Hometown: Georgetown, MA
Position: Power Forward
Height: 6′ 10″
Weight: 247 lbs
Standing Reach: 9’0″
From the moment that he steps on the court in a Hornets uniform in late October, Noah Vonleh will be one of the most physically-gifted players in the entire league. Standing at 6’10 with an extremely impressive 7’4 wingspan, the Indiana product was able to have an advantage over the majority of the opposition because of his extremely unique build.
While that aforementioned advantage could dissipate as he makes that transition to the Charlotte Hornets, Vonleh should still make an initial impact for varying reasons. While his lanky 7’4 wingspan allows him to get an initial edge over the competition, the 19-year-old Vonleh is an an athletic and strong athlete. During his time at Indiana, he was known to use his strength to dominate inside of the paint. Per 40 minutes, Vonleh had around 7 free throw attempts which puts him in the top-10 amongst the other draft-eligible power forwards.
Even though Vonleh definitely thrives on his ability from inside the paint, he still possesses an all-around offensive arsenal. Despite his size, Vonleh is an extremely mobile forward that can help push the ball up the court in transition. While his ball-handling skills are still raw, he definitely has the ability to thrive in pick and roll situations which was a huge part of Charlotte’s offensive scheme during the 2013-14 campaign.
Perhaps the most appealing part about Vonleh’s offensive potential deals with his continued progression as a perimeter shooter. Despite only having 1.7 three point attempts per 40 minutes, Vonleh was still able to shoot an extremely impressive 48% from behind the three point line. Even though it will probably never be his main area of attack, the overall evolution of his long-range arsenal could be a huge asset for his future with Charlotte. Not only would that give the Hornets another perimeter weapon but it could also allow him to be an extremely effective and dangerous pick and roll threat.
Despite the fact that the landscape of Charlotte’s roster can drastically change before the start of the season in October, Vonleh is still bound to be a solid fit inside Charlotte’s starting rotation. As previously mentioned, the 6’10 forward is continuing to progress his skills as a potential perimeter threat. While being aligned with the low-post powerhouse, Al Jefferson, Vonleh will be able to create some spacing inside Charlotte’s offense. An additional upside to that pairing is that Charlotte will have two solid offensive rebounders in their starting unit, which is going to be extremely important considering the simple fact that they’ll be paired with inconsistent shooters, Kemba Walker and Noah Vonleh.
While the majority of this piece has been focused around Vonleh’s abilities on the offensive end of the court, the 6’10 forward seems to be an absolute perfect fit for Steve Clifford’s defense. Even though his overall size, frame and strength puts Vonleh at an immediate advantage, the Indiana alum is extremely active and quick on the defensive end. Despite the fact that he does have some issues in terms of keeping track of his opponent, Vonleh is still pretty solid as a help defender because of his ability to use his length and quickness to his advantage.
Although Vonleh’s career as a Charlotte Hornet is still in its infancy, it appears that he’ll have a pretty solid fixture with the team for the foreseeable future.
Other recent notable #9 picks: Andre Drummond (2012), DeMar Derozan (2009), Joakim Noah (2007)