Hornets Off-Season: A Growing Suspicion

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Published: June 19, 2008

Unless something major changes over the next few days with the workouts for the Hornets, I'm feeling pretty certain about one thing:

The Hornets won't be drafting in the first round.

The Hornets have only brought in three players who are generally accepted as possible 1st round prospects: Mario Chalmers, Gary Forbes and Courtney Lee.  When Lee was brought in, it was also before a string of workouts that appears to have moved him solidly into the first round.  If the Hornets were bringing in guys who were on the bubble: Richard Hendrix, Ryan Anderson, Jason Thompson, Nathan Jawai, or DJ White, I might just think they were covering their bases, but they aren't.

The Hornets pick is 27th. Typically you'd bring in prospects rated 20-40 and take a look at them.  The Hornets, however, seem to be bringing in prospects rated 40-undrafted.  The few higher rated players they have brought in strike me as more of a "Plan B" – or smokescreen to cover what they are doing.

This, of course, leads to lots of wild speculation on my part.  They probably have a trade in place, but is it just a cost cutter?  Dropping from the first round to the second to save money, while assuming they can still get a player of the same quality after falling?

Or do they have some trade in place for a more important piece, having used the 27th pick as a sweetener?  That would fit more, since this draft evaluation process seems like a way to find potential prospects for the summer league team, not a late-first, early-second round pick.

So unless the quality of the players brought in for workouts improve greatly over the next couple days, we can probably expect some sort of move on Draft night.  I'll be watching.

Updated list of Players that have worked out for the Hornets, along with where they went on the DraftExpress mock draft(DraftExpress rules, by the way):

Guards:
22: Courtney Lee, Western Kentucky
50: Jamont Gordon, Mississipi State
Undrafted: Antoine Agudio, Hofstra
Undrafted: Bo McCalebb, UNO
Undrafted: Stanley Burrell, Xavier

Wings:
39: Gary Forbes, Massachusetts
46: JR Giddens, New Mexico
47: Shan Foster, Vanderbilt
49: Kyle Weaver, Washington State
53: Sonny Weems, Arkansas
56: Bryce Taylor, Oregon
Undrafted: Marcellus Kemp, Nevada
Undrafted: Mark Tyndale, Temple
Undrafted: Patrick Ewing Jr, Georgetown
Undrafted: Davon Jefferson, Southern California

"Big" Men(some ain't so big, but they play the post):
40: Joey Dorsey, Memphis
44: Trent Plaisted, Brigham Young
55: Othello Hunter, Ohio State
Undrafted: David Padgett, Louisville
Undrafted: Tyrelle Blair, Boston College
Undrafted: Keith Brumbaugh, Hillsborough Community College
Undrafted: Josh Duncan, Xavier
Undrafted: Frank Elegar, Drexel
Undrafted: Aleks Maric, Nebraska
Undrafted: Longar Longar, Oklahoma

Worked out, but withdrew from Draft:
Jeremy Pargo, Gonzaga
Wayne Ellington, North Carolina
Lester Hudson, Tennessee Martin

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