They also possess the 10th pick, which they could use a number of different ways.
In the month of June, I have profiled the five most likely targets for the Hornets with that pick, giving their strengths and weaknesses. Here I am going to put it all together as I aim to lay out the most likely pick of the five to the least likely.
With the Hornets completing a trade this week with the Washington Wizards to rid themselves of Trevor Ariza, take Rashard Lewis and likely buy him out prior to the July 1 deadline, Terrence Ross becomes the odds-on favorite to be the guy at No. 10 for the Hornets, if he is available.
Though the team still has Al-Farouq Aminu, a young player with great potential and a key piece from the Chris Paul trade, Ross' ability to play multiple positions and especially to guard multiple positions makes him a very valuable piece.
Since the Hornets are built on defense, Ross would fit in with the team very well. It doesn't hurt that he is also a natural scorer.
Here is the rest of his profile.
Unless the Hornets have a plan to add a point guard some other way, Kendall Marshall is the perfect fit for the New Orleans Hornets. He is more than adequate defender, and he sees the floor like he's got five eyes.
He is the left-handed Rajon Rondo. Or he is Chris Paul-lite. Either way he is a great fit for what the Hornets like to do offensively.
Their fast break offense would improve immediately and their pick-and-roll offense would grow by leaps and bounds.
It is unsure whether the Hornets are looking to improve the point guard position to the point they'd take him over a player like Terrence Ross though.
For the rest of Marshall's profile, click here.
The Hornets have made it clear they would not be afraid to select two big men in the first 10 picks of this draft. And Zeller is a player they clearly like.
Of all the big men available in this draft, Zeller is the best fit for this particular team, especially as an option to pair with Anthony Davis for the next 10-plus years.
Those odds of course went up when the team also dumped Emeka Okafor in their trade with the Wizards. The team could still bring back Chris Kaman—one of the great possibilities opened up with that trade.
That said they have slightly more pressing needs than adding a young center when they already have Gustavo Ayon and hopefully Kaman.
For Zeller's full profile, click here.
Though some believe Austin Rivers has actually been given a promise from the New Orleans Hornets that he will be their pick at No. 10, that simply does not make sense.
Unless the team truly believes Rivers can play point guard effectively for them, Rivers would simply come in as a bench player and likely stay there for multiple years. That's because it's also been reported the Hornets will match any offer from another team on franchise shooting guard Eric Gordon.
It's still plausible the team likes Rivers that much, but Gordon's inclusion in the team's future plans seems to shoot down the possibility of Rivers in a Hornets uniform, at least in my mind.
For the rest of Rivers' profile, click here.
It should probably be noted that none of these odds are official, only my opinions. Moultrie is a rising prospect who has great skill and potential. He has yet to tap into the full realm of that potential. And it is unclear what his best position will be at the NBA level.
But Moultrie is a local kid (relatively speaking) who would surely represent the team well. And he figures to be growing as a basketball player at just the right time.
With Moultrie and Anthony Davis, the Hornets would have one of the most athletic frontcourts in the entire NBA. They would be more of a perimeter-based offense, which works for some teams.
His odds are lowest though simply because most experts consider him more of a mid-round pick than a lottery selection. For the Hornets to take Moultrie and not reach on him, it would likely take a trade back into the middle of the first round.
For the rest of Moultrie's profile, click here.