The Hornets are my early favorite for the number one pick this season, but I do kind of like what they have started to build for the future.
The only free agent that Charlotte signed this offseason was guard Terry Rozier, who was acquired as part of a sign and trade with Boston to help them to replace Kemba Walker.
The Hornets had to make some sort of move to replace the heart and soul of their team for the previous seven years, but Rozier, especially at close to $57 million over 3 years, is a disgusting overpay for a guy who has shown brief flashes but never the consistency to be worthy of that kind of money. In fact, Rozier was known for disappearing during big games in Boston. It makes no sense to me that the team would pay Rozier all this money but wouldn’t offer Kemba, the lifeblood of the team, a contract above the max when he was so clearly worth it and even eligible for the super max. They downgraded at the only position where they were above average at last season, so this could get very ugly.
With that being said, the team does have a few interesting prospects that make me feel better about the direction they are headed. Miles Bridges, last year’s first round pick for Charlotte, has shown brief flashes of greatness and has tremendous athleticism. He should get plenty of run on a bad team this season, and if he can elevate his performance from his rookie year with this expanded roll, he could develop into a solid contributor.
PJ Washington, the number 12 pick in this year’s draft, is another guy who give me hope for the Hornets. Washington was a do-it-all star for Kentucky, and his offensive play making at the four makes him a matchup nightmare for other teams. He should also get a lot of run for this team, and if he takes advantage of this opportunity, the Hornets may have found two foundational players to build upon. And with Bismack Biyombo and Nicholas Batum coming off the books at the end of this year, it’s not ALL bad in Charlotte.
Offseason Grade: D- | Predicted Eastern Conference Ranking: 15
The Hornets are probably going to be the worst team in the NBA this season. They lost their best player and a franchise icon, and replaced him with a guy who has started just a handful of games in his first four years and is known to disappear in big games. Hot start! The roster is flawed from top to bottom, and they didn't do anything to address it. I like the PJ Washington pick, which is the only reason they didnt get an F.
To all Hornets fans reading this: It's not your fault.
Graduate of Loyola Maryland and die hard Boston sports fan. "I rub it in pretty good when I win" - Tom Brady