• The Charlotte Hornets are currently tenth in the Eastern Conference Standings
  • One of the team's bright spots include Devonte' Graham's offensive emergence
  • Dayton Flyers big man Obi Toppin is a possible draft option for the Hornets

The Charlotte Hornets have entered a new direction for their franchise when Kemba Walker signed with the Boston Celtics in the offseason. The team experienced ups and downs throughout this stretch. These moments include taking a heavily favored Miami Heat team in seven games in the postseason. They also had seasons where they fell out early of the playoff race. But the Hornets are now a different team with a new approach to the future.

While they’re currently tenth in the Eastern Conference Standings with a 21-40 record, the team has some bright spots ahead. Devonte’ Graham is one of them as he’s emerged as a dependable scorer for the Hornets. The second-round pick has stepped up this season as he’s averaging 17.6 points and 7.5 assists per game. It’s a considerable jump from his rookie year when he only tallied 4.7 points and 2.6 assists per outing.

Graham’s three-point shooting is seen as one of the team’s strengths and is seeking to develop it further. To add to this, former Celtics guard Terry Rozier is also putting up similar numbers with 17.5 points per game.

If the Hornets end up with a lottery pick, Dayton Flyers Big Man Obadiah Richard “Obi” Toppin is an option to consider. Toppin is among the leading scorers in the Atlantic 10 Conference with 19.4 points per game. He is also averaging 7.8 rebounds and is also 63.2% shooting from the field.

With his six-foot-nine frame and athletic ability, Toppin is compared to multiple NBA stars. He is said to have the explosiveness of Amare Stoudamire coupled with Al Horford’s floor-stretching ability. He’s very versatile on the court as he can drive inside the paint but can also shoot from the perimeter.

He’s scouted to have a high basketball IQ, knowing where to move without the basketball. He’s also shown the ability to drain shots from beyond the three-point line.

If the Hornets can pick up Toppin, he can be trained to further improve his skills. He can complement the two guards Graham and Rozier on the floor. The Hornets can also take the direction of accumulating young talent to develop or to keep as assets for future possibilities.

2019 NBA Draft Board
The first round draft board is seen during the 2019 NBA Draft at the Barclays Center on June 20, 2019 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. Getty Images/Sarah Stier