Hornets shopping Cody Zeller, targeting Frank Kaminsky

Frank Kaminsky could soon go from being a draft sleeper and wild card to a lottery pick.

According to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports, the Charlotte Hornets are looking to shop center Cody Zeller for wing players and if a deal is made, GM Rich Cho will strongly consider taking Kaminsky with the No. 9 pick.

Well, this is certainly an interesting development. Kaminsky is highly talented and one of the most versatile players in the draft, but the reigning College Player of the Year hasn’t really been pegged as a lottery pick until fairly recently. NBADraft.net is projecting him as going 14th overall (the final lotto pick) to the Oklahoma City Thunder in its latest mock draft, and ESPN’s Chad Ford has him going 13th to the Phoenix Suns in his latest mock.

Staying in the ESPN family, Jeff Goodman has Kaminsky going 11th to the Indiana Pacers while DraftExpress has him going 10th to the Miami Heat. Needless to say, Kaminsky’s draft stock is through the roof going into the night before the big day.

Thinking about it, trading Zeller for wing players in hopes of selecting Kaminsky is a perfect strategy for the Hornets. The team just traded free agency bust Lance Stephenson for stretch 4 Spencer Hawes, and also has second-year man Noah Vonleh waiting in the wings.

By adding more wing players, it allows for depth behind Michael Kidd-Gilchrist at the 3 and gives big man Al Jefferson a potential successor that can play behind him and learn the ropes without being thrown right into the fire.

Granted, being drafted by Charlotte would also be a risky move for Kaminsky, as he is definitely a better NBA fit as a Pau Gasolesque power forward rather than a traditional low post center a la Jefferson.

Just the same, he has a good head on his shoulders and a strong enough work ethic that a year as a second-stringer learning a new system is probably best for him.

Nothing is set in stone and Zeller has yet to be connected to any other team, but Campus Sports will update this story as more information becomes available.

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*Featured Photo (above) credit to USA TODAY Sports

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