The Smoking Cuban

2022 NBA Draft mock 1.0: First look at the first round

2022 NBA Draft Chet Holmgren Paolo Banchero
2022 NBA Draft Chet Holmgren Paolo Banchero / Joe Rondone/The Commercial Appeal via
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2022 NBA Draft, Charlotte Hornets
2022 NBA Draft, Charlotte Hornets / Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

2022 NBA Draft mock #11: Charlotte Hornets: Yannick Nzosa

*Hornets owe selection to Knicks if it falls outside the top 18

Nzosa played 40 games for Unicaja’s senior team last season as a 17-year-old, including 23 in Spanish Liga ACB. The 6’10 big man averaged 4.4 points, 2.6 rebounds, and 0.8 blocks in 11.6 minutes per game, but it was impressive to see a teenager getting time at that professional level.

Nzosa is an athletic big man that competes hard. He profiles as a strong roll man and lob finisher, but his offensive game is limited. The 17-year-old is not a jump shooter and does not showcase ball-handling or passing ability.

NBA scouts are drooling over his defensive potential. Nzosa has the size and length to protect the rim. He should also be a strong rebounder with the versatility to switch and guard on the perimeter. It will take time for him to showcase his full potential at the NBA level, but his defensive upside is enormous.

The Hornets want to make the playoffs this season, so there are no guarantees they keep this pick.  If they do, Charlotte could be searching for a big man and pick and roll partner for LaMelo Ball. Yannick Nzosa could be the perfect fit on the young Hornets.