Grading The Hornets Draft

Overall Grade: B-

Fast Facts From The Draft:

  • Hornets Trade 11th overall pick and veteran player for 21st & 26th selections in 1st round of 2010 NBA draft.
  • Hornets Get PF Craig Brackins (#21) & SF Quincy Pondexter (#26)
  • Hornets Trade Morris Peterson & rights to Cole Aldrich (11th Pick) to Oklahoma City Thunder.
  • Hornets get under the dreaded NBA luxury tax…saving about 6.6 million dollars by making the trade.

Positives:

  • Brackins (from Iowa State) and Pondexter (from Univ. of Washington) are both solid, polished college players who’ll join Darren Collison and Marcus Thornton to give the Hornets youth and managable salaries at 4 positions.
  • Depth in the front court was something the Hornets needed to address and did so by taking Brackins whom one expert called a “draft sleeper.”
  • The Hornets rid themselves of one of the huge salaries being paid to an underproductive veteran (Morris Peterson).

Negatives:

  • Unless Pondexter surprises everyone it would seem the Hornets did not get an impact player who can push for a starting position.  Nice backups but no starter.  Luke Babbitt and Xavier Henry were both available at #11 and both have the ability to come in and be impact players for the Hornets.  One expert even called Henry “an all-star in two years.”
  • The Hornets still have no money to spend in free agency.  Shedding $6.6 million is great but considering the Hornets were about $4.5 million over the luxury tax going into the 2010-2011 season this move merely gets them just under the tax and therefore means the Hornets are unable to get an impact player in free agency.
  • Last week new head coach Monty Williams said “we need shooters.”  But the Hornets did not draft a shooter.  The team had an opportunity to select Xavier University shooting guard Jordan Crawford or University of Maryland combo guard Greivis Vasquez with the 26th choice but passed.  The knock on Pondexter is that he can’t shoot.
  • The Hornets have no depth in the backcourt.  The team now has Chris Paul and Marcus Thornton as starters and Darren Collison as a backup combo guard…and that’s it.  They need to get another shooter!!!

Upcoming Moves:

  • Look for Julian Wright to be dealt to Portland for Rudy Fernandez.  Fernandez is a shooter who wants out of Portland and who’ll be reunited with his former coach (Monty Williams) in New Orleans.  Fernandez can start at shooting guard or come off the bench behind Marcus Thornton. Fernandez could also play small forward in smaller rotations.  Wright needs a fresh start and since his game is very similiar to Quincy Pondexter I can’t see both of those guys staying with the Hornets.
  • Nets trade Yi Jianlian and  Keyon Dooling to the Hornets for James Posey and Julian Wright.  Dooling has a non-guaranteed contract and could be cut immediately saving the Hornets 3.7 million dollars.  The Nets drafted Derrick Favors and will start him at power forward meaning less minutes for Yi.  Yi could perhaps start for the Hornets at the small forward position…he’d also bring the Hornets great international exposure.  The Nets get a classy pro in Posey and a player who could still thrive in a new system (Wright).
  • Sign Ryan Wittman and Omar Samhan.  Wittman was one of the best shooters in college last season and helped lead Cornell to a great run in the NCAA tournament.  Wittman did not get drafted.  Samhan also did not get drafted but was super productive at St. Mary’s College and led the Gaels to a nice run in the NCAA tourney. 
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One Response

  1. Another horrible post from someone who knows absolutely nothing about basketball despite playing with the espn.com nba trade machine all day. To quote Ryan Schwan from hornets247.com “They followed that selection with Quincy Pondexter at 26. This saved the night a little because Pondexter was a decent pick. He’s a big, 6’7″ wing player who could be pretty solid. Offensively, he’s primarily a slasher, posting the 7th best True Shooting Percentage in the draft of 62%. A lot of that was acheived by driving or grabbing rebounds and getting fouled, as he had a very high free-throw rate, and a solid 82% finish rate from the stripe.” I’m inclined to believe his opinion more because he actually backs up what he says with stats.

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