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Charlotte Hornets 2014 Draft Preview

Draft picks: 1st round (9th, 24th overall), 2nd round (45th overall)

By Jim Brighters, NBA Editor

( - Perhaps with the exception of the Cleveland Cavaliers, who snagged the No. 1 pick again, no team benefited from the NBA Draft Lottery more than the Charlotte Hornets.

The Hornets owned the rights to the Detroit Pistons' first-rounder this year, but it was top-eight protected. Based on records, the Pistons would have the best chance at the No. 8 pick, but when the Cavs defied luck again, the Pistons dropped to ninth and thus, the Hornets get the choice.

Charlotte made the playoffs for the second time in franchise history, largely on the strength of center Al Jefferson. The Hornets ranked fourth in points allowed, but 23rd in scoring.

That means they need offense. Who better than Doug McDermott, aka, "Dougie McBuckets" from Creighton. He is instant offense and fits a need as a possible stretch four.

If Kentucky's Julius Randle fell, he'd be perfect with his skill set. Michigan State's Adreian Payne is also someone to keep an eye on as he's perhaps the best stretch four in the draft.

T.J. Warren of NC State makes good sense at No. 24 if he's still there. He's a legit scorer without any other real strengths. With an earlier pick, Charlotte can gamble a little more, so best player available makes some sense. UCLA's versatile Kyle Anderson, or Wichita State's Cleanthony Early both fit that bill.

The second-rounder is clearly all about the best available.

Charlotte is in a great position to improve considerably thanks to this draft.

Players under contract: C/F Al Jefferson; G Gerald Henderson; F Michael Kidd- Gilchrist; C/F Cody Zeller; G Gary Neal; C Bismack Biyombo; G Kemba Walker; C Brendan Haywood; F Jeffrey Taylor

Free agents: G Luke Ridnour; F Josh McRoberts (player option); G Jannero Pargo; F Anthony Tolliver; G Chris Douglas-Roberts

Recent Draft History: 2013: Cody Zeller (4)

2012: Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (2), Jeff Taylor (31)

2011: Kemba Walker (9), Tobias Harris (19), Jeremy Tyler (39)

2010: No picks

2009: Gerald Henderson (12), Derrick Brown (40), Robert Vaden (54)

2008: D.J. Augustin (9), Alexis Ajinca (20), Kyle Weaver (38)

06/18 13:19:49 ET