Hornets 2009 mock draft update, part 1

Friday, May 29, 2009
By: Jim Eichenhofer, Hornets.com

Once again this year, Hornets.com will be scouring the Internet to see what other websites are projecting New Orleans to do with its first-round pick in the NBA Draft. The Hornets have the No. 21 overall choice in the 2009 draft, but do not have a second-round selection. All quotes are provided by the respective websites. As always, fans are welcome to leave their comments and opinions about the upcoming 2009 NBA Draft here in the Big Easy Buzz blog.

As of this morning, here are the players each website is projecting the Hornets to select with the 21st pick during the Thursday, June 25 draft:

ESPN.com: Chase Budinger, shooting guard, Arizona
¡°Budinger would give the Hornets another player who can spread the floor. With Peja Stojakovic on the decline, Budinger's combination of athleticism and shooting should be welcome.¡±

Hoop Doctors: B.J. Mullens, center, Ohio State
¡°Let¡¯s face it there are concerns about Tyson Chandler¡¯s health or why else would the New Orleans attempt to ship him out have been rescinded? Mullens isn¡¯t the flashiest big man out there, and he certainly doesn¡¯t have the best stat sheet. But you can¡¯t teach size, and at 7¡ä0¡å and serviceable, he may just be the guy to fill in for Chandler as injuries have hampered his ability to stay on the court.¡±

Hoops Hype: B.J. Mullens, center, Ohio State
¡°Highly intriguing big man with outstanding natural tools ¨C size, strength, athleticism, great hands, and the ability to play inside. Can finish with either hand around the basket. Pretty instinctive as a scorer. Doesn¡¯t always play hard, fails to box out or compete defensively, seems to go through long stretches of unproductiveness. Superbly gifted and appears to have huge potential, but still has a lot to prove as well. Basketball IQ is average. Could be a big steal or a huge bust ¨C all depends on his work ethic and drive. NBA comparison: Chris Kaman.¡±

Real GM: Omri Casspi, small forward, Maccabi Tel Aviv
¡°Casspi is a great scorer and that is largely a result of how much work he does prior to catching the ball. He is always moving and intelligently moves into space and proves to be a tough cover for this very reason. He is always cutting to the ball and then he looks to finish buckets physically and dunk on people when possible.¡±

SI.com: James Johnson, small forward/power forward, Wake Forest
¡°He could provide instant frontcourt depth after two solid seasons at Wake. But the Hornets may need to package this pick as part of a payroll-slashing trade on draft day.¡±

Sporting News: Wayne Ellington, shooting guard, North Carolina
¡°He¡¯s much more of a shooter than an athlete, which is perfect for the Hornets.¡±

Yahoo! Sports: Chase Budinger, shooting guard, Arizona
¡°The Hornets are missing a big-time shooting guard, so Budinger makes perfect sense here. One of the nation¡¯s top volleyball players, his athleticism is off the charts, and he¡¯s a decent perimeter shooter with excellent instincts at the offensive end. He might never become an All-Star, but he should be a productive NBA player for many years.¡±

Picks only (sites did not provide comments on players)
NBA Draft.net: DeJuan Blair, power forward, Pittsburgh
NBA-Draft.com: Austin Daye, small forward, Gonzaga
Pro Basketball News: Wayne Ellington, shooting guard, North Carolina