The NBA Draft: Where Do The Hornets Go?

Could David Lighty be a New Orleans Hornet come the end of June?

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.

Tags: Dell Demps

  • onpointlikecp3

    One guy I like is E’Twuan Moore from Purdue. Not sure if he entered the draft, but I like his size and rebounding.

    • onpointlikecp3

      Oops! I don’t know why I was thinking Moore is a big, but some other players I’d look at are Josh Selby, Jacob Pullen, or JaJuan Johnson.

    • James Grayson

      Nice suggestions onpoint, Welcome to the site as well!

      Can I ask, why do you think we should go after a point-guard or combo guard rather than a pure shooting guard?

      And do you know of any Forwards or Centers you like out there?

  • lucas

    I think that Dell Demps should look closely at the prospects of Europe. Popovich put together excellent teams, with picks of the second round and also betting on names of European basketball, as Ginobili, Parker, Splitter, Neal… Here in Brazil, many experts comment on behalf of the young Brazilian center Lucas “Baby” Nogueira, just 19 years old. He plays basketball in Spain and is dominant and great defender. He is entered in the 2011 NBA Draft and should be selected in the second round. Demps can also look for Nogueira. Look:

    • James Grayson

      Yes he is an incredible prospect. Unfortunately he’s most likely going to be picked in the back end of the first round (where we were picking before). But do you think we could move back up into the first round if he’s still on the board at 25-30?

      • lucas

        Well, the press here in Brazil believe that Nogueira has a considerable talent, despite their age. However, he is still inexperienced in professional games. Some journalists in Brazil believe that if he entered the NBA Draft 2012, he had many chances to be a Top 15. However, even if he wants to go to the NBA in 2011, many people believe he really will fall for the second round. If the Hornets can draft the Nogueira, I think we have a center that can give us much joy in the coming years. Unfortunately, there would be an immediate bet.

        And to answer your question, I think that Nogueira should be drafted between 38 and 48. So I think we have any chance to choose him.

        • James Grayson

          Ah okay, well most Mock Drafts have him going late in the first round because of his value as a prospect. I’d love for him to drop to us in the second round, but I think when you are drafting at 25-35 you tend to take risks.