a good boost in their defense.  The Warriors have no picks in this year’s draft, so perhaps they want in on the draft fun.  I just don’t know that Coach Price can get MKG’s shot serviceable enough to score the extra points that we need.

Hendo will be on year 2 of his contract, and the 3rd year is a player option.  Hendo would be great coming off the bench on a team that needs a good defender and hustle guy that can hit some mid-range jumpers.  Again, I’m hoping that Taylor’s return has him picking up where he left off.  Worst case is that if we got Barnes, we could see a starting 5 of Kemba, Taylor, Barnes, McRoberts, and Big Al.  Hendo could lead the second unit.

For now, I will stop as this article is getting lengthy.

In summary, I will state that option 1 if we were to not use the pick would be to trade MKG to the Warriors for Harrison Barnes and a pick (9 or 24 because I don’t know if I want to part with both picks).  By all means, please post some feedback because I’m eager to hear what everyone is thinking.

Stay tuned though, because there will be another article forthcoming to discuss possible draftees for the Charlotte Hornets.  I’ll also be writing an article about free agency, and possible grabs for our Hornets.

 

I just love typing Hornets.  It just feels right.

Stay tuned Buzz City…and…

 

Let’s Go Hornets!

About Andrew Lail

Lifelong Hornets/Bobcats/Hornets fan. "Charlotte Hornets basketball is my one true pro sports passion."

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