Charlotte Hornets: 3 perfect combinations for their pair of 1st-round picks

Mandatory Credit: Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

The Charlotte Hornets have two picks in the first round of the 2023 NBA Draft. Here are three prospect combinations they should target. 

The 2023 NBA Draft lottery ended with mingled heartbreak and euphoria for fans of the Charlotte Hornets. On one hand, Victor Wembanyama was oh so close — just out of reach. On the other hand, it’s hard to complain about the No. 2 pick in a stacked draft.

Charlotte also owns the No. 27 pick courtesy of the Denver Nuggets, giving them the opportunity to add two young contributors to a roster in desperate need of a facelift. The Hornets’ recent draft history is spotty at best but picks like LaMelo Ball, P.J. Washington, and Mark Williams have given them a solid foundation to build upon. Now, they just have to build.

The No. 2 pick should yield stardom; the No. 27 pick has the potential to yield a very solid contributor if they find the right prospect.

Perfect NBA Draft combinations for the Charlotte Hornets

3. Scoot Henderson and Jordan Walsh

Scoot Henderson is the No. 2 prospect on our draft board and he should be the pick for Charlotte. There will be understandable trepidation about pairing another ball-handler with LaMelo Ball, but Henderson’s game actually complements Charlotte’s star quite well — and vice versa.

Henderson is on the smaller side, but he plays much bigger than his height defensively due to a 6-foot-9 wingspan. He’d also be a significant defensive upgrade over Terry Rozier, at least in due time, so Charlotte shouldn’t get caught up in those concerns.

Offensively, Henderson is a deadly slasher who gets into the paint at will. He scores prolifically at all three levels and would benefit from Ball’s knack for playmaking. The transition attack, with Ball lopping passes ahead to the sprinting Henderson, would be must-watch television.

In Jordan Walsh, Charlotte would get a stout defensive wing with a plus-8 wingspan. Walsh was a five-star recruit prior to his one-year stint at Arkansas, where he bought into a reduced role and bolstered the Razorbacks’ defense with ceaseless hustle and razor-sharp instincts. Assuming he stays in the draft, Walsh would be a wise investment for Charlotte — and the perfect defensive prodigy for Steve Clifford.

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