For most of the draft process, it has appeared that the Charlotte Hornets have preferred Alabama forward Brandon Miller over G League Ignite guard Scoot Henderson. As recently as yesterday, it seemed like Michael Jordan (who, despite selling the team, will be in charge of making this pick) was going to select Miller with the second overall pick.
However, on the afternoon of the 2023 NBA Draft, we have reports suggesting that the Hornets may now be preferential toward Henderson.
We know what you’re thinking. What does this have to do with our New Orleans Pelicans?
If the Hornets are not going to take Miller, that means that the Pelicans will have to trade with them to get Henderson. That’s a problem because the Hornets have said that they prefer Brandon Ingram in a trade over Zion Williamson (likely because Ingram is a more fully-formed version of Miller). And that’s a problem because the Pelicans have said that they would rather move Williamson over Ingram.
On the flip side, if everything goes the way we thought it would yesterday, the Hornets would select Miller and the Portland Trail Blazers are the team the Pelicans would have to bargain with in order to get Henderson. That’s more in line with the Pelicans’ prerogatives, as the Blazers have indicated that they would prefer Williamson over Ingram in a potential trade.
Then again, maybe the Pelicans already have decided that they are content with their current core, are going to keep Ingram and Williamson together, and instead want to focus on maximizing their current selection at 14.
If that’s the case, then all this news probably means nothing in the grand scheme of things. However, if they were still thinking about pursuing Henderson, this might be the straw that breaks the camel’s back and puts an end to all that. But then again, you never really know with these things.