Hornets draft reviews

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Published: June 26, 2009

Last night, the Hornets selected UCLA point guard Darren Collison with the 21st pick in the draft, and later acquired LSU 2-guard Marcus Thornton (43rd pick) from the Heat in exchange for their 2010 and 2012 second round picks.

Both players will be introduced by the Hornets today at 3 p.m. Central. More info on that when we hear it. For now, let’s see what folks are saying about the Hornets’ moves on draft night…

NBA.com lists the Hornets among the losers on draft night:

Darren Collison may have been a reach at No. 22. And he’s also a point guard. Finding a backup for Chris Paul, who plays a ton a minutes, doesn’t seem to make much sense in the Big Easy. The Hornets need scorers, especially on the wing, to play with Paul.

Chad Ford’s take at ESPN.com:

Collison is a bit of a surprise here. The Hornets had one tiny point guard in Chris Paul and now they have two. They had bigger needs than backup point guard, but I do believe he’s going to be terrific in that role … if Chris Paul ever leaves the floor, that is… Thornton played at LSU so he should feel right at home. He’s a nice pick. He’s a big-time scorer, but his lack of size and athleticism hurt his stock a bit. He has a chance to stick.

More from Ford, who gives a Hornets a B- grade for the draft:

A team with huge holes in the frontcourt addressed, instead, its backcourt.

I think Collison is rock solid and a terrific backup for Chris Paul. He’s steady, he defends and he can really push the pace of the game. Thornton is a terrific scorer who slipped because of his lack of size and so-so athleticism.

I like the picks, with my only issue being that Hornets passed on a few big men who could have helped, like DeJuan Blair, B.J. Mullens and DaJuan Summers.

CBSSports.com on Collison:

Defensive stalwart ideal tag-team partner for Chris Paul … Play versatile guard along Paul and Hornets fast break becomes blur.

SportingNews.com:

Collison is probably the fastest player in the draft, and he’s an excellent shooter, which is why he’ll be a perfect second-quarter point guard for the Hornets. He’s not terribly decisive in the halfcourt offense. He tends to over-dribble and is not a strong post passer. Those limitations may prevent him from ever becoming a significant regular. The Hornets might have made better use of Sam Young, but Collison is a solid pick.

At The Hive looks at some stats and finds that Collison may be better than most people think. An excerpt:

…let me address the “8th or 9th best point guard” deal. Collison was absolutely not the 8th or 9th best point guard in this draft. He was the 8th or 9th most hyped point guard in this draft. Huge, huge difference. For two straight years, he’d lost his buzz to more famous backcourt mates at UCLA- Russell Westbrook and Jrue Holiday

Collison is a college senior, a category of player that empirically does not do well in the NBA. Flynn, Evans, and especially Holiday are absolutely teeming with upside while Collison has almost no upside. But can anyone definitively say Collison is not a top 5 point in this draft, filled with so many excellent ones? Absolutely not.

Some video of the newest Hornets:

Also, be sure to check out our News and Lagniappe sections for lots more on the Hornets draft.

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