After the NBA draft lottery results, the Charlotte Hornets birthed two decent picks, earning the 13th and 15th pick. The biggest issue that needs to be addressed for the Charlotte Hornets this offseason with their draft lottery pick is to improve defensively. Last season, the Hornets ranked 25th out of 30 team defensive ratings. The area of defense that needs addressing is how poorly they rebound the ball.
The Hornets’ offense was never the problem, as it was always their defense. The Charlotte Hornets need someone specializing in rebounding the ball and being an interior paint defender. Ideally, if Charlotte could draft someone with this ability, it would increase the ceiling for this young team. Here’s a look at the potential options that the Charlotte Hornets can go with their draft lottery picks in the 2022 NBA draft.
Mark Williams, C Duke University
One of the most talented big men from this year’s college basketball season was Mark Williams, residing at Duke University. The 7’1″ monster, Williams showed a lot of improvement from his first year playing college basketball to this past season. In Williams’s first year, he didn’t see much playtime, as he only played 15.2 minutes per game. In the past season, that total rose to 23.6 MPG. We couldn’t see much of his talent during Williams’s first year because of his minute restrictions. But in his last season, he blossomed for the Duke Blue Devils. Here are a few ways Williams showed us he has what it takes to be a dominant force in the NBA.
Now, Williams isn’t a person who is going to go out there and get you 25 PPG every night. But, when referencing his offense he has shown that he’s an efficient player. First off, in the past season, Williams averaged 11.2 PPG, 7.4 RPG, and 2.8 BPG for the Blue Devils. Must I even mention that he shot an ACC league-high 72.3% from the field? Notably, Williams ranks in the top ten in career 2-point field goal percentage. This list includes names like Zion Williamson, Tacko Fall, etc. Offensively, Williams is as efficient as it gets for centers.
How would he fit?
As mentioned previously, Williams averaged almost 3 BPG throughout the season. This was the best in the ACC. The presence of Williams on defense was very noticeable when teams faced Duke. You often saw defenders relying more on their outside shots, avoiding the paint. Most notably, Williams led the league in defensive rating, with 93.2. It will not be surprising to see his game translates to the NBA. Especially if he’s drafted by the Charlotte Hornets, a team in urgent need of an interior defender. Mark Williams possesses all those skills that can fill in the missing holes for the Hornets, and it will be very intriguing to see if he ends up in Charlotte.
Jalen Duren, C Memphis University
The 6’11” and 250 lbs freshman from Memphis University, Jalen Duren, was one of the most talented freshman centers we observed this past season. What caught the college basketball world’s attention was the talent and skill he possessed at the age of 18. Duren is a center who has the capability of exploiting weak defenses around the rim, passing the ball, and having the ability to leap multiple times. Duren’s skill and size are often compared to current NBA players like Dwight Howard or Andre Drummond. These two talented big men played significant roles in their teams’ success.
The big man for the Tigers played a vital role in their success this season, averaging 12 PPG, 8.1 RPG, and 2.1 BPG. This stat line earned him a selection to the AAC all-freshman and the AAC first-team. The dominance by Duren was put on display throughout the regular season and into the tourney season. He birthed a selection to the AAC conference tournament team as well. Duren undoubtedly showed he has an excellent shot at being a talented NBA player. Just off the accomplishments and success of his first year in college.
How would he fit?
Duren would fit in for the Charlotte Hornets because of his size and strength, quickly translating to the NBA. Duren’s skill also makes him a good selection for the Hornets because he’s 18 years old, which means he has room for improvement. It won’t be surprising if he impacts the offense and defense of whatever team drafts him. If the Charlotte Hornets pick up Jalen Duran, expect many lobs from Lamelo Ball.
David Mccormack, C Kansas University
The center, David Mccormack, played a massive role in the Kansas Jayhawks winning the national title this past season. For starters, Mccormack is 6’9″ and a little under 300 lbs. He possesses a 7-2 wingspan and 9-0 standing reach, which causes a lot of havoc in the paint for the opposition.
Notably, Mccormack averaged 10.6 PPG and 7 RPG during his final year. Technically, this past season was the fourth year, and it’s not often that you see players staying all four years. NBA front offices overlook older players and constantly strive for younger talent.
How would he fit?
If the Hornets look beyond Mccormack’s age and draft him because of his skill, they could gain a player specializing in many areas. Mccormack is a decent free throw shooter, as he shot over 75% from the free-throw line during his career. Furthermore, he finishes nicely around the rim, and he’s a great rebounder. Notably, Mccormack led the big-12 in total rebounds, grabbing 279 boards. These areas will help improve the Hornets out the gate. Especially if he can continue improving defensively, it’ll make the pick even more exceptional.