The Charlotte Bobcats officially rebranded to the Charlotte Hornets on Tuesday afternoon, hours before the NBA Draft Lottery occurred late Tuesday night. And thanks in large part to the continued luck of the Cleveland Cavaliers, the brand new Charlotte Hornets now own the 9th and 24th picks in the first round of the upcoming 2014 NBA Draft that will take place on June 26th.
During the press conference earlier in the day, the Hornets announced a few important dates upcoming before draft night occurs. On June 5th, Hugo the Hornet will be unveiled as the official mascot of the Charlotte Hornets for the first time since 2002. On June 19th, Charlotte will release the jerseys for the 2014-2015 season. And exactly one week later, on draft night, the Hornets will release the court design for next season.
While all the fans are anxiously awaiting those three dates, the Hornets front office and coaching staff will spend the next month figuring out what to do with the 9th and 24th overall picks in the first round of the NBA Draft, as well as the 45th overall pick the Hornets own in the second round.
The 9th pick was awarded to them Tuesday, due to the fact that the Detroit Pistons’ pick fell outside of the top-8 when the Cavaliers jumped them en route to claiming the number one overall pick for the second consecutive year. The Pistons owed the Hornets their first round pick, as long as it was outside the top-8 this season, due to a trade focused around Ben Gordon and Corey Maggette that was completed back in 2012.
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In a span of eight hours, Charlotte got back its identity, and the Hornets’ front office got an unexpected surprise that will surely help the actual on-court product the Hornets plan to put out there for their first season back in the Queen City.
Now that the Hornets own two first round picks, including one inside the top-10, management will have a plethora of options. They could package the two picks to move up in the first round, possibly in the 5th overall pick range. Or they could use one, or both, of the picks to trade for a player around the league that will improve the Hornets next year quicker than adding a couple of rookies would.
Whatever the case may be, the next month will be an exciting time for the Charlotte Hornets and their fan base. Whether it be releasing a new mascot, jersey design, drafting an impact rookie, or trading for a proven veteran talent, the Hornets will surely be in the headlines over the next month. The future is looking bright for Charlotte now that the buzz is officially back for the first time since 2002.
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