The Charlotte Hornets will select 22nd in the first round of Thursday’s NBA draft and have no second-round pick.
It’s a challenge to project who will still be available 22 picks into an NBA draft. But here are five players who, for various reasons, might fit with the Hornets when their selection comes up:
Malik Beasley, Florida State shooting guard
With Courtney Lee hitting unrestricted free agency in July, the Hornets might want to prepare for losing him. He met with the Hornets during the draft combine in Chicago and was impressed by the organization.
DeAndre Bembry, Saint Joseph’s small forward
Charlottean has great foot speed, both off the dribble and filling a lane on fast breaks. The Hornets are always looking to play at a faster pace.
Malcolm Brogdon, Virginia shooting guard
He is generally projected as a second-round pick, but Brogdon strikes me as coach Steve Clifford’s kind of guy: super smart, mature and will be able to guard multiple NBA positions. He’s already part way through a Master’s degree in public policy at Virginia.
Damian Jones, Vanderbilt center
Clifford and general manager Rich Cho have said one of the team’s needs is a rim protector. Jones has some ability in that area. He needs significant improvement offensively.
Denzel Valentine, Michigan State small forward
He’s known for high skill level and basketball IQ. His athleticism might be somewhat limited and he’s not a great defender, but he has NBA ability and shooting range.
Bonnell: 704-358-5129; @rick_bonnell