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NBA Rumors: Hornets Haven't Considered Prospects Outside Ball, Edwards, Wiseman

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistNovember 9, 2020

Memphis' James Wiseman (32) pauses between plays in an NCAA college basketball game against University of Illinois-Chicago Saturday, Nov. 9, 2019, in Memphis, Tenn. (AP Photo/Karen Pulfer Focht)
Karen Pulfer Focht/Associated Press

The Charlotte Hornets have the third overall pick in the 2020 NBA draft, so they don't necessarily have to cast a wide net in terms of their potential targets. In fact, they may have already narrowed their choice to three players.

ESPN's Jonathan Givony reported Monday that the Hornets "have not seriously considered picking any prospects outside the top group," which includes LaMelo Ball, Anthony Edwards and James Wiseman.

Charlotte doesn't have one specific need and should look to draft the best player available regardless of position. 

Nine players from the Hornets' 2019-20 roster were 24 or younger, but it's unclear whether the franchise has somebody who can be a Kemba Walker-like cornerstone for the future. That the front office would strongly consider a point guard (Ball), a 2-guard (Edwards) and a traditional center (Wiseman) speaks to the issue.

In his most recent mock draft, Bleacher Report's Jonathan Wasserman projected Ball to go No. 1 overall to the Minnesota Timberwolves and Wiseman at No. 2 to the Golden State Warriors. That left Edwards for Charlotte.

Edwards might be the Hornets' best-case scenario.

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Devonte' Graham may be better off not having to share the backcourt with a ball-dominant point guard like Ball, and using a top-five pick on a center who can't stretch the floor may not be a sensible investment for a team as far away from contending as Charlotte is.

Think back to the 2018 draft and imagine if the Phoenix Suns had taken any one of Luka Doncic, Jaren Jackson Jr. or Trae Young instead of Deandre Ayton with the No. 1 pick.

Edwards averaged 19.1 points while shooting 40.2 percent from the floor in his one season at Georgia. He was only a 29.4 percent shooter from beyond the arc. Wasserman wrote in September "the more we ask around about Edwards, the more we hear concern about his professionalism and ability to impact winning, even if his scoring production carries over."

Selecting Edwards would carry obviously risk, but he might have the highest ceiling in the 2020 class. The presence of Graham would help offset Edwards' lack of playmaking and allow him to focus more on scoring, too.

If Edwards is still available, then the Hornets might as well swing for the fences with the hope he becomes an All-Star talent.

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