Dear Jeff Bower & Monty Williams,
Here are some bits of advice about the upcoming NBA draft.
Your team is picking 11th overall in the 1st round.
Last month I wrote on this blog that the Hornets should select University of Nevada SF Luke Babbitt. I still stand by this pick!
Not to sound cocky, but I had Babbitt going 11th when all other mock drafts had him being selected somewhere between 20-25. Now, after the Chicago predraft camp and several workouts Babbit is a rising star and many are predicting that he may be a top 10 selection. Several experts have Babbitt going to the Clippers at #8 or Utah at #9. If Babbitt falls to #11….THE HORNETS SHOULD SPRINT TO THE PODIUM AND TAKE HIM!
(Sidebar: I’m also quickly falling in love with University of Texas SF Damion James with the 11th overall pick. James is a tough, polished college player who I believe could possibly start for the Hornets immediately).
Now, let’s assume the experts are correct and that Babbitt is gone by the time the Hornets draft. What do the Hornets do then?
What about a trade?
Oklahoma City has made no secret that they are trying to move up in the draft to select a big man. OKC has 4 picks in the upcoming draft (two 1st round, two 2nd round).
If the Thunder would go for the below trade I think both teams would come out happy.
OKC Thunder Receive: 11th Overall Pick & Julian Wright
NO Hornets Receive: All 4 of The OKC picks in the 2010 draft (#21, #26, #32 & #51).
Why the deal works for OKC: The Thunder would be in position to select a big man of their choice (Patterson, Udoh, Aldrich, Whiteside, Orton, Sanders). OKC would also be getting a high character former lottery draft pick in need of a fresh start with a new team (Wright).
Why the deal works for NO: Hornets GM Jeff Bower proved last year he can find good players outside of the lottery (Collison & Thornton). This is a very deep draft and getting 4 picks helps the Hornets add much needed depth.
Assuming a deal like this could get done, I of course have some suggestions as to which players the Hornets should draft (below each players name, position and school is a link which has a breakdown of their abilities).
#21 1st Round: Craig Brackins/PF/Iowa State University
#26 1st Round: Jordan Crawford/SG/Xavier University
#32 2nd Round Ryan Wittman/SF/Cornell University
#51 2nd Round Oman Samhan/C/ St. Mary’s College
Why these guys? They were all super productive college players with high character.
None of these guys will step in and start immediately for the Hornets but all would see minutes and fill needs.
Add to this draft some low level free agent signings (Ian Mahinmi, Adam Morrison & Brain Cusworth) and the Hornets have a young, hungry, smart group that’s ready to work hard and follow the lead of Chris Paul and David West.
- I also think the Hornets should dangle Peja Stojakovic’s expiring contract for quality players with longer deals. A trade I previously wrote about involved Golden State…..Peja for Corey Maggette & Vladimir Radmanovic….or Peja to Toronto for Hedo Turkoglu and cash).
- Also, I think Darius Songaila will opt out of his contract and sign elsewhere, I also think that the Hornets will choose not to re-sign Aaron Grey, Ike Diogu and Sean Marks.