5. Charlotte Hornets select Izan Almansa
The Charlotte Hornets hope for a healthy season from LaMelo Ball and to improve from a disastrous 27 wins one year ago. Charlotte had the fourth-worst record in the league in 2023 and Tankathon is not predicting them to finish much better this season. They just drafted Brandon Miller second overall, but can they find someone that helps them win?
Almansa led Spain to the gold medal at the under-19 World Cup this summer where he won tournament MVP. The 6’10 forward was MVP in the under-19 European Championships and the under-17 World Cup in 2022. He turns 19 just before the draft and could be the number-one pick if he stands out most for the G League Ignite this season.
Almansa is a problem down low. He is a strong rebounder who loves to attack the rim. The teenager has become an elite post scorer with a developing jumper. Expanding his shooting range is key, but there is a ton to like about the 6’10 big man. He can switch on the perimeter and will create havoc defensively. The teenager is a skilled passer who helps his team win.
The Charlotte Hornets would love to add a difference-making big man with All-Star potential. Izan Almansa has all the tools and his track record playing for Spain’s age-group national teams speaks for itself.