The Case For Gordon Hayward

Now that the NFL draft has wrapped….we can start looking ahead to June’s NBA draft.

Since the Hornets missed the playoffs they’ll be selecting in the draft lottery.  Of Course the Hornets could luck out and get a top 5 pick in the draft but based on the number of ping-pong balls they’ll have in the machine it’s projected that the Hornets will be picking between 10th-12th overall.

If the Hornets are picking 10th, 11th or 12th I hope they select Butler University small forward Gordon Hayward (Air Gordon as he’s nicknamed).

Before I go any further let me say that I am fully aware that the Hornets were woeful in the paint this season and that picking a big man might be more logical.

But in my opinion Hayward should be the guy and here’s why:

If the Hornets pick 10th-12th the top big men in the draft will most likely be gone.  Guys like Derrick Favors, Greg Monroe, DeMarcus Cousins and Patrick Patterson are top 8 picks.  Even international big man Donatas Motiejunas (a softer Andrea Bargnani type center) may not be available.

So should the Hornets take the 5th best big man…a player like University of Kansas center Cole Aldrich or a long term, risky, boom-or-bust big man like Hassan Whiteside from Marshall University?  Or, should they take Hayward…one of the best scorers in all of college basketball….and a player who led his Butler Bulldogs to the final four?

I go with Hayward!  Personally, every time I see Hayward play I see Danny Granger….and last time I checked Granger was a pretty good player for the Indiana Pacers.  Plus, how awesome would Chris Paul, Marcus Thornton and Gordon Hayward be as starters with Darren Collison off the bench???  Pretty electric!

The Hornets don’t have a 2nd round pick in this summer’s draft but if they can pick one up via a trade (maybe for Julian Wright) they can select a big man and hope they strike gold like they did a year ago when they stole Marcus Thornton in the 2nd round of the draft.  

All that being said…here are my 2010 Hornets draft picks and free agent additions (and my free agent choices are cheap….the Hornets are over the luxury tax and unless potential owner Gary Chouest wants to be a big player and spend big then no big money will be spent in free agency). 

 1st Round Draft Pick:

Gordon Hayward, Small Forward, Butler University

  • The 6-9 Sophomore forward is an outstanding shooter as evidenced by his 84% free throw percentage … He has a high, quick release on his jumper enabling him to get his shot off when he wants … His three-point accuracy has regressed from his freshman to sophomore campaign largely due to opponents contesting a higher percentage of his outside looks … There’s no doubt that he will be able to hit the outside jumper with great accuracy at the next level when getting open looks alongside another playmaker … At the college level he also does a very good job of getting to the free throw line via drives to the basket or by drawing contact from offensive putbacks, 30% of his points come from the charity stripe … Hayward is more than just a shooter as he’s also an excellent offensive rebounder from the SF/wing position, averaging 2.1 offensive boards per game at an 8.5% offensive rebounding percentage … He uses his good size and underrated athleticism to his advantage on the glass as he’s averaging 8.3 total rebounds per game … Gordon’s ball handling ability is also a bit underrated, while he won’t blow by anyone with his quickness, he is an effective ball handler and will initiate Butler’s offense from the point forward position at times … Hayward is also an effective passer with a high basketball IQ, he often defers to teammates and is willing to make the extra pass .

2nd Round Draft Pick:

Omar Samhan, Center, St. Mary’s College

  • A late bloomer who has shown steady development throughout his college career … Statistically one of the best big men in the country (over 20p, 10r, 3 blk) … At 6’11, he knows how to use his size and weight to his advantage in the post … Has good interior footwork to create space to get his shot off … He knows how to take advantage of mismatches on switches in the post and passes well out of double teams … Shows patience and poise on offense, willing to pass the ball out and work in reposting to have a better angle for his shot and is constantly working on getting quality post position … For a low post player he demonstrates good shooting mechanics. Shoots in the mid 70% from the free throw line, and shows range out to 15 feet … He has improved in the pick and roll this season and his familiarity with it should help him at the pro level … Was voted Defensive Player of the Year in the WCC while averaging over 11 rebounds  and 3 blocks per game. Omar plays hard on defense and uses his size and body to box out, explaining his double digit boards.  Demonstrates very strong intangibles (has lost over 60 pounds since his freshman year, strong work ethic, strong leadership qualities, and very good with the media and fans) .

Free Agent Signings:

-Re-Sign center Aaron Grey

-Sign free agent center Ian Mahinmi

  • A player who’s been developing in San Antonio for several years the Hornets can sign him cheap and hope he’s ready to contribute.

-Sign free agent center Brian Cusworth

  • Athletic center who played on the Hornets Las Vegas Summer League team last season and who’s currently playing professionally in Spain. 

4 Responses

  1. He’s good but i don’t think his game will translate into the NBA

  2. what is your facebook site

  3. he’s not worth a lottery pick..could have benefited from another year in college. Get a big man!

  4. Pick 6 Leak Proof

    The Case For Gordon Hayward | Offsides With Fletcher Mackel

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