Arizona v Michigan

2014 NBA Draft Preview: Charlotte Hornets


Picks: 9, 24, 45

Needs: A starting power forward, better shooting. Starting PF Josh McRoberts opted out, and although Charlotte would probably like to keep him, he’s in line for a raise. Cody Zeller is waiting in the wings, so the Hornets might prefer just to elevate him rather than draft a replacement.

Charlotte made its mark last season defensively, but its offense stagnated at times due to spacing issues. Al Jefferson is an excellent pivot with the craftiness to operate in limited space, but everyone would flow better with another 3-point shooter on the floor.

Trade possibilities: It seems chic to say any team with multiple first rounders will trade one, but why? Teams don’t want too many good, young prospects on cheap contracts? The Hornets could make a trade – their two first-round picks gives them more possibilities – but there’d be nothing wrong with standing pat.

Predictions: No playoff team has drafted this high since 2010, when the Jazz picked Gordon Hayward at No. 9 (receiving the Knicks’ pick via the Suns). Thanks to landing a plush draft pick from the Pistons, Charlotte has real potential to make a major step this offseason.

Doug McDermott gets mentioned enough at No. 9 that I don’t believe it’s coincidence. It seems the Hornets will attempt to fill their shooting needs with their first pick, which means Nik Stauskas could also be a possibility.

With its second first rounder, Charlotte has reportedly promised center Mitch McGary – leaving the possibility the Bobcats draft two Michigan Wolverines (Stauskas and McGary).

Chris Bosh with between-the-legs pass to cutting Dwyane Wade (VIDEO)

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Miami is going to be a lot of fun to watch this season (if they can stay healthy).

They’ve got athletic, active players who want to run, who move off the ball, and they have good passers. For example, watch Chris Bosh go between the legs to Dwyane Wade in the Heat’s preseason game Sunday.

Bosh had 14 points, and Wade had a dozen, but Charlotte won the exhibition.


Blake Griffin pre-game dunk knocks down shot clock

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The Clippers went north of the border to take on the Raptors in an exhibition game, but it was on the West Coast of Canada in one of the world’s prettiest cities — Vancouver. The two played at the Rogers Arena.

Where, they may want to upgrade the shot clocks behind the backboards. Watch over the shoulder of the Clippers announcers as Griffin dunks in warmups.

Notice that DeAndre Jordan loves this.

Nice to see Griffin dunking like his old self again. If you want another view, the NBA retweeted this.