Hornets Land Elite Big Man Prospect in Latest Mock Draft

In ESPN's post-lottery mock draft, they have the Hornets taking Donovan Clingan with the sixth overall pick.
May 12, 2024; Chicago, IL, USA; Representatives of the 14 NBA teams wait to go on stage
May 12, 2024; Chicago, IL, USA; Representatives of the 14 NBA teams wait to go on stage / David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

The ping pong balls didn’t go in the Charlotte Hornets on Sunday afternoon as they ended up with the sixth overall pick in the 2024 NBA Draft. The Hornets entered the draft lottery with the second-best odds to grab the No. 1 overall pick (13.3%).

With the No. 6 overall pick, the Hornets should still get a quality player in what’s being heralded as a not-so-great draft class. Over the last five years, the sixth overall pick has been hit or miss with Jarrett Culver, Onyeka Okongwu, Josh Giddey, Benedict Mathurin, and Anthony Black.

The Hornets have a few solid young players in LaMelo Ball, Mark Williams, and Brandon Miller, but they need more if they want to compete in the NBA’s Eastern Conference over the next 3-5 seasons.

2024 NBA Mock Draft: Hornets Grab Former UConn Star in the Lottery

Jonathan Givony and Jeremy Woo dropped their post-lottery 2024 NBA mock draft (subscription required) on Sunday and has Charlotte taking one of the best big men in this year’s class – Donovan Clingan from UConn.

The 20-year-old center is coming off a stellar sophomore season in 2023 after predominantly coming off the bench in 2022 as a freshman. Clingan averaged 13 points and 7.4 rebounds in 22.5 minutes per game. He also possessed a 135.3 ORtg (offensive rating) and an 89.4 DRtg (defensive rating).

Givony points out how the Hornets have the flexibility to go in many different directions, but says that “the frontcourt is a natural place to look to strengthen the roster and build around last year’s No. 2 pick, Brandon Miller.”

Givony continues by saying “The Hornets would be surely attracted to the size, length, and rim-protection and passing ability of Clingan.”

Charlotte was one of the worst defensive teams in the league as they allowed 116.8 points per game (22nd in the NBA). The Hornets also gave up the third-most total rebounds to opponents last season (45.4 per game). Clingan will help Charlotte in both areas and give them a legit starting option at center, which they lacked this season.

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