NBA Draft Prospects the Charlotte Hornets Need to Keep Their Eye On


The 2022-23 NBA season did not turn out how anyone wanted it to for the Charlotte Hornets. While expectations weren’t sky-high, the Hornets finished the season with the 4th worst record in the league and dealt with key injuries, particularly to LaMelo Ball. It was a disappointing year in terms of team performance and player development, but now Hornets fans can be excited about the 2023 draft.

The Hornets have the 4th best odds in the draft and will likely be in position to snag a top-tier prospect to build around for the future. Operators like Powerplay sports betting have established odds on which players will likely be snatched up first, and the draft hierarchy seems to be mostly established at this point. With that in mind, let’s look ahead to the 2023 NBA Draft and see which prospects Hornets fans should set their sights on.

Victor Wembanyama 

If the Hornets win the lottery and end up with Victor Wembanyama, all will have been worth it. Wembanyama is the most hyped NBA prospect since LeBron James. The French center is 7’4, handles the ball like a point guard, is a dominant interior defender, and can absolutely stripe the ball from distance. There are concerns about his slender frame, but that is nitpicking, considering he is a one-of-a-kind player we haven’t seen before. The Hornets would have the NBA’s best young pairing in Wembanyama and Ball, so Hornets fans should pray for that 12.8% lottery chance to come through. 

Scoot Henderson

Scoot Henderson is considered the consolation prize of this draft, and in a lot of drafts, he would be an easy choice at first overall. If the Hornets land second overall, they likely wouldn’t hesitate to draft this freak athlete of a point guard who played for G League Ignite. Henderson has garnered comparisons to a prime Russel Westbrook thanks to his explosiveness. Fit with Ball might be a concern because they both need the ball in their hands, but having two world-class point guards seems like a good problem to have. Henderson will have to improve his shooting to reach his peak, but he has looked incredible against pros in the G League regardless.

Brandon Miller

Brandon Miller is considered the top NCAA prospect heading into the draft, and it is a reasonable likelihood that the Hornets will be in a position to draft him. The freshman balled out at Alabama and is genuinely one of the best shooting wing prospects to enter the draft in years. He checks a lot of boxes for the modern NBA and is an easy fit in Charlotte, as he’d immediately slide into the starting lineup and be a knockdown shooter and solid defender. He can continue to add off the dribble, which would propel him to superstar territory. The major concern from Miller is off the court. 

Amen Thompson

Amen Thompson is an interesting case because no one has seen him play against top-tier talent. Thompson, and his twin brother Ausar, who is also a lottery prospect, both played for Overtime Elite, an offshoot professional development program. But evaluators love his athleticism, his incredible playmaking, and his ability to play both on or off the ball. He would be a seamless fit next to Ball in the backcourt and give the Hornets one of the slickest passing duos the NBA has seen. Thompson is also a highly-engaged defender, which would cover up for some of Ball’s deficits in that area, but he could stand to improve as a shooter.

Jarace Walker

Most experts have Jarace Walker as the second-best NCAA prospect, and it is easy to see why. Walker is a big, athletic forward that was a key part of making the Houston team an intimidating foe throughout the NCAA season. He also fits the modern mold of a solid power forward. He can defend ferociously, he is a sneaky good passer, and he isn’t afraid to put the ball on the floor. He also showed some signs of being a passable three-point shooter, so there aren’t a lot of holes in his game. He’d give the Hornets a new power forward of the future.

Cam Whitmore

Hornets fans would likely be disappointed if they missed out on all the previous top-five prospects after the year they had, but Whitmore is gaining traction in NBA circles. Evaluators see him as a ready-to-play prospect thanks to his explosiveness and signs of potentially elite shooting in his freshman year at Villanova. He is also a versatile defender and looks like someone that can eat minutes at either the three or four in the NBA. The Hornets seem like a good fit for Whitmore because he’ll gain a lot of developmental reps right away.