5 Rebuilding teams that took massive steps forward at the 2023 NBA Draft

NBA Draft prospect Cam Whitmore (Kyle Ross-USA TODAY Sports)
NBA Draft prospect Cam Whitmore (Kyle Ross-USA TODAY Sports) /
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NBA Draft
NBA Draft prospect Brandon Miller (Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports) /

Charlotte Hornets

Draft selections: Brandon Miller (2nd overall), Nick Smith Jr. (27th overall), James Nnaji (31st overall), Amari Bailey (41st overall) 

Coming in with a huge weight on their shoulders, the Charlotte Hornets ultimately decided to stick to their guns. And that they did. Instead of trading out of the No. 2 spot or falling into the peer pressure of selection Scoot Henderson, the Hornets went with their gut and the prospect that they’ve favored all along – Brandon Miller. He’s a dynamic offensive wing that has the potential to be an All-Star down the road. They believe in him and their beliefs aren’t that outlandish if you watched college baseball last season.

But I almost like their next two picks more than their first. On top of Miller, the Hornets took a flier on Nick Smith Jr. with the 27th pick and James Nnaji at No. 31. Smith is a top 5 talent that was taken late in the first round. If you’re looking for a potential steal of the NBA Draft, look no further.

If Smith develops into the player he was projected to be coming out of high school, the Hornets will be in good hands. The same could be said about the late riser Nnaji. For Nnaji, it’s all about potential.

He has the size, measurables, and athleticism to be a really good player in the NBA. Now it’s time for the Hornets to develop him. Even if you don’t like what the Hornets did at the top of the draft, it’s hard to look at their class as a whole and not like the potential.