The San Antonio Spurs will take Victor Wembanyama with the No. 1 overall pick (despite Spurs GM Brian Wright amusingly trying to avoid stating the obvious in his post-lottery press conference, at the request of the league office).
At No. 2, will the Charlotte Hornets pick guard Scoot Henderson to put next to LaMelo Ball or wing Brandon Miller?
The answer to that question will significantly impact what happens next, with the No. 3 pick in play for trades as the Portland Trail Blazers look to win now.
There is no consensus among scouts about who they would take with that pick. While a slight majority who NBC Sports has spoken to lean Henderson, most have them on the same tier. If the Hornets see it that way, they may want the sharpshooting wing in Miller, who seems a more natural fit next to LaMelo Ball.
However, is Miller showing he deserves to be that pick? From ESPN’s Jonathan Givony on The Lowe Post podcast (hat tip Real GM).
“Every team in the NBA is looking for this type of player. Six-nine, big guard, can handle the ball. Pass out of pick and roll. Make shots off the dribble. Defend multiple positions. Rebound. That’s what people are looking for. At the same time, he is not in great shape right now, so I don’t know how great his workout’s going to be. His interviews have not been great, I’ve been told — both publicly and privately with NBA teams.”
While Givony is very well-sourced, you take every draft report with a grain of salt at this time of year. Everyone is spinning, everyone has ulterior motives. There are certainly teams interested in seeing Miller slide to No. 3 — again, that pick is available via trade — and they may want to spin the narrative.
Miller will have tough questions to answer in his team interviews related to his link to the murder of Jamea Jonae Harris in Tuscaloosa. Miller brought a gun to Alabama teammate Darius Miles, who allegedly used that gun in the killing. Miller has said he just drove a car to Miles, not knowing the gun was in the vehicle. Miller has not been charged with any crimes and has said in interviews with media members he learned a lot from this mistake.
If it’s true Miller is having rough interviews and is not in peak shape — as players traditionally are for workouts in the run-up to the draft — it could impact Charlotte’s decision. It just depends on how they grade out those two players.