What will the Charlotte Hornets do at No. 2 in 2023 NBA Draft?
The San Antonio Spurs struck gold in the NBA Draft Lottery on Tuesday, May 16th, as they landed the first pick and will undoubtedly add Victor Wembanyama to their team. Wembanyama is a -20000 favorite to be selected first, and the Spurs would have been willing to draft him tonight if it was an option.
Wembanyama will now join a young core that includes talented players like Devin Vassell, Keldon Johnson, Malaki Branham and Jeremy Sochan. And with Gregg Popovich coaching that group, it won’t be long until the Spurs are making noise in the Western Conference. But what about the second pick in the draft? This is where things truly get interesting, as the Charlotte Hornets will be picking after the Spurs. And for as certain as things are regarding Wembanyama, the draft could get nuts when the Hornets are on the clock. With that in mind, keep reading to find out how we think this will play out.
Who will be the 2nd overall pick in 2023 NBA Draft?
- Scoot Henderson -140
- Brandon Miller +100
- Amen Thompson +3000
- Jarace Walker +5000
- Ausar Thompson +5000
(Odds from DraftKings Sportsbook)
For my money, Scoot Henderson is the second-best player in this draft. However, Henderson is a pure point guard and needs the basketball in his hands in order to be effective. That would make him a wonky fit next to LaMelo Ball, who is also at his best when he is the true engine of an offense. So, while Henderson is the favorite to be the second pick in this draft, I’m having a hard time getting on board with backing him to be selected here.
I think the best thing you can do if you’re looking to bet this market is put a few units on Brandon Miller, who is a legitimate sniper at 6-foot-9 and has the positional versatility to fit on pretty much any roster. Miller also proved himself as a high-level player in his freshman year at Alabama, and the Hornets tend to draft guys that have shown they can be effective in college. All things considered, Miller is something of a risk-free pick, and his fit with LaMelo would be perfect.
It is, however, worth sprinkling a little money on Amen Thompson to be the pick here. I’m not as high on Thompson as other draft experts are, but many people believe he has the second-most upside in this class. Thompson is one of the best athletes we’ve ever seen, and he is an elite defender. That sounds like somebody that could thrive next to Ball, with the two potentially making for a lethal duo in transition — and in pick-and-roll scenarios in which Ball can simply lob it up to Thompson. In fact, the more you think about this fit, the more surprising it is that you can get this bet at +3000 odds.
Will the Charlotte Hornets trade the No. 2 pick?
It’s not out of the question that Charlotte trades this pick and Henderson still ends up going second. A lot of people view Henderson as a generational guard prospect, but he has been overlooked a bit because of all the Wembanyama hype. So, it wouldn’t be that surprising if another team absolutely had to have him.
Keep an eye on the Orlando Magic as a potential trade partner. The Magic can send the sixth pick, the 11th pick and a young prospect to the Hornets in order to go up and grab Henderson, who just might be able to take them to the next level. Orlando has one of the best young cores in basketball, but the team hasn’t quite found a point guard yet.
The Jazz are another team that might look to make a play here. Utah is picking ninth in this draft, but the team also has the 16th and 28th picks in the first round. It wouldn’t be the worst idea in the world to pair Henderson with Lauri Markkanen, who emerged as a star in his first year in Salt Lake City. Utah also has a keeper in Walker Kessler, who is one of the best defensive bigs in basketball already.