Brandon Miller booed by Hornets fans watching the draft in Spectrum Center

Brandon Miller, NBA Draft, Charlotte Hornets (Photo by Selcuk Acar/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
Brandon Miller, NBA Draft, Charlotte Hornets (Photo by Selcuk Acar/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images) /

Charlotte Hornets fans gathered in the Spectrum Center were displeased with the team’s decision to select Brandon Miller No. 2 overall in the 2023 NBA Draft. 

The Charlotte Hornets surprised nobody with their decision to select Alabama’s Brandon Miller with the No. 2 pick in Thursday night’s NBA Draft. There was, however, a wave of speculation before the draft that Charlotte might pivot last-minute to guard Scoot Henderson.

Nope, no dice. The idea of Henderson evidently excited the Hornets fanbase, however, as the reaction to Adam Silver saying Miller’s name was extremely negative in the Hornets’ home arena.

Charlotte pregame host Kyle Bailey was in the packed Spectrum Center:

Charlotte Hornets fans boo No. 2 NBA Draft pick Brandon Miller

The reaction is understandable. Miller has always felt like the wrong pick for Charlotte, with the front office too focused on “fit” when the priority should be getting the best player available. Scoot was the better player and, frankly, he’s not exactly a worse fit.

Miller is 6-foot-9 with picturesque shooting ability and a lot of versatility on the defensive end. He should help Charlotte in myriad ways with his off-ball scoring, pick-and-roll playmaking, and positional malleability. He’s not going to bomb out of the league. Even so, the Hornets passed on a potentially generational guard talent in Henderson.

Not only does Henderson profile as the better overall prospect, but he’s also just plain fun to watch. There’s broad appeal in an explosive guard like Henderson who loves to dunk on his opponent’s head. For the casual viewer at home, why prefer the lanky, slower wing? For the more informed draftnik, why pick the lower-upside player with concerns tied to his lack of burst and separation on drives.

Even the mascot was upset:

The Hornets are clearly married to the idea of Miller as the perfect modern wing. He adheres to a similar 3-and-D mold as Paul George, although we would be wise to remember how explosive and dynamic George’s athleticism was early in his career.

Miller and Ball both struggle to finish at the rim and neither profiles as an elite point-of-attack defender on the perimeter, which the Hornets still lack outside of bench guard Dennis Smith Jr., who can leave in free agency.

Miller will absolutely provide value to the Hornets’ depleted wing rotation and he should be a long-term starter. Maybe even an All-Star. But, he’s starting off on the wrong foot with a fanbase far too familiar to draft night mistakes.

Can Miller prove them — and FanSided draft board — wrong? Only time will tell.

Next. Grading every 2023 NBA Draft pick. dark