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GBB Community 2014 NBA Mock Draft: Charlotte Hornets Pick #24

With the Charlotte Hornets second pick in the first round of the GBB Community 2014 NBA Mock Draft, they went in a starkly different direction than they did with the first one, selecting a "big-time" prospect with the 24th pick.

Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
Previous Picks: #1#2#3#4#5#6#7#8#9#10#11#12#13, #14, #15, #16, #17, #18#19#20#21#22#23
Team and Draft Order Representative GM Player Selected
#1 Cleveland Cavaliers Chris Faulkner Andrew Wiggins
#2 Milwaukee Bucks Kwhittington Joel Embiid
#3 Philadelphia 76ers KellyMelvina Jabari Parker
#4 Orlando Magic BluesCityJoe Dante Exum
#5 Philadelphia 76ers (from UTA) KellyMelvina Aaron Gordon
#6 Boston Celtics Dekebarron Noah Vonleh
#7 LA Lakers Tonyallenismyhomeboy Marcus Smart
#8 Chicago Bulls (from SAC) Chip Williams Julius Randle
#9 Charlotte Hornets Andrew Ford Nik Stauskas
#10 Utah Jazz (from PHI) Jmxisnext Adreian Payne
#11 Denver Nuggets VancouverGrizz Gary Harris
#12 Atlanta Hawks (from ORL) Matt Hrdlicka Dario Saric
#13 Phoenix Suns (from MIN) Adam Rubrum Rodney Hood
#14 Memphis Grizzlies (from MIN) Joe Mullinax Doug McDermott
#15 Orlando Magic (from ATL) BluesCityJoe Kyle Anderson
#16 Chicago Bulls Chip Williams T.J. Warren
#17 Boston Celtics Dekebarron Zach LaVine
#18 Phoenix Suns Adam Rubrum Tyler Ennis
#19 Sacramento Kings (from CHI) Tcampbell395 Jerami Grant
#20 Toronto Raptors Arkm110 Cleanthony Early
#21 Oklahoma City Thunder Kevin Yeung Jusuf Nurkic
#22 Memphis Grizzlies Joe Mullinax Elfrid Payton
#23 Utah Jazz Jmxisnext P.J. Hairston

With the 24th pick in the GBB 2014 NBA Mock Draft, the Charlotte Hornets select:

22) Jarnell Stokes, PF, Tennessee

After the Charlotte Hornets addressed their need for perimeter shooting with the 9th overall pick by drafting Nik Stauskas, the front office decided to go in a different direction with the 24th pick to fill another potential roster gap.

Currently, the Hornets lack depth in the front court. Cody Zeller appears set to become Al Jefferson's front court partner in the starting lineup, especially if Josh McRoberts opts out of the last season of his deal to test the open market. While Zeller, the 4th overall pick in the 2013 NBA Draft, is the obvious option to pair with Jefferson in the starting lineup going forward, the Bobcats are lacking in frontcourt depth after those two.

Jarnell Stokes, 6'8, 263, can immediately step in and play meaningful minutes as a backup power forward. He brings maximum energy to the floor every single night while generally wreaking havoc and using his thick, powerful body to wear his man down both offensively and defensively. His relentless hustle makes it easy to see how he could be a double-double machine in the NBA, and that's exactly what the Hornets are hoping for from him.

Offensively, Stokes is best when he's playing in the post with his back to the basket, but it's a big plus that he's added the ability to face up and make a quick move to the rim as well. Although he lacks a dominant post move, Stokes uses his incredible strength to muscle defenders out of the way to get point-blank looks. Defenders often hack at him around the rim to keep him from finishing, but that doesn't slow him down much, as he finishes through contact at a high rate. His bullish style is conducive to drawing fouls, as is reflected by him getting to the charity stripe 7.7 times per 40 minutes at Tennessee.

When Stokes isn't scoring, he's grabbing rebounds. He might well be the best rebounder in the 2014 draft class. His motor, instincts for how the ball is going to carom off the rim, and strength make him incredibly difficult to box out. He's a ferocious offensive rebounder, and he will add a lot of value at the NBA level if he can score a lot of second-chance points.

On the other end of the floor, Stokes doesn't get beat very often in the post. His strength makes it nearly impossible for even the strongest bigs to back him down. His main flaw is his height. There aren't many 6'8 power forwards in the NBA, and there is a reason for that. Most power forwards will hold a major height advantage over Stokes, and the fear is that they will be able to use their height to shoot over Stokes so they don't have to worry about facing his strength. Also, Stokes struggled with mobile bigs pulling him away from the basket in college. He's comfortable playing around the rim, but he'll have to grow defensively to fit in the progressively, perimeter-oriented NBA.

Just like with every other prospect, there is no guarantee Stokes will pan out. His major knock is his height, and that is obviously not a skill that can be improved. If he can learn to position himself smartly both offensively and defensively, putting himself in positions to best utilize his strength, then he will have great staying power. With the NBA going through a phase where good guards are available in abundance and useful, talented bigs are a rare commodity, Stokes has incredible value. The Hornets might have gotten a steal here near the end of the first round.