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Best draft fits for New Orleans Hornets

Updated: January 11, 2013, 2:09 PM ET
By Chad Ford

Last week we started a series breaking down the potential draft prospects for teams mired in the lottery and took on the Washington Wizards.

This week our attention turns to the team with the worst record in the Western Conference -- the New Orleans Hornets.

Unlike the Wizards, the Hornets' woes were expected this year. The team is in a major rebuilding mode, is staffed primarily with young players and is attempting to reload during the draft. Fans can afford to be patient. In many ways, this is where the Hornets want to be -- atop another lottery board.

As a team, the Hornets are suffering from a very different problem than the Wizards. While the Wizards can't get the ball in the basket, the Hornets can't keep the ball out of it. While their points-allowed average of 96.8 ppg doesn't sound too shabby, it's deceiving. The team currently plays at the slowest pace of any team in the league. Adjust for pace and the team ranks 27th in the league in defensive efficiency -- giving up an average of 106 points per 100 possessions.

The team struggles defensively despite the fact that it added an elite defensive talent in rookie Anthony Davis this year. Davis, when he's been healthy, has looked worthy of the No. 1 selection for the Hornets. It's his teammates who haven't been carrying their weight.

A few players players, like forwards Ryan Anderson and center Robin Lopez, have been solid on the offensive end. But that's where the good news ends.

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