The Charlotte Hornets arguably came out of this offseason as the biggest loser of the league. After deciding not to trade Kemba Walker at the trade deadline, where they assuredly could have gotten some nice value for him, Charlotte proceeded to let their franchise player walk away during free agency without putting up much of a fight. This result will certainly send the franchise to the depths of the NBA and straight into rebuilding mode, giving the guys that remain on this Hornet roster every chance to show that they can in fact compete on an NBA level and become mainstays on the team going forward.
|Point Guard PG|
|Shooting Guard SG|
|Small Forward SF|
|Power Forward PF|
|Point Guard PG||
|Shooting Guard SG||
|Small Forward SF||
|Power Forward PF||
As Kemba decided to head to Boston, the Hornets scrambled to find a replacement for him at point guard. In the end, they actually decided to do a sign-and-trade with the Celtics so that they can bring in Terry Rozier on a lucrative three-year deal. Despite the deal being consistently viewed as an overpay, Rozier definitely has shown flashes that he can be a starting point guard in this league, and now he will be given his chance to shine in the Queen City. Expect second-year man Devonte Graham to also see time handling the ball coming off the bench backing up Rozier.
Although Kemba’s departure was what gained the most attention (and rightfully so), he wasn’t the only player who said goodbye to Charlotte this summer. Jeremy Lamb, the team’s 2nd leading scorer last year, also took off and signed with Indiana, leaving the Hornets with another hole to fill at the shooting guard position. With that being the case, expect this season to be a trial session for Malik Monk, the third-year guard out of the university of Kentucky who came into the league with lofty expectations but has failed to meet them so far. The opening will also allow Charlotte to experiment going with some bigger lineups this season, and its entirely possible we see guys like Nicolas Batum and Dwayne Bacon get some time at shooting guard position.
As for the front court, expect to see a lot of playing time for Miles Bridges and PJ Washington, who are the team’s first round draft picks over the past two seasons. Bridges showed off his athleticism in his rookie campaign with plenty of highlight plays but needs to polish his game on both ends of the court if he wants to take another step forward. Washington, on the other hand, should fit in nicely as a stretch four who is fundamentally sound throughout his game. He may not have star-like potential, but he can definitely become a quality piece on a good team. Along with Bridges and Washington, veterans like Marvin Williams and Cody Zeller will also play hefty minutes this upcoming season.