CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — There was loads of debate within the weeks main as much as the NBA draft over whether or not the Charlotte Hornets most popular Alabama’s Brandon Miller or the G League Ignite’s Scoot Henderson with the No 2 decide.
Usually supervisor Mitch Kupchak’s thoughts there was by no means a debate.
“Brandon was our favourite all alongside,” Kupchak stated. “There was numerous spirited dialogue within the final three days, which I welcome. … However I feel he’s the participant that’s the finest participant.”
Miller provides the Hornets an athletic 6-foot-9 wing with a clean taking pictures stroke who can knock down photographs from the perimeter. He averaged 18.8 factors and eight.2 rebounds per recreation final season for the Crimson Tide, who entered the NCAA Event because the No. 1 general seed earlier than making an early exit.
However the Southeastern Convention’s participant of the yr as a freshman comes with some baggage.
Miller is tied to a case that led to former Tide participant Darius Miles and one other man being indicted on capital homicide expenses. A police investigator testified in February that Miles texted Miller to convey him his gun that night time. Miller hasn’t been charged with wrongdoing, although the continuing case introduced intense scrutiny throughout the second half of the season for Miller and the Alabama program.
Kupchak stated the Hornets performed an intensive background test on Miller, together with a visit to Alabama about two weeks in the past.
“We’re comfy with Brandon on and off the courtroom,” Kupchak stated.
Miller has stated he can’t talk about the case.
On a lot a lighter notice, Miller made information final week when he stated he thought of Paul George his private GOAT, or the best of all-time.
He didn’t again off that Thursday night time even after being drafted by outgoing Hornets majority proprietor and six-time NBA champion Michael Jordan, thought of by many the most effective participant ever.
“I feel I made it clear that Paul George remains to be my GOAT, however Mike is certainly up there when in his prime,” Miller stated with fun. “Mike does every part. We put on his sneakers and he jumps from the free throw line. However Paul George is my GOAT.”
Miller seems to be a greater positional match for the Hornets than Henderson, who would have joined a crowded backcourt that features LaMelo Ball and Terry Rozier, final yr’s main scorer.
As a wing, Miller has a very good likelihood to see important taking part in time.
Gordon Hayward, who has struggled with damage points, is within the ultimate yr of his contract and it’s unclear if the group will attempt to re-sign restricted free agent Miles Bridges, who missed all final season whereas coping with a home violence case. Bridges will serve a 10-game suspension to start out the season after pleading no contest final November and being sentenced to serve three years of probation.
Miller feels he ought to profit from taking part in with Ball, who’s an above-average ball distributor.
“Melo is my man,” Miller stated. “I feel with Melo, nearly as good of some extent guard as he’s, I simply sort of fill within the place (on the courtroom). And I do know he’s going to be the massive brother for me away from residence.”
The 20-year-old Miller can also be thought of a significantly better shooter than Henderson, addressing an space of concern for Charlotte.
The Hornets completed twenty ninth within the league final season on 3-pointers at 33%. Miller shot 38.4% from past the arc at Alabama. Henderson shot simply 27.5% from deep final season for the Ignite, though the 3-point line is deeper within the G League.
On the Spectrum Middle in downtown Charlotte, the Hornets’ resolution to take Miller over Henderson was greeted with a combined response by about 5,000 followers gathered for a draft celebration.
Earlier than the decide, followers cheered loudly when Henderson was proven on the massive display screen.
Miller joins a Hornets group that hasn’t reached the postseason in an NBA-worst seven straight seasons and completed with the fourth-worst file within the league final season at 27-55. Charlotte managed to maneuver up two spots within the lottery, barely lacking out on the No. 1 decide and Victor Wembanyama.
Kupchak stated a handful of groups confirmed important curiosity in buying and selling as much as the No. 2 spot, however added “we by no means obtained to the purpose the place we critically thought of shifting the decide.”
The Hornets chosen 19-year-old guard Nick Smith Jr. from Arkansas with the twenty seventh general decide. Smith had been projected as a possible top-five decide earlier than a knee damage brought about him to overlook 19 video games final season.
Charlotte additionally added James Nnaji, a 6-foot-11 middle from FC Barcelona, and UCLA guard Amari Bailey within the second spherical.