The Charlotte Hornets Is Where The 2023 NBA Draft Begins

Many of the franchise-changing Garden of Forking Path moments nba History began with a contentious debate over the No. 1 pick. In the rare situation where a phenom takes over the reins, the second pick becomes the initial pivot point of the 2023 NBA Draft. A month earlier, the Charlotte Hornets were abandoned after the San Antonio Spurs emerged with the draft rights to the machine. Victor Vembanyama Composite first. Despite the sadness of missing out on another phenom, the Hornets could still carve out a contender. but first, They have to choose one from many options.

Brandon Miller and Scoot Henderson primed to join lineage of draft axis points Litigation would follow for decades to come. In 1984, Hakeem Olajuwon was a no brainer the No. 1 overall pick. Right behind him, the Blazers drafted 7-foot-1 Kentucky center Sam Bowie over Michael Jordan. The thinking was that Portland already had the aerodynamic 2-guard of the future. His obsession with finding the right fit led him to turn a blind eye to a big man who had lost two years to injury and was relatively modest in comparison to MJ. As a possibility, Drexler was essentially Jordan. If only he came up short in the big moments during his collegiate career.

Nearly two decades later, the Detroit Pistons had a simple choice between All-American National Champion Carmelo Anthony or the enigmatic Darko Miličić. Joe Dummer chose the mystery box carrying Milicic to fill his gap at center rather than pursue the luxury of volume-scoring event in melo, A few months later, Dumars acquired Rasheed Wallace at the trade deadline, when Miličić was already ready for the stage, and the Pistons won the NBA title during Miličić’s rookie season, but the No. 2 pick totaled the entire season. Scored less than 50 marks.

Three years ago, the Hornets benefited themselves from the Warriors flubbing their No. 2 pick by siding with talent over talent, keeping Wiseman under center instead of drafting the more tantalizing LaMelo Ball. Ball walked away with Rookie of the Year. Wiseman missed Golden State’s entire postseason during their championship run last summer, and He was traded by Golden State for pennies on the dollar while Ball earned an All-Star invitation during his sophomore campaign.

Danny Ainge Was Wise Enough To Trade Back To N In 2018O1 for a prospect he loved in Jason Tatum rather than feel obligated to Boston’s need for a big true point guard who could share ball handling Duty with Isaiah Thomas. The Celtics were more in love with Tatum than Lonzo Ball and Markelle Fultz, even though he was redundant a year after taking Jaylen Brown with their third pick. A few months later, Ainge put together a deal for Kyrie Irving.

In Charlotte’s case, their franchise’s latest nexus will essentially come down to fit and need versus talent. neither miller nor henderson have Red flags similar to Bowie or Milicic. Miller fits an immediate need as a specialized scoring wing. However, the Hornet ’03 Pistons are not on an accelerated timeline. They can invest in the best talent available without worry How about ruining the diminutive title window.

The more high probability is Henderson. In theory, Henderson and Ball could coexist, but their supportive tendencies are less compatible than Ball and Miller’s natural fit. The Best Talent philosophy means drafting Henderson, but still opens up a world of possibilities. Let’s say Henderson lives up to his reputation as an instrument of rim destruction right out of the gate, but fails to keep pace with the ball. Both players would still have trade value and Henderson would be increasingly more so now that he is a solid force rather than a theoretical playmaker.

There is a growing faction evaluating Henderson that questions whether he is a generational point guard or the latest fad with elite physical equipment. Henderson’s critics noted that he stands at “just” 6-foot-2, his spotty shooting as the dribble-drive point guard in the modern NBA and his efficiency as an ISO playmaker, and his lack of proficiency as a pick-and-roll executive decision-maker, Those traits are nothing that can’t be ironed out through trial-by-fire experience, a shooting coach and an advanced point guard curriculum taught at practices and games during the 82-game season. Henderson’s 6 foot-9 wingspan and the running back’s physique should ease any fretting about his size.

operated as miller 1 team in America’s go-to scorer, but his mark on the court was smaller than the usual wings in front of him. Meanwhile, Henderson went with the presumptive No. 1 pick during the bucket for the Vegas Showcase for Victor Vembanyama,

Henderson and Miller are an odd fit, but their yin and yang are imbalanced. work out. Hornets’ The current cornerstone is a much taller, 6-foot-6 prospect who is somewhat off the dribble, not a great driver, And Lags on defense like it’s playing NBA2K on a bad Wi-Fi connection. Yet Ball’s limited vision on precognition allows him to aggressively see the game three steps ahead. Henderson has the tools to be a troublesome defender and a hard-charging, brute-force finisher.

A year ago, Henderson would have been the real top prospect. This week, Blazers, Hornets, And the Pelicans are reportedly targeting Henderson With offers including Zion Williamson, The line is clearly shorter for Miller’s tail. That says all. Miller may be great, but he’s a level below Henderson. The Hornets remain so undecided between the pairings that they invited Miller and Henderson back for a second round. Workout on Monday. Complicating matters is Miller’s ongoing recovery from mono.

Whatever Charlotte does with the No. 2 pick will reverberate through generations. However, history shows that relying on nonpareil prospects yields higher returns in the long run.

Follow DJ Danson on Twitter: @cervesportex