Charlotte Hornets

Potential targets for Hornets at 11, 45, 55? They're here, with links to more coverage

While former Miami Hurricanes guard Lonnie Walker IV, 19, now appears solidly in the NBA draft's first round, it was not automatic when he turned pro that he was ready to be an NBA player.
While former Miami Hurricanes guard Lonnie Walker IV, 19, now appears solidly in the NBA draft's first round, it was not automatic when he turned pro that he was ready to be an NBA player. dlaird@charlotteobserver.com

The 2018 NBA Draft is almost here. In preparation for Thursday night’s festivities in Brooklyn, N.Y., here is all the Observer’s coverage of prospects who could be on the Charlotte Hornets' radar.

Players have been sorted into three groups: those seen as potential targets for the Hornets at No. 11, those seen as potential targets for the Hornets at Nos. 45 and 55, and others. Players in each group are listed alphabetically.

Potential targets at No. 11

Mikal Bridges, 6-foot-7 G/F, Villanova

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The way the NBA is currently trending — toward an emphasis on players with the defensive versatility to constantly switch who they guard — adds to Mikal Bridges' value. Diedra Laird dlaird@charlotteobserver.com

Projects well at the NBA level. Won two national championships at Villanova and shot 43.5 percent on threes as a redshirt junior on six attempts per game. Read full draft workout coverage here.

Miles Bridges, 6 foot-7 F, Michigan State

Miles Bridges NBA combine
Michigan State's Miles Bridges told reporters during the NBA draft combine that he would meet with the Charlotte Hornets. Charles Rex Arbogast AP

As a sophomore, he averaged 17.1 points and seven rebounds per game. Did not work out for the Hornets but met with team management at the NBA Draft Combine. Read full coverage here.

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, 6-foot-6 G, Kentucky

Shai Gilgeous Alexander
It appears that Kentucky point guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, projected to be a lottery pick, has done no pre-draft workouts for teams since the NBA combine in May. Ted S. Warren AP Photo

A lanky point guard who came on at the end of the year for the Wildcats. Did not work out for the Hornets and said on Wednesday that he did turn down workouts for specific teams (but would not name them). Read full coverage here.

Kevin Knox, 6-foot-9 F, Kentucky

Kevin Knox
Kentucky forward Kevin Knox, one of the youngest players in this NBA draft, worked out for the Charlotte Hornets. Darin Oswald Idaho Statesman

He averaged 15.6 points per game for the Wildcats, has the build to play both forward spots and won't turn 19 until August. The consensus is that he didn't take full advantage of his opportunity as a freshman. Read full draft workout coverage here.

Michael Porter Jr., 6-foot-10 F, Missouri

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Charlotte Hornets general manager Mitch Kupchak said the team has the medical information it would need if Missouri's Michael Porter is available at No. 11. Porter played only three games last season due to a back injury that required surgery. L.G. Patterson AP File Photo

Played only three games because of a back injury, but his potential has teams in the top 10 interested on taking a risk. He did not work out for the Hornets or any other team but has hosted two pro days. Read full coverage here.

Collin Sexton, 6-foot-2 G, Alabama

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Alabama point guard Collin Sexton had only four pre-draft workouts scheduled, including one with the Charlotte Hornets.

Worked out for only three other teams besides the Hornets. Averaged 19.2 points and 3.6 assists per game at Alabama, where coach Avery Johnson used him in a heavy dose of pick and rolls. Read full draft workout coverage here.

Zhaire Smith, 6-foot-5 G, Texas Tech

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NBA draft prospect Zhaire Smith, a guard from Texas Tech, worked out for the Charlotte Hornets at the Spectrum Center. Alex Brandon AP

He just turned 19 this month and is one of the draft's best athletes. Averaged 11.3 points and five rebounds for the Red Raiders, as they advanced to the first Elite Eight in school history. Read full draft workout coverage here.

Lonnie Walker IV, 6-foot-4 G, Miami

Athletic guard who anticipates being selected somewhere in the 10 to 20 range. Averaged 11.5 points on 41.5 percent shooting for the Hurricanes. Read full draft workout coverage here.

Potential targets at Nos. 45 or 55

Theo Pinson, 6-foot-6 G/F, North Carolina

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Among the items former North Carolina player Theo Pinson addressed when speaking after a pre-draft workout with the Charlotte Hornets was his shooting: “My shot isn’t broken or anything. I’ve got it confidence wise." Diedra Laird dlaird@charlotteobserver.com

Received a late call to the NBA draft combine and has worked out for about half of the league since. Was the first Tar Heel to average 10-5-5 in a season, but his shooting remains the biggest knock. Read full draft workout coverage here.

Billy Preston, 6-foot-10 F, BC Igokea (Bosnia)

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Kansas freshman guard Billy Preston warms up with the team before a game against Texas Southern on Nov. 21, 2017, at Allen Field House in Lawrence, Kan. John Sleezer jsleezer@kcstar.com

He never played in a regular-season game for the Jayhawks after becoming the target of an NCAA investigation. Played only three games in Bosnia before a shoulder injury but is a former five-star recruit and McDonald's All-American. Read full draft workout coverage here.

Others

Connor Burchfield, 6-foot-4 G, William & Mary

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Concord’s Connor Burchfield, left, shot 52 percent from the college 3-point line, which led all Division I players in the NCAA last season, for William & Mary. Above, Burchfield reaches for a pass as former Charlotte 49ers guard Jon Davis waits his turn during a Charlotte Hornets pre-draft workout. David T. Foster III dtfoster@charlotteobserver.com

Led the NCAA in three-point percentage at 52 percent (89 of 171). Grew up in Concord and attended Concord High. Read full draft workout coverage here.

James Demery, 6-foot-6 F, Saint Joseph's

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“My family was here, a lot of people from North Carolina supporting me, so this has been a great experience,” James Demery, who won two state championships with Northside Christian Academy, said about returning to Charlotte for a pre-draft workout with the Hornets. Diedra Laird dlaird@charlotteobserver.com

Won two NCISAA 2A state titles with Northside Christian Academy in Charlotte. Averaged a career-high 16.9 points per game as a senior. Read full draft workout coverage here.

Jerome Robinson, 6-foot-6 G, Boston College

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Boston College's Jerome Robinson (1) heads to slam in two during Boston College's 91-87 victory over N.C. State in the second round of the 2018 ACC tournament. Robinson, who is from Garner and went to Broughton High, has signed with an agent and has decided to skip his senior season. Ethan Hyman ehyman@newsobserver.com

As he lit up the ACC for a conference-best 20.1 points per game, North Carolina colleges were left wondering how they missed him. Robinson went to Broughton High in Raleigh and should be selected in the bottom half of the first round. Read full draft workout coverage here.

Todd Withers, 6-foot-8 G/F, Queens University

Queens Todd Withers jumper
Queens University's Todd Withers, right, is a 6-8 guard-forward hoping for a shot at the NBA. He has done four NBA tryouts so far, including one with the Charlotte Hornets. Jeff Siner jsiner@charlotteobserver.com

Led Queens to the Division II Final Four in March. Grew up in Greensboro and shot 40 percent on threes last season. Read full draft workout coverage here.

Chapel Fowler: 704-358-5612; @chapelfowler
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