Which high selecting NBA team should draft Brandon Miller?

Alabama Forward Brandon Miller (24) dribbles the ball against Gonzaga at Legacy Arena in Birmingham, AL on Saturday, Dec 17, 2022.

By WVUA 23 Digital Reporter Sam Thornton

TUSCALOOSA-Former University of Alabama basketball standout Brandon Miller is a projected Top 3 pick in this year’s NBA draft. The talented wing forward who became one of the best players in Alabama program history saw his professional path narrow on Tuesday night, as the NBA draft lottery was held in Chicago.

The draft order resulted in the top three selections belonging to the San Antonio Spurs, Charlotte Hornets and Portland Trail Blazers. NBA draft scouts have projected Miller to be the third overall selection for months ever since his stellar play in SEC contests, but with the Hornets acquiring the second overall pick, Miller has been speculated to move up in mock boards because of Charlotte’s roster construction.

It makes more sense for Miller to be taken by the Hornets over G-League star Scoot Henderson with All-Star guard Lamelo Ball already incorporated into Charlotte’s backcourt. The Hornets have a glaring hole at the the small forward wing spot, where current forwards Gordon Hayward and Kelly Oubre Jr. have expiring contracts lingering.

Although Charlotte could invest in one of the youngest and talented backcourts in the NBA by selecting Henderson, the wing slot has proven to rise in value for playoff pushes in recent years.

If Miller is selected second overall by the Hornets in June, he would join former Alabama quarterback Bryce Young in Charlotte, North Carolina, where Young was taken first overall in the NFL draft by the Carolina Panthers. It would be the first time since 2005 that two players from the same school are taken in the same draft year with the top two picks in separate professional drafts.

If Miller isn’t taken by Charlotte, he would still have a major impact on the Trailblazers roster with the third overall pick. Playing alongside All-Star guard Damian Lillard would uplift Miller’s game as a rookie. He would join a front court with youthful players such as SEC product Kevin Knox and Cam Reddish, along with learning from veteran forward Jerami Grant.

Miller averaged 18.8 points and 8.2 rebounds per game in his freshman season at Alabama. He also became the first player in SEC history to win SEC Player of the Year, Freshman of the Year and Tournament MVP in the same season.

There has been no concern among NBA draft executives about Miller’s involvement in the January Tuscaloosa Strip shooting that resulted in the death of 23-year-old mother Jamea Harris.

“Not only did they (NBA teams) not find anything that they would consider disqualifying to select Brandon Miller, they are finding a young man who they say is mature, focused, whose character and his habits are actually an asset,” said ESPN Senior NBA Insider Adrian Wojnarowski.

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