This post was written by Connor Cook of FanSided’s NBA website King James Gospel.
The first player I think that the Hornets should look for is UCLA SF Shabazz Muhammad. This year, Al-Farouq Aminu was easily the most heavily used player for the Hornets at the 3. He developed into a much better player than he was the season before, rebounding more, shooting at a better percentage from the field, and fouling and turning the ball over less. However, he’s a free agent this summer, and in a draft with such dynamic wings, the Hornets could easily find a replacement in the lottery. Muhammad would be a great boost for the team, which was merely league-average at best most of this season. He isn’t a fantastic rebounder or defender, but shoots the ball well (including a whole 15% better than Aminu shot this season from three), which would give more options in their offense to Greivis Vasquez, and also so defenses could not as easily key in on Eric Gordon.
Another player for the Hornets to take a look at, despite his recent shoulder injury, is UNLV F Anthony Bennett, who has drawn some comparisons to Hornets legend Larry Johnson. Bennett averaged 16 and 8 for the Rebels this season, showing a natural rebounding ability, shooting well all over the court, shooting 53% from the field and 36% from behind the arc. He’s very long and quick, but probably will struggle to adapt to the NBA game, as it might be difficult for teams to find a good position for him. At 6’7”, he’s too small to cover many power forwards, which is his most natural position, and might be a smidge too slow to cover all small forwards.
Finally, I think it’d be smart for the Hornets to consider another dynamic wing player, Georgetown’s Otto Porter. He’s not as singularly great at one aspect of the game as Shabazz, but he doesn’t do anything very poorly. He’s a capable defender, rebounder, and scorer, drawing comparisons to last year’s #2 pick, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist. He showed development through the season on offense, and should be a tremendous asset as a do-it-all player for whatever team drafts him.