The Free Agency Profile for the Charlotte Hornets
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Charlotte Hornets, (33-49)- ( 4th Southeast, 11th Eastern Conference)
Season Summary: After reaching the playoffs in 2014 , the Hornets weren’t able to repeat in 2015. This was more or less a shock, considering they kept their core and added a few pieces.
Lance Stephenson was the Hornets big offseason acquisition and it simply didn’t pan out like many, including myself envisioned. The Hornets also were hit by the injury bug with Kemba Walker missing 20 games, Al Jefferson missing 17 games, and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist missing 27 games. The Hornets season was heavily decided when three of their core players missed big stretches. Despite this, however, they remained in the race for the final spot in the East up until the last couple weeks of the season, before finally falling out.
Cap Space: The Hornets are about 1.5 million dollars over the cap.
Team’s Free Agents:
Mo Williams, PG. Unrestricted.
Jason Maxiell, PF. Unrestricted.
Jeff Taylor, SG. Unrestricted.
Bismack Biyombo, C. Unrestricted.
Will They Stay or Go: Of this bunch, it looks like the only one the Hornets are truly interested in is Mo Williams. However, Williams is likely on his way out to a contender such as the Cavs. Jeff Taylor may be the only returning free agent.
Rim protector - Losing Biyombo isn’t a huge lost, but defensively he was one of their better rim protectors. With him gone the only true rim protector is Cody Zeller. Zeller had a much better 2015 season with the extra minutes he received, but is nothing more than a role player. Frank Kaminsky could help fill this void, although he isn’t known for his defense.
Bench - The Hornets starting five next year will be well improved from this year. The bench on the other hand is littered with question marks. Although they have added talent on their roster, scoring and playmaking off the bench are two areas they are lacking. Solidifying the second unit could push the Hornets into the middle of the Eastern Conference.
Louis Williams - After a rough season, Lou Williams came back last year with the Raptors and had a great season. He even topped it off by winning Sixth Man of the Year. His type of scoring and ability to take players off the dribble may be what this Hornets bench needs.
Marco Belinelli - What else can you say besides sharpshooter when you're talking about Marco. Belinelli has been one of the best shooters in the league for years and his threat from long range keeps any defense on it’s toes.
Jeremy Lin - If the Hornets fail to resign Williams, why not Jeremy Lin? Lin may not be flashy or a starter, but he averaged 11 points and four assists off the bench for the Lakers. Those kind of numbers and ability to create would be a crucial addition to the Hornets.