The NBA draft lottery once again wasn’t kind to the Charlotte Hornets on Tuesday night, as they stayed in the No. 11 spot for the June 22 draft.
The Boston Celtics (53-29 regular season), courtesy of a previous trade with the Brooklyn Nets, got the No. 1 pick. The Los Angeles Lakers and Philadelphia 76ers will pick second and third respectively.
The Hornets had a 2.9 percent chance of securing a top-three pick, based on the weighted lottery among the NBA’s 14 non-playoff teams. They had a 90.7 percent chance of sticking at No. 11 and a 6.3 percent chance of falling back to No. 12.
Since the then-Bobcats’ inception in 2004, the franchise hasn’t improved its draft position via the lottery in any of the 11 times it has participated. Charlotte fell back a spot in 2012, costing it a shot at selecting Kentucky’s Anthony Davis.
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Charlotte has never picked from the No. 11 spot.
Washington point guard Markelle Fultz, UCLA point guard Lonzo Ball and Kansas forward Josh Jackson are the anticipated top-three selections. Duke forward Jayson Tatum, N.C. State point guard Dennis Smith Jr., Florida State forward Jonathan Isaac and Kentucky guards De’Aaron Fox and Malik Monk will also likely be gone by the time the Hornets pick.
Five players who might be available when Charlotte is on the clock are:
O.G. Anunoby, Indiana forward: He missed the second half of his sophomore season after having surgery on his right knee, but still entered the draft. When healthy, Anunoby has shown flashes of being a “3-and-D” forward – one who can shoot the 3 and defend multiple positions – in the NBA.
Zach Collins, Gonzaga center: He averaged 17.3 minutes as a freshman, but shined in the NCAA tournament, highlighted by his 14 points, 13 rebounds and six blocks in the national semifinal win against South Carolina. His skills as a rim protector will likely translate to the NBA.
Justin Jackson, North Carolina forward: He developed into the star many expected he’d be during his junior season with the Tar Heels, earning ACC Player of the Year honors and leading the team to a national championship. He’s a versatile player who plays and defends multiple positions and possesses a nice shooting touch.
Luke Kennard, Duke shooting guard: He might be the best shooter in the draft, having made 43.8 percent of his 3-pointers as a sophomore. He has also proven to be a capable ball-handler and could play some point guard in the NBA.
Donovan Mitchell, Louisville guard: He posted the best numbers in the sprint and no-step vertical leap at the NBA combine and boasts a 6-foot-10 wingspan. He led the ACC with 2.1 steals per game as a sophomore and also registered 15.6 points, 4.9 rebounds and 2.7 assists.
8. New York
2. L.A. Lakers