Hornets Will Draft One of These Four Players
Prior to the NCAA tournament, I posted a couple of profiles on guys that we all should look out for. I did so because I love the NBA draft and I am blessed to have several friends in the NBA, most of whom work in various scouting departments. They are a close knit group and I was actually told nearly a week before the 2009 draft that we would be selecting Collison and that we were looking for a way to grab Thornton too. For those of you who are familiar with the site Hornetsreport.com, you know who I am.
Anyway, through channels I have come away with the four names at the top of our list, along with some guys we will DEFINITELY not draft. Which do you want first?
I guess I will start off with the guys you don’t have to worry about scouting. Daniel Orton and Hassan Whiteside will not be Hornets next year. No Chance. I was told they have essentially been crossed off our board.
Now for the primary four. They are, in no particular order:
Cole Aldrich, Paul George, Pattrick Patterson, and Xavier Henry.
As of today, Aldrich and Patterson top the list, but George is gaining and Henry has some support in the organization. All four will be brought in for workouts in the next two weeks, and Patterson has already met with Hornets officials and impressed them greatly.
I am told these four are at the top due to some common traits that the organization deems important. They firmly believe in good character, playing for winning programs, and college production. This is why George and Henry are slightly behind. George played for Fresno State, not Kansas or Kentucky and Henry only played one year. However, I am told all four have received glowing reports from their college coaches.
Conversely, Whiteside’s immaturity and Orton’s lack of production have eliminated them from consideration. Udoh will be considered, but he will have to show he is vastly superior to the other 4 in workouts, seeing that he has at least two years on all of them, and almost 4 years on Henry. Babbitt and Hayward will come for visits as well, but their inability to defend the wing positions make them a bad fit. Ed Davis and Greg Monroe might fall, but even if they do, don’t expect the Hornets to select them. Davis because of his inconsistency, and Monroe because I was told they were shocked at how out of shape he was and how slow he was when moving laterally.
Anyway, I will not divulge my opinion in this piece, although I am definitely rooting for one of these four to be the pick. As for how they would fit? Well Aldrich can assume a role in the rotation right away and if the Hornets pick up Aaron Gray’s option as expected, then the frontline might not look so bad next season. George would probably get very little time prior to February of 2011, but once the Hornets cleared out some of their mess at SF via trade, he could ease into the rotation down the stretch.
Henry would likely only get playing time next year as a result of injuries. The Hornets are already very young at the guard positions, and Henry is only a year removed from High School. Long term, though, he could be the starting 2 or 3 and be our long distance threat when Peja leaves. And finally, Patterson could step in and provide the role Diogu was expected to fill last season. 15-20 mins off the bench, giving the team quality numbers and a new element.
So study up on those four, because one of them will be a Hornet next season. Oh yeah, and if he starts to fall I am told the Hornets would love to acquire an extra pick late in the 1st to grab Larry Sanders, who they feel can be a huge impact player in 2-3 years. Here’s hoping!