The Charlotte Hornets find themselves entering an important offseason, as the franchise facing several key decisions.
Charlotte went 39-43 overall in James Borrego’s first year on the job, which left them just outside of the No. 8 seed in the Eastern Conference.
While that is better than being in the conference cellar, it also came via a roster that could look a little bit different heading into the 2019-20 season.
Of course, the reasoning for that is due to Kemba Walker hitting free agency, and how his situation unfolds will determine a lot when it comes to the Hornets’ expectations entering next season.
But for now, what we do know is that the team holds the No. 12 pick in the 2019 NBA draft, and there are several intriguing options were considering.
Here are three players the Hornets could target with the pick.
3. Nassir Little (SF, North Carolina)
Let’s start with an option that makes a lot of sense geographically.
The Michael Jordan connection is obvious when it comes to Little playing for the Tar Heels, but it’s production that Hornets fans will be looking for should the team choose to go this route.
Little has all the tools needed to be able to help Charlotte on both sides of the court, as the 6-6 small forward has the athleticism to finish strong at the basket while also being a good defender.
However, like several other potential options with this pick, Little may not be someone that comes in and starts right away.
His potential is through the roof, but he’ll need to continue to develop a bit more on offense to be a true go-to-player for the Hornets.
2. PJ Washington (PF, Kentucky)
Speaking of connections, there are a few of those when it comes to former Kentucky players finding their way to Charlotte.
Borrego already has Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Malik Monk on his squad, and Washington would be the latest former member of the Wildcats to bring lofty expectations to the Hornets.
Washington is the type of player NBA teams really value in that he’s able to offer a little bit of everything with his skill set. At 6-8, he can not only rebound and defend effectively in the paint, but he can also step out and knock down jump shots.
The reason he returned to Kentucky for his sophomore season was to develop his overall game to the level of being a lottery pick, and there’s a very good chance he’ll have that possibility after averaging 15.2 points and 7.5 rebounds while being efficient in other areas of the game.
Like Little, Washington has room to grow when it comes to being an All-Star caliber player, but he’d certainly be a worthy option at this point in the draft.
1. Bol Bol (C, Oregon)
It’s no secret that the Hornets need help when it comes to trying to keep opponents from finding success in the paint.
Well, one way to do that is to bring in a 7-2 phenom that has one of the most unique skill sets of any player in the draft.
The son of former NBA legend Manute Bol showed off his impressive talents with the Ducks, and that included being able to block shots while also showcasing a nice jump shot.
There are injury concerns due to him playing in just nine games last season, but in those games, he averaged 21.0 points and 9.6 rebounds to go along with 52.0 percent shooting from 3-point range.
You can’t teach size, and a player of Bol’s size who can make jumpers consistently will always be an attractive quality for NBA teams.
It’s understandable for everyone to enter the draft with their thoughts on Zion Williamson, but if Bol reaches his potential, he could be a game-changer for the Hornets.