The Charlotte Hornets are coming off their second consecutive season in which they finished 10th place in the Eastern Conference, turning in a 43-39 record. They qualified for the play-in tournament, but got steamrolled by the Hawks with a 132-103 final score as they missed the playoffs for the sixth year in a row. While it was a disappointing result, it was the first time since 2015-16 that they logged a winning record as they’re making progress each year.
Since LaMelo Ball landed in Charlotte in 2020, the Hornets have been working on building a team around him. Miles Bridges is a prime example as he’s developed from a secondary player up to an elite scorer, and has been a solid pair with Ball on the floor. They’ll look to continue building their roster and will need to pick up a couple of great players from the draft, especially with Montrezl Harrell’s future up in the air. They’ll need to look for a starting-caliber wing in the draft who can score on the outside as well as show consistent perimeter defense.
Hornets 2022 NBA Draft selections
No. 13: Jalen Duren, C, Memphis (traded to Detroit)
No. 15 (from Pelicans): Mark Williams, C, Duke
No. 40: Bryce McCowens,SG, Nebraska
No. 45: Josh Minott, PF, Memphis
The Hornets traded one center, but eventually did take a different one at 15 with Williams. He’s not going to do much offensively, although he provides some much-needed rim protection for Charlotte. We’ll see how much run he gets early with the Hornets, especially with their up-tempo offensive style.
Fantasy basketball outlook
There’s not much reason to grab Williams in fantasy drafts, and he’s likely to start the season on the waiver wire. If he gets consistent minutes and starts blocking shots left and right, he could sneak into value play territory as the season progresses.