The Charlotte Hornets won just 27 games last season and ended up with the fourth-highest odds to get the number one overall pick heading into the 2023 NBA Draft. Charlotte jumped all the way up to the second overall pick in a stacked draft class that has been talked about for the past decade with generational players such as Victor Wembanyama, Scoot Henderson, and the Thompson brothers. As the draft kicked off early Thursday evening, many Hornets fans waited anxiously to see who their team would select at pick number two. Much to the dismay of the fans, the Charlotte Hornets selected Brandon Miller from the University of Alabama. Hornets fans furiously boo Brandon Miller pick in 2023 NBA Draft.
Brandon Miller is a great player there is no denying that but with his recent controversy and with arguably a better player or two (Scoot Henderson & Amen Thompson) still on the board this pick leaves a bad taste in one’s mouth. In February reports came out that the Alabama superstar gave a loaded gun to his former teammate Darius Miles which was used to kill 23-year-old Jamea Jonae Harris. Brandon Miller was not charged with a crime nor was he convicted of being an accessory to murder. Police - Alabama star Brandon Miller delivered gun used in shooting - ESPN. Miller averaged 20.4 points, 8.4 rebounds, and 2.3 assists a game last season at Alabama but during the March Madness Tournament Miller struggled at times. In Alabama’s first game against 16-seed Texas A&M Corpus Christi, Miller had 0 points going 0-5 from the field. In game two Alabama squared off against Maryland and Miller had a better game scoring 19 points but he was very inefficient shooting only 5-17 from the field. In their third and final game against San Diego State, Miller had a mere nine points going 3-19 from the field, a horrid shooting night. When the lights got bright Miller struggled and was one of the reasons why Alabama couldn’t go all the way and win a National Championship.
The Charlotte Hornets have a current all-star point guard on their roster in Lamelo Ball who at just 21 years old averaged 23.3 points, 8.4 assists, and 6.4 rebounds per game last season. Ball is a building block for Charlotte moving forward and with a player like Scoot Henderson from the G-League Ignite available in the draft one would think these two would combine for a great backcourt pairing. Henderson averaged 17.6 points, 5.1 rebounds, and 6.6 assists per game in the G-League last season. Henderson’s player comparison was prime Russell Westbrook/ Derrick Rose who is a great great player who can provide success both offensively and defensively. Combining Henderson and Ball’s game would be must-watch basketball but Charlotte believed having two ball-dominant guards wouldn’t translate to success so they opted for the “better fit” in Brandon Miller. In the NBA or any major sports league, this philosophy hardly ever pans out the way teams want, as usually, it is smarter to take talent over positional need. Take the better player and worry about where they play later is what the Hornets should have done last night and drafted Scoot Henderson.
Michael Jordan the current owner of the Charlotte Hornets just sold the team last week for a whopping $3 billion but he still had a say on who the Hornets would select Thursday night and he and the front office settled on Miller. Since 2011, the Hornets have had seven top-10 draft picks and have a pretty poor track record of drafting well. 2011 Kemba Walker, 2012 Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, 2013 Cody Zeller, 2014 Noah Vonleh, 2015 Frank Kaminsky, 2020 Lamelo Ball and 2023 Brandon Miller. Charlotte Hornets Draft Picks | Basketball-Reference.com. Of those seven names, only two players (excluding Brandon Miller) have panned out well, those being Kemba Walker and Lamelo Ball. These are just top ten picks but even first round picks in general, Charlotte has struggled to hit on and fail to develop/ find elite talent.
Brandon Miller will probably be a fine maybe even great NBA player but if Scoot Henderson turns out to be the next Michael Jordan, Charlotte will never hear the end of it and that is horrifying to think about.
Editor: Joan Andrew Ramadan
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