Busting Brackets

NBA Draft 2024: Top 3 player options for Charlotte Hornets to pick at No. 6

Most experts are not high on the overall strength of this year's draft class, but there are still players that could help the Hornets get back to respectability.
The Hornets are in desperate need of help for LaMelo Ball and Brandon Miller
The Hornets are in desperate need of help for LaMelo Ball and Brandon Miller / Jacob Kupferman/GettyImages
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1) Dalton Knecht, Tennessee

The Hornets traded away failed free agent signing Gordon Hayward to the Thunder midseason, and Knecht could check many of the boxes that Hayward was expected to fill, but without the downside of being an injury risk any time somebody looks at him cross-eyed.

Knecht is the most polished scorer in the draft, and he almost single-handedly knocked off eventual national runner-up Purdue in the NCAA Tournament through the sheer force of his game. Knecht scored 37 of the Volunteers' 66 points against the Boilermakers, and that wasn't an aberration. The former transfer from Northern Colorado saved his best performances for the biggest games all year, as he dropped 37 on UNC in the Dean Dome, 39 at home against Auburn, and 40 at home against Kentucky.

The Hornets need help in a lot of areas, as they ranked second-to-last in the NBA in defensive efficiency and third-to-last in offensive efficiency. The return of LaMelo Ball, who missed 60 games this season with an ankle injury, will undoubtedly help those offensive numbers, but even with their $204 million point guard, the Hornets still need more scoring to even approach league average.

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Knecht's defensive reputation is spotty at best, but he knows how to score. He shot just under 40% from three this past season despite being at the top of every opponents' scouting report, but he's more than just an outside shooter, as he showed the consistent ability all year to get his own shot, whether in the midrange or by getting to the basket. Slotting him in at shooting guard next to Ball and Brandon Miller would make Charlotte's offense more dangerous than it has been in a while.