This is going to be an interesting upcoming NBA Draft, as there are plenty of opinions on players and team needs.  Though this year’s draft has a lot of question marks surrounding the talent coming out, there is no doubt that there will be some surprises on teams who hit on players and surprising players to make their mark on the league.

So maybe, this is a draft that brings a unique balance of talent and need for NBA organizations, even earlier than in years past. Which is why we are looking back at the Charlotte Hornets again. The Hornets struggled once again but there are still a ton of bright spots with this team, including their rookie Brandon Miller.

But heading into this year’s draft and looking to possibly draft in the Top 5 once again, should the Hornets go for a player of need or should they go with the best available; it could be a mixture of both.

Charlotte ranks near dead last in many categories, but the areas that would be a concern for me are on the defensive end, on the boards, and with size. They have a bright young prospect in Mark Williams but he only played 19 games this year. He showed flashes of what he could be in his first two seasons, averaging 10.1ppg, 7.9rpg, and 1.0bpg. But when he isn’t on the court, it leaves Nick Richards as one of the true “centers” on this roster.

Again though, this is a team that ranks 29th in the NBA in PPG offensively at 106.8, 30th in the NBA in Rebounds per game (40.3), 26th in the league in Blocks per game (4.4), and gives up 116.7 ppg to teams defensively (ranks last in +/- at 10.2). Which is why I’m here to suggest that the Hornets look to draft UConn’s Donovan Clingan, who is coming off a sophomore season in which he averaged 13.0ppg, 7.4rpg, 1.5apg, and 2.5bpg while shooting 64 percent from the floor and again is just coming off his sophomore season.

Clingan really shined during UConn’s run in the NCAA Tournament, displaying a lot of upside, the ability to control the paint with tremendous length and timing, asserting himself on the boards, and being one of the better fluid bigs on the rise. Though many teams have looked more at small ball and perimeter shooting, you can clearly see that size still matters in the NBA. OKC leads the league in blocks per game, Boston has plenty of overall size inside and out, San Antonio has Victor Wembanyama, Anthony Davis is a clear difference-maker for the Lakers, Rudy Gobert continues to erase and be a clear leader for Minnesota, and the list can go on and on.

Though those are players that have clearly proven themselves and Clingan has just started his story, one could think that the presence of a 7’2 center who can clearly make an impact on both ends of the court and has a ton of potential upside at the next level, could help the Hornets in a big way.

This is why he could be a tremendous mixture of upside/potential along with fit for the Hornets, who already have plenty of scoring power along the outside with Miller, Bridges, and LaMelo. It would also allow the Hornets to rotate a nice mixture of Clingan, Richards, and Williams, giving this team tremendous size but also depth when players are out.

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