The Charlotte Hornets announced governor Michael Jordan would be selling his majority ownership stake in the team to a group led by Gabe Plotkin and Rick Schnall last week.
Despite the sale, Jordan will apparently be making the Hornets pick at No. 2 overall when the team comes on the clock in the 2023 NBA Draft on Thursday night. GM Mitch Kupchak said Jordan would get the final say on the pick during his press conference on Wednesday.
Michael Jordan will have the final say of who the #Hornets select at No. 2, Kupchak said.— Rod Boone (@rodboone) June 21, 2023
The pick will be a choice between Scoot Henderson and Brandon Miller. Henderson is ranked as the No. 2 overall player on the draft board according to SB Nation. Miller is perceived by some to be the better fit alongside incumbent point guard LaMelo Ball.
Kupchak followed it up by saying Jordan usually defers to him on roster matters:
But Jordan's opinion isn't the total end game. "He's always, at the end of the day, deferred to me," Kupchak said. "I can't think of too many times that we weren't on the same page."— Rod Boone (@rodboone) June 21, 2023
The fact that the new ownership group is okay with Jordan deciding such a consequential pick is fascinating, to say the least, especially when you consider his past draft history. Jordan took over full control of basketball operations in June 2006, and since then, things haven’t necessarily been too pretty when it comes to the draft.
The Hornets have selected in the lottery 15 times since he took over, and the only picks that have genuinely worked out for them are LaMelo Ball and Kemba Walker. His profile of picks contains duds like Adam Morrison, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Cody Zeller, Frank Kaminsky, and most recently, James Bouknight (and that isn’t even naming everyone).
In any event, the decision to let Jordan be the one to make this pick may signal that the Hornets are gearing up to take Brandon Miller over Henderson. The two soon-to-be rookies both conducted a second workout with Charlotte, and it appears from reports that Jordan really liked what he saw from Miller.
The Hornets are preparing to select Brandon Miller at No. 2 overall, per @wojespn:— Evan Sidery (@esidery) June 21, 2023
- Miller impressed Michael Jordan and Co. during his second private workout yesterday.
- Charlotte prefers Miller’s fit alongside LaMelo Ball over Scoot Henderson. pic.twitter.com/P3dsnpCl2P
If Jordan does select Miller with his swan song decision, that makes the Portland Trail Blazers pick that much more valuable, as it would represent the key to acquiring Henderson (a player many teams around the league have coveted highly).
Will Jordan ultimately select Miller? Will the Blazers then proceed to select Henderson? Will they trade the pick to obtain the help Damian Lillard desires? Why is Jordan making this pick for Charlotte?
We’ll have the answers to all these questions tomorrow evening (except for that last one, that one is truly unexplainable).