With the NBA Draft quickly approaching, there shouldn’t be much surprise as to why there has been consistent draft buzz lately. Is LaMelo Ball getting selected with the first pick? Will the Warriors take James Wiseman with the second pick? Everyone just wants to know who’s going where and why.
According to Matthew Gutierrez of The Athletic, if he is to get drafted by the Charlotte Hornets with the 32nd pick, “Hughes would have a clearer path to impact minutes” compared to some of the other teams he has been linked to such as the Dallas Mavericks. He added on by saying,
“The Hornets desperately need a shot-maker and a wing defender.”
Another team that is lacking a wing player is the Kings. Bryan Kalbrosky of the Rookie Wire for USA Today Sports has the New York native going to the Sacramento Kings with the 43rd Pick. Kalbrosky wrote,
“The Sacramento Kings may need wing depth with Bogdan Bogdanovic becoming an unrestricted free agent and Buddy Hield potentially on the way out via trade.”
At CBS Sports, the latest mock draft has experts like Kyle Boone and Gary Parrish predicting Elijah Hughes to go to the Spurs with Pick 41.
Boone explained why they have the Spurs taking Hughes in the second round,
“I’m a little more skeptical in part because he’s a late developer who is already 22 years old, but the Spurs could absolutely make use of someone his size who can create shots and score it at a high level. He led the ACC in scoring last season for Syracuse, and did so despite drawing extra attention as the team’s clear-cut No. 1 option.”
Like I said before, I prefer Hughes to get chosen by a team that gives him the most opportunity. Those teams in this case are the Charlotte Hornets and the Sacramento Kings. If I had to choose I would say the Hornets is a better fit. The Hornets system is flawed because they are missing offensive talent. According to ESPN, they ranked LAST in the NBA for points scored at 102.9 PPG. You add Hughes to that roster and now you have an offensive juggernaut that can get his own shot at any time. Imagine the shots he will be able to create for others, especially the shooters already on the squad like Devonte’ Graham and Malik Monk. The Kings aren’t too far off on that list too, ranking 22nd. The fact that there is a high chance they won’t have the services of Buddy Hield and Bogdan Bogdanovic next season, I hope the Kings look into the former ACC leading scorer to fix their problems.
From now until the moment of truth on November 18th, expect more things spice up and for things to change as teams start locking in on their preferred selection for the draft. As we can see Hughes is a desired prospect for several teams with a second round or a late first round pick. With the disparity of not being able to see these teams face to face in order to familiarize himself with them, I am curious to see how this impacts where Hughes will end up in less than a month.