With Thursday’s NBA draft just hours away, Mitch Kupchak, general manager for the Charlotte Hornets, spoke briefly with the media about the direction the franchise is looking to go with its 11th pick.
What we know is the organization is building around star point guard and rookie of the year Lamelo Ball. This shouldn’t be a surprise. The pass-first point guard is a generational talent who players and draft prospects have been on record saying he’s fun to play with. Ball, who is continuing to work on his game – specifically executing his scoring offense, helped the Hornets enter the play-in game against the Indiana Pacers. But as Mitch Kupchak stated repeatedly during his presser, the Hornets want to keep the momentum going.
Where are the Hornets Looking For?
Mitch Kupchak stated he wants to build around a 18 or 19 year old with character, who is talented. He also explained that the Hornets are going after the best overall player at 11. So does that throwaway the change that the Hornets might trade back or give away future draft picks to move forward? Never say never, but it looks as if Kupchak is focused on using salary cap and free agency to address the big elephant in the room – depth and needing a center.
Notable Players the Hornets have already worked out: Luka Garza (Iowa), Sharife Cooper (Auburn), Jalen Johnson (Duke), Isaiah Miller (UNCG), Olivier Sarr (Kentucky), Carlik Jones (Louisville), Justin Champagnie (Pittsburgh), Corey Kispert (Gonzaga), Isaiah Todd (G-league Ignite).
According to the Hornets official PR twitter feed, the team will workout UNC freshman Day’Ron Sharpe, who reportedly lost 20 pounds since the end of last season. He’s projected to be a mid to late first rounder.
Catch the NBA draft live July 29th 8:00 PM on ESPN.