Before the NBA draft started Thursday night, the Hornets jettisoned their No. 57 pick to Detroit in exchange for the 37th selection and center Mason Plumlee.
With that second-round pick, the Hornets selected JT Thor out of Auburn.
Thor, a 6-foot-10, 205-pound power forward, averaged 9.4 points per game, 5 rebounds and 1.4 blocks during his lone season with the Tigers. The freshman declared for the NBA draft in March.
That wasn’t the only trade Charlotte made. The second move of the night landed them Texas forward/center Kai Jones, the No. 19 overall pick. The Hornets traded a future first-round pick to the New York Knicks for Jones, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
Jones, a 6-foot-11, 218-pound forward/center, played two seasons at Texas, primarily coming off the bench. He averaged 8.8 points per game and 4.8 rebounds as a sophomore, shooting 58% overall and 38% from 3-point range.
His former college coach Shaka Smart said in 2019 that Jones “has the best work ethic of any 6-11 player I have ever coached.”
In addition to Thor in the second round, with the No. 56 pick, Charlotte took Scottie Lewis of Florida.
With the Gators as a sophomore last season, Lewis, 6-5 and 189 pounds, 7.9 points, 3.1 rebounds and 1.5 assists per game. Where he struggles is from 3-point range and at the free-throw line, shooting 31.8% and 67.3%, respectively.
As a guard, he faces an uphill battle of making the roster but should have a chance to prove himself in summer league in Las Vegas next month.
The Hornets also solidified their guard lineup Thursday by taking James Bouknight from UConn with the No. 11 pick in the first round. Bouknight averaged 18.7 points per game and 5.7 rebounds while shooting 44.7% from the floor last season as a sophomore for the Huskies.