The Hornets take the First Step on the Summer of Improvement – and Run in Place

Published: June 25, 2010

This night was a disaster for me.  First, the site went down under the blast of Draft Night traffic.  I’m deeply sorry about that.  We’ll do our damnedest to make sure it doesn’t happen again.  It didn’t stop there, though, as my air conditioner stopped working after that . . .  

. . . and then, of course, there was the draft, one of the most hopeful and pleasant events of the NBA season.  It didn’t take long for it to go south.

The Hornets turned the 11th pick of the draft into cap relief tonight, moving it to dump Morris Peterson and acquire two later picks.  That, in itself, wasn’t bad – until the 1st pick was made.  I’m absolutely flummoxed by the Hornets drafting power forward Craig Brackins with the 21st pick.  I pulled up his advanced stats, and I have nothing but bad news for you.  Brackins was terrible last year.  At almost everything.  He was dead last in True Shooting %.  He was 2nd to last at offensive rebounding and in the bottom half at defensive rebounding.  He was a poor shot blocker, and a mediocre ballhawk.  The only good thing he can do is pass – with a top 10 assist rate combined with a bottom 5 turnover rate.  A power forward who can pass, but can’t score or rebound?  He’s not going to help.

They followed that selection with Quincy Pondexter at 26.  This saved the night a little because Pondexter was a decent pick.  He’s a big, 6’7″ wing player who could be pretty solid.  Offensively, he’s primarily a slasher, posting the 7th best True Shooting Percentage in the draft of 62%.  A lot of that was acheived by driving or grabbing rebounds and getting fouled, as he had a very high free-throw rate, and a solid 82% finish rate from the stripe.  He was also a very solid rebounder, posting the 4th best offensive rebound rate among wing players in the draft.  Perhaps most intriguing is his potential as a defender.  When he was on the floor, his team’s defense improved by 8 points.  In the end, he could be a quality contributor, working with Marcus Thornton as an offense/defense combination.

I don’t have a lot else to say.  I’m a glass half-full kind of guy, and sure, the salary relief takes care of one big issue hanging over the Hornets this off-season.  Still, I have a hard time getting past the fact the Hornets could have grabbed a contributor tonight, and they most likely did not.

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