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Should the Charlotte Hornets Draft Scoot Henderson or Brandon Miller at No. 2?

2023 NBA Draft
(Nam Y. Huh/AP Photo)

Should the Charlotte Hornets Draft Scoot Henderson or Brandon Miller at No. 2?

The 2023 NBA Draft starts at the second pick. Everyone knows that French phenom Victor Wembanyama will be selected by the San Antonio Spurs with the No. 1 overall pick. After that, what should the Charlotte Hornets do at No. 2? It seems as though it comes down to two prospects. Does Charlotte opt for Scoot Henderson, a 19-year-old point guard who has shined in two seasons with G League Ignite? Or do they take Brandon Miller, the consensus All-American and perimeter scoring threat out of Alabama?

Some recent reports have suggested that Charlotte is leaning towards Miller with the No. 2 pick. Many have criticized the Hornets for this, saying that taking Miller would be selecting fit over best player available, an oft-maligned draft strategy for teams with high picks. However, the claim that Charlotte would be prioritizing fit with Brandon Miller makes a couple interesting assumptions.

Assumption No. 1: Scoot Henderson Is a Bad Fit With LaMelo Ball

The first thing this claim assumes is that Scoot Henderson would be a bad fit alongside LaMelo Ball, something I vehemently disagree with. Both Henderson and Ball are very gifted on-ball creators, but each is also capable of playing as the off-ball guard and benefitting from the other’s playmaking. While the likely concern here is that two ball-dominant guards will lead to disjointed “your turn, my turn” offense, both Henderson and Ball are remarkably adept at making the right play.

Furthermore, LaMelo Ball has been a significantly better three-point shooter off the catch versus off the dribble. However, he has not had nearly as many catch-and-shoot opportunities. Having Henderson as a playmaker alongside LaMelo could actually benefit him by allowing for more off-ball situations where he is a much more efficient shooter. The blanket statements that it’s a bad fit simply don’t make sense. Having two fantastic playmakers is a bad thing?

Assumption No. 2: The Charlotte Hornets Believe Henderson Is a Better Prospect Than Miller

The second thing this claim assumes is that the Charlotte Hornets agree with the general consensus that Scoot Henderson is a better prospect than Brandon Miller. This means they would be passing on Henderson, the guy they think is better, to take a player who they believe fits more seamlessly with their current roster. But what if the Hornets don’t actually think Henderson is the better prospect? What if they have done their scouting and have come away with the idea that Miller is better? You may disagree with that evaluation (I certainly do), but it would at least make more sense from a process standpoint. In that scenario they actually would be drafting best player available, it just wouldn’t be the player everyone else thinks is better. Hard to fault Charlotte for sticking to their guns if that is indeed the case.

Back to the question at hand. Should Charlotte take Scoot Henderson or Brandon Miller with the No. 2 pick in the 2023 NBA Draft? If I was in their front office, I would advocate for Scoot Henderson to be the selection. I don’t believe the fit concerns are legitimate, and I also have Scoot as the better prospect. However, if they truly believe Miller is better, they should not let the consensus sway them. I would question their scouting, but not their draft strategy.

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