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2015 GBB Community Mock Draft: Charlotte Hornets Pick #9

GBB simulates the (magical version of the) 2015 NBA Draft.

Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports
Previous Picks: #1 #2 #3 #4 #5 #6 #7 #8
Pick #9
Charlotte Hornets
GM: pfleming15

9) Willie Cauley-Stein, Center from Kentucky

Photo credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

From GM pfleming15:

It's not a secret that Charlotte needs shooting; however, it'll be wiser for the Hornets to wait until free agency to solve that need. A proven shooter (Wes Matthews, Danny Green, Marco Belinelli) and re-sign Mo Williams is more reliable than a shooting prospect (Devin Booker or RJ Hunter).

Defensive-minded coach Steve Clifford would salivate over the chance of drafting Willie Cauley-Stein. Often compared to DeAndre Jordan and Tyson Chandler, Willie "Trill" Cauley-Stein would give them a solid defensive anchor for half-decade or so. His overall ceiling as a whole is higher than Noah Vonleh and Cody Zeller (the last 2 lottery draft picks).

Throughout his career, Cauley-Stein averaged 3.9 offensive rebounds, 3.6 blocks and 1.8 steals per-40 minutes. In less than 26 minutes, he averaged 1.7 blocks and 1.2 steals which sounds close to a projection of how his NBA career will go. His alley oop instincts (61% on shooting attempts around the paint in non-post up situations) and ability running the floor (77% shooting in transition) makes him a perfect big-man running mate for prolific playmakers like Kemba Walker and Lance Stephenson.

One unnoticed thing hat elevates his ceiling is his willingness to work hard and become a better basketball player. Cauley-Stein stayed 3 years at a school known for "one-and-dones." As a result, he elevated his free throw shooting percentage from 37% (freshman year) to 62% (junior year). While he currently doesn't have a post up game like Jahill Okafor, he will have the chance to learn under Al Jefferson, one of the best post-up players the past couple years.

While the spacing with a Walker-Stephenson-MKG-Jefferson-CauleyStein lineup will be atrocious, their defense will be tough to score against. Adding someone like Danny Green will be essential to solve their shooting woes. Starting off, Cauley-Stein shouldn't be starting because of the spacing issues; however, he could be a change of pace big man who gives Charlotte another dimension (modern day NBA dimension). A second 5 of Mo-Lance-Hairston-Vonleh-CauleyStein would give them an offensive burst, especially if Lance finds his play from the 2013-2014 season. The 2-man dynamic between Lance and Cauley-Stein could be "trill." If Big Al decides to bolt this year or next year's free agency, Charlotte would have a more than capable replacement and could transition into a new era with potential stretch big Noah Vonleh and a defensive anchor Willie Cauley-Stein.

Moving right along are we. Next up is nickbushart and the Phoenix Suns at pick #10.

Pick Team GM Selection
#1 Timberwolves Jonah Jordan Karl-Anthony Towns
#2 Lakers chipwilliamsjr Jahlil Okafor
#3 Timberwolves (from 76ers) Jonah Jordan D'Angelo Russell
#4 Raptors (from Knicks) Arkm110 Emmanuel Mudiay
#5 Celtics (from Magic) HEARNBURN Kristaps Porzingis
#6 Kings Jonah Jordan Mario Hezonja
#7 Nuggets Joe Witherwax Justise Winslow
#8 Heat (from Pistons) Mopo123 Stanley Johnson
#9 Hornets pfleming15 Willie Cauley-Stein
#10 Suns (from Heat) nickbushart
#11 Pacers Andrew Ford
#12 Jazz Tblythe
#13 Pistons (from Heat via Suns) Matthew Bishop
#14 Thunder ljjung
#15 Hawks Zordor
#16 Magic (from Celtics) Andy Livingston
#17 Bucks Jill Kong
#18 Rockets SirRiles
#19 Wizards serdricacceus
#20 Thunder (from Raptors) ljjung
#21 Mavericks ethanwi11iams
#22 Bulls Burgundy
#23 Trail Blazers Edwin Ortiz
#24 Cavaliers Tcampbell395
#25 Grizzlies Kevin Yueng
#26 Spurs ks10680
#27 Lakers chipwilliamsjr
#28 Celtics HEARNBURN
#29 Nets Marcgasaucey
#30 Warriors bstubbs