Charlotte Hornets

Why, for Tar Heels’ Luke Maye, draft prep isn’t about a number. It’s about a fit.

Charlotte Hornets work out Luke Maye

North Carolina’s Luke Maye worked out for the Charlotte Hornets Saturday.
Up Next
North Carolina’s Luke Maye worked out for the Charlotte Hornets Saturday.

Former North Carolina star Luke Maye isn’t focused on whether he’ll be drafted into the NBA.

It’s whether a team will commit to his future, draft pick or otherwise.

“I want to go someplace where they really want to invest in me and make me better,” said Maye, who committed to the Tar Heels as a walk-on and ended up a third-team All-American and member of the 2017 national championship team.

A 6-foot-8 forward, Maye averaged a double-double as a senior (14.9 points and 10.5 rebounds), but he’s dicey to be selected among the 60 picks in the June 20 draft. He was chosen last month for the G-League Elite Camp — a feeder event for the NBA Combine — but he was limited by a sprained ankle and didn’t advance.

Maye worked out for the Charlotte Hornets on Saturday, his fifth NBA audition. Among the teams that have brought him in: The San Antonio Spurs, who have been exceptional the past 20 years at developing players from late in the draft or not drafted at all. Maye could look at another ex-Tar Heel, Danny Green, who bounced in and out of the G-League before establishing himself with the Spurs. Now Green is on the verge of another NBA championship with the Toronto Raptors.

What is the case Maye makes to the NBA?

“The ability to stretch the floor (he shot 36 percent from 3 in college) and rebound at a high rate,” said Maye, who played Hough High School in Cornelius. “The ACC is the best league in college and I had double-digit rebounds in back-to-back years.

“Bring a high IQ, the way I played against some of the best in the country. I just need to get better in some areas where some teams don’t feel I’m as strong.”

Those being?

“Being able to finish at the rim, finish against length and guard different positions.”

Related stories from Raleigh News & Observer