The next to the last pick of the 1997 Usenet Mock Draft belongs to the Charlotte Hornets. They traded away their first round pick (see the Web site for details). They also do not have a second round pick (a good year for the draft to be held in Charlotte :-)). Their net GM is:
Lang Whitaker

and with the 31st pick the Charlotte Hornets select:
Shea Seals


I. Team Needs/History

Center: GM Bob Bass pulled the trigger on draft day last season and swapped kobe Bryant for Vlade Divac. After several mercurial seasons, Divac finally had a banner year this year. Behind Divac the ranks are desperately thin. Matt Geiger, who is a little smallish at 245 pounds, is the teams' lone true post man. Power Forward: One word: Mase. Anthony Mason had languished in New York under Jeff Van Gundy and Don Nelson, and the swap of Mason for Larry Jophnson continues to look brilliant. Mason's considerable bulk lends itself to playing anywhere from the 3 spot to the 4 or the 5. His offense is steady, but his real contributions come on the boards. Behind Mason, Dave Cowens like to bring in either Geiger or Drexel newcomer Malik Rose. Also, Rafael Addison sees limited use. Small Forward: Glen Rice stepped up last year and showed that he is one the premiere players in the NBA. His height allows him to shoot over anyone, and he's changed his mindset to one of a scorer. Backing up Rice, the Hornets acquired Donald Royal from the Warriors midway through the year. Royal's driving style of play is a nice complement to Rice's outside game. Shooting Guard: Dell Curry, formerly the 6th man of the year, was the Hornet's 2-guard for the bulk of the season. Curry played pretty well, but he seemed like a better fit off the bench. Like most NBA teams, the Hornets had to dip into the NBA's older players' pool and snag a retread to back-up at off-guard. Ricky Pierce did a commendable job, but his age is creeping up on him quickly, and it showed during the playoffs last year. I think the Hornets could use a 2-guard from this year's pool. Point Guard: Another Hornet problem spot. Muggsy Bogues is the fan favorite, but he can't seem to overcome the leg problems that have saddled him the last 2 years. Tony Delk's transition to the point from the off guard took longer than expected, but by playoff time Delk was logging considerable time. Behind Delk the Hornets have journeyman Tony Smith. Rotation: C: V. Divac, M. Geiger, A. Mason, M. Rose PF: A. Mason, M. Rose, M. Geiger, R. Addison SF: G. Rice, D. Royal SG: D. Curry, R. Pierce PG: M. Bogues, T. Delk, T. Smith

II. The Draft

Bob Bass has been brilliant the last two years, and I'm sure that if Dave Cowens wanted a pick, Bass could get him one. I figured that Shea Seals would be a good pick for Charlotte, because Cowens seems to be able to get a lot of the younger guys (Delk, Rose), and I think Seals will need to come in and be used in order to gain confidence throughout the season. Seals is the Danny Wuerffel of college basketball. Physically he looks average, but he is undeniably a winner. Seals is average one-on-one, and he also has trouble with shot selection. However, Seals' defensive abilities have gone largely unnoticed. Being on the same team as Rice and Mason, Seals will have mostly spot-up jumpers and flashes at the basket, so creating his shots will not be a problem.

Other players considered:

Charles O'Bannon: O'Bannon's a good athlete, but I was scared off by Ed's track record Gordon Malone: Another big body to help fill the vacuum behind Divac. Others: Serge Zwikker(Picked), Dedric Willoughby

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