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North Carolina v Duke

Source: Lance King / Getty

The Charlotte Hornets had an eventful first round of the NBA Draft, making one pick and trading another within two selections of each other.

A frontcourt that desperately needed help got richer Thursday night with the addition of former Duke center Mark Williams at #15 overall.

“He’ll fit in well with what we’re trying to do here,” said Hornets GM Mitch Kupchak, who referenced Williams’ ability to catch lob passes from LaMelo Ball. Kupchak said he loved what Williams can bring from a rim-protecting aspect, but says he needs to get stronger to increase his rebounding presence.

Charlotte selected Memphis forward Jalen Duren with its first selection at #13 overall, but promptly traded him to the Detroit Pistons by way of the New York Knicks. The Hornets received five picks overall in compensation, including four second round picks and a 2023 first-round pick from Denver.

The Hornets were busy in the second round as well, trading up to the Minnesota Timberwolves to select former Nebraska guard and Pendleton, SC native Bryce McGowens. Charlotte sent one of the picks acquired in the Duren trade along with their original #45 overall pick.