After trading away their first pick in this year’s NBA draft to the Portland Trail Blazers, the Hornets seemingly don’t have much at stake. For those of you not aware we own the 45th pick in this year’s draft, not really known to be a hot-pot of talent. So where to go from here?
Dell Demps and some of his staff members have traveled to New Jersey to scout college players entering this years draft. Acquiring talent may be difficult, but the direction they might go could be to draft someone as a developmental player and put him in the D-League. It’s no secret where Demps started his roots. He’s a D-League guy who believes in its purpose. Going to the D-League does not mean that a player is lost and can never make it in the NBA. Do a quick Google search and you’ll find plenty of players who all had a stint in the Development League.
Historically, there has been some great players to come out of the second round. Such players include:
- Paul Millsap F (Drafted 47th Overall)
- Trevor Ariza F (Drafted 43rd Overall)
- Marcus Thornton G (Drafted 43rd Overall)
- Michael Redd G (Drafted 32nd Overall)
- Carlos Boozer F (Drafted 35th Overall)
- Manu Ginobili G (Drafted 57th Overall)
There are loads more, but as you can see plenty of guys get overlooked and the 45th spot is one where we could snag someone who drops. To be honest though, I’m really trying to sell this as best I can. Having only one pick in this years draft, and it being in the second round, is not fun for the fans and it’s difficult on management.
A further problem is that this years draft is, on paper, one of the worst in terms of raw star potential. Some pundits though, think that there are plenty of role players to be had. At 45? Probably not, but I still that that with this pick it needs to be a long-term project who could either go to Europe or enter the D-League.
It’s no secret we need help and talent right now. A guy at 45 might not be all that good a solution. However, for fun and a good time let’s throw some names out there that might be available.
- Vernon Macklin PF Florida
A potential replacement for David West is needed badly, but Macklin probably isn’t the guy. Vernon was one of the best Power-Forwards in the country coming out of High School but never produced as big as everyone expected. He has some upside, he played for the USA High School team in 2006 so he has some talent. The problem is, he’s 24. He’s not a guy you could expect to grow into a big time role player, he’s probably hit his peak. If he were on the board I wouldn’t be to upset, he’d most likely go to the D-League or head to Europe.
- Jordan Williams PF/C Maryland
If there’s one guy that’s quite polarizing it’s Jordan Willams. Some pundits have him going as high as 25 to the Celtics, others as low as 50 to the Sixers. Williams reminds me of Omar Samhan, but a better version of. He’s much improved in the post, but some question whether it will translate to the next level. I say, if he’s got the footwork he has the potential. He’s not a great passer, but will he ever really need to be playing center? He’s a great rebounder which is why he might be so high on some people’s boards, which is why I want him.
- Xavi Rabaseda G Spain
You want offense? Look to no other than Xavi Rabaseda a guard from Spain. Xavi reminds me a lot of Manu Ginobili a guy who can slash off the ball, but hurt you with it in his hands. He doesn’t turn the ball over as much as you’d expect and does a decent job of finding his team-mates. He appears to have the size and strength necessary to play in the NBA as well as the fact that he’s a terrific outside jump-shooter. He’s not a great defender (like most European’s) but if New Orleans was looking for a guy to play the shooters role off the bench (and for a cheap price) then Xavi could be the answer.
- David Lighty G Ohio State
Here’s another guy I really like, David Lighty from Ohio State. What makes him so good for the Hornets? Defense and Leadership. Lighty was a key reserve for the Buck Eyes and would do whatever his team needed of him. He shot the three ball very well so he was never a liability on the offensive end. He can handle the ball and help out when it comes to running offensive sets, but again defense is what makes him an attractive Monty Williams prospect. Not convinced? Check out this little highlight reel.
If you guys have any names that pop into your head please mention them in the comment section below because finding a development guy for, what I consider, the mid-term future is essential to our franchise’s success.