The Charlotte Hornets are one of the more interesting teams in the NBA. They own all of their first round picks, and the worst contract they have is probably the four-year, $50 million dollar deal with Miles Plumlee.
— Charlotte Observer (@theobserver) February 3, 2017
However, considering the rebounding ability Plumlee showed at Duke University, it means if he can truly unlock his potential, he could be a solid rebounding backup big-man for a young team. As the Hornets continue to show potential as a team but never seem to unlock it enough to get past the first round of the playoffs, there is work needed to be done that will help the team in the long-run.
The Draft this year could definitely help out their team. As they try to surround All-Star point guard Kemba Walker with scorers, the upcoming draft will be crucial to those hopes. The guard spots have lots of players, such as Ramon Sessions and Jeremy Lamb, but not a very solid point guard who can give Kemba more resting time, and the center position has young talent, with Former AP Player of the Year Frank Kaminsky, Christian Wood, and Cody Zeller.
With that said, the two most vulnerable positions on this team are the small and power forward positions. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist is a steady defensive player, but has yet to show the same sort of prowess on offense. Marvin Williams is a good locker room leader, and has moments on the court, but only 11 points a game are not sufficient enough to provide high powered offense in an NBA that is more offensive-minded than we’ve ever seen.
The Hornets are lucky Nicholas Batum has turned into such a steady offensive player, helping Walker in the past couple of years. A good choice in the draft could be either Harry Giles or Justin Jackson. Giles did not have a great year at Duke University, but was the Number 1 recruit in the 2016 class, and obviously has great potential and can excel in the NBA if he can stay healthy. Giles is a huge risk/reward player. We saw what he could do in high school, and we saw flashes of his skill and ability in college.
Oh my, Harry Giles! 💪🏀👀
— Campus Insiders (@CampusInsiders) February 4, 2017
While health issues and strength issues may plague his game in the first part of his career, he has the playing ability to become a starter in the NBA. On the other hand, Justin Jackson had a great year at UNC, averaging 18 points per game while shooting 37-percent from three and 44-percent from the field, winning him ACC Player of the Year. While the shooting numbers aren’t extraordinary, he has a sweet shot and could be a threat in the NBA for years to come. He would also benefit from Kemba Walker’s passing ability, and Kemba would benefit from having another scorer to ride alongside him and Batum. Jackson could help a struggling offensive team really get going.
In free agency, the addition of players Joe Ingles and Darren Collison could really help the team. Collison is a strong point guard that would give Kemba more time to rest while Collison plays, and it also poses a threat at the possibility of a dual point guard lineup. Ingles is a strong role player and a great shooter who had a fruitfully successful year with the Jazz, and could provide some significant minutes, supplying a much-needed spark off the bench. The offseason for the Hornets is going to be an interesting one, so make sure to be watching.