O’Connor’s Latest: Hornets, Knicks, Toppin, Spurs, Harris, More

League sources have long said that the Hornets‘ preference on draft night would be adding a big man, either by trading up for James Wiseman or by picking Onyeka Okongwu, writes Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer. However, according to O’Connor, there are some people in Charlotte’s front office who like the idea of drafting LaMelo Ball if he’s available.

As O’Connor notes, one potential avenue for the Hornets if Wiseman is off the board at No. 3 and Ball is available would be to trade down with a team like Chicago or Detroit that might be eyeing Ball. In that scenario, Charlotte could theoretically pick up an extra asset or two while still having the opportunity to select Okongwu.

Here are a few more of the most interesting tidbits from O’Connor’s latest mock draft at The Ringer:

  • O’Connor’s sources believe the Knicks will select Obi Toppin if he’s available at No. 8. If the Dayton forward makes it past Cleveland at No. 5, there’s a chance he’ll still be on the board for New York.
  • The Spurs “love” Villanova forward Saddiq Bey, according to O’Connor, who says San Antonio is also one of multiple teams with interest in trading up for Florida State’s Patrick Williams.
  • “Everyone around the league” thinks that the Thunder will look to trade up to land seven-footer Aleksej Pokusevski, who has been frequently linked to Oklahoma City in large part due to his agent’s connection to general manager Sam Presti. Agent Jason Ranne used to work in the Thunder’s front office.
  • Within his note on the Nets‘ potential pick at No. 19, O’Connor cites sources who say that Brooklyn is likely to re-sign free agent sharpshooter Joe Harris.
  • The Nuggets are thought to be targeting a frontcourt player at No. 22, league sources tell O’Connor, who identifies Isaiah Stewart and Zeke Nnaji as a couple possibilities.
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10 thoughts on “O’Connor’s Latest: Hornets, Knicks, Toppin, Spurs, Harris, More

  1. phillyballers

    The Hornets aren’t a Center away from contending. They could just sign Whiteside too after dumping Batum and Zeller and Monk for Westbrick. They would have only 74M on the books. They see who comes in the draft and sign Whiteside if they miss on Wiseman.

  2. KnickerbockerAl

    Bey is going to be solid. He should go in lottery. Like him better than Williams. No way Toppin lasts till 8. Knicks really want him. Will have to trade up. He’s a good fit with Mitch makes sense. Cavs probably take him at 5. If not he could drop to us. I see trades coming in draft. So draft order could really change.

    • alproof

      Vassell and his 8 points a game in college? In order: Okongwu Toppin Halliburton. If they draft Halliburton, sign Christian Wood.

  3. hiflew

    Every year there is one guy that ends up going a lot lower than expected, who is everyone’s pick for biggest slide on draft night?

    Mine is Killian Hayes. I have seen him as high as 4 on mocks, but I truly don’t think he will be picked until like 15-18. Mainly because of the glut of very similar PGs in the draft, but also because Kira Lewis is rising on boards and basically taking Hayes’s place as 3rd PG after Ball and Haliburton.

      • hiflew

        Most mocks I have seen have him anywhere from 15-28. I don’t really consider it a “fall guy” unless someone is generally expected to be a top 10 pick and then falls to 20+ or so.

    • hiflew

      I don’t think Cleveland would pass him up if he dropped to 5. And even if they did, with Atlanta wanting to move their pick someone would jump to 6 to get him.

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