Tier 1 Free Agents:
Carmelo Anthony takes the sole tier 1 spot here because he is the only one who would look at coming to Charlotte. Charlotte can offer him max money, good players around him, and a chance to win right now.
He would be the clear cut number one option on offense in Charlotte, similar to his role in NY. The difference would be, though, is that Melo would be playing alongside the first quality point guard in his career (sorry Raymond Felton) and by far the best center (Al Jefferson).
Having those two guys on offense as well as whoever the Hornets draft this June would allow Anthony to not be solely responsible for all the offensive production on his team.
The reason that Melo to Charlotte is a possibility is because Carmelo may realize he wants to play for legend Michael Jordan. He has been under his Jordan shoe brand for over a decade and may want to try and build up his legacy by piggybacking off of Jordan’s.
Tier 2 Free Agents:
If Carmelo is not obtainable, then Chander Parsons should be number one on the Hornets free agent big board. Parsons has not only blown past expectations as a second round pick, but is now a top 10 small forward in the league.
If Charlotte could add him to their young core and pair him with a guard that they take in the draft, the starting lineup would be 10x better than it was last year. He provides shooting that Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Gerald Henderson cannot provide, and gives Al Jefferson a corner three.
Parsons will be a restricted free agent after the Rockets declined their team option on him, but it may take a fat contract offer to force the Rockets hand and let him walk.
Deng is just 29 years old – 1 year younger than Carmelo Anthony. His production took a dip last season after being traded to Cleveland, but he is still one of the top free agents this summer.
He fits very similarly to Parsons, just a bit older and more experienced. He provides Charlotte with a bonafide offensive threat and is a great compliment to Big Al and Kemba Walker.
Charlotte has been rumored to be interested in him for some time, so I would be surprised if Charlotte doesn’t put down an offer.
Lance Stephenson has been a hot linked player to the Hornets for some time now, and this summer is the chance for BuzzCity to go out and get him.
Stephenson’s playoff antics and lack of production has maybe scared off a few teams from pursuing him, but Charlotte is likely to look past that. Stephenson’s versatility offers Charlotte the ability to run the fast break with Kemba Walker and MKG while also running a threatening half-court offense.
Stephenson is looking more and more like a solid #2 option on offense, and fitting in beside Al Jefferson could provide Charlotte with the boost they need to get past their first round playoff opponents.
Another hot rumor is that the Hornets would like to get their hands on Greg Monroe. While the Hornets do have options at power forward in Cody Zeller and Josh McRoberts, Monroe would be an instant upgrade over both of them.
Monroe never got to fully reach his potential in Detroit, as other guys like Josh Smith and Andre Drummond were also brought in during his reign. In Charlotte, he would be handed keys to the offense – as long as he worked well with Al Jefferson.
If Monroe is determined to be worth the max deal that his agent is likely to require, Charlotte will be one of the first to bite.
Gasol was a hot topic for the then-Bobcats at this past season’s trade deadline. The Hornets would appreciate pairing two big veterans (Jefferson and Gasol) with loads of experience to lead the Hornets into this new era.
Gasol and Jefferson would form one of the better, if not the best twin tower duos in the East and make Charlotte a contender to fight in the playoffs.
If Gasol is willing to go to a young team like Charlotte, the Hornets could provide him with a nice paycheck for perhaps his final big contract in the NBA.
Tier 3 Free Agents:
Bringing J-Rich back to Charlotte would be a great move for the revamped Charlotte squad. Once a fan favorite, Richardson was one of the better scorers to play for the Bobcats organization.
While he is definitely older and much less polished, his scoring could be very appreciated off the Hornets bench. It could likely be had at a good bargain price, too.
Alan Anderson had a great season under Jason Kidd as a Brooklyn Net. His three point shooting and ability to stretch the floor could be valuable to a Hornets team who lacks three point shooters.
With the end of Anthony Tolliver’s contract, Charlotte has just Gary Neal as a known sharpshooter. Anderson could fill that role nicely.
A big body with a smooth shooting stroke, Jason Smith could be a cheap option as the third rotational power forward/center. A productive few years in New Orleans should leave Smith with a contract, and a small deal with Charlotte could be the right way to go for both parties.
A hometown favorite for many Duke fans, Kelly had a very surprising rookie year in the bright lights of LA. He could bring his beautiful shooting stroke, nice hair, and massive potential to the Hornets this offseason.
Charlotte has Josh McRoberts, who can stroke the three ball, but Kelly gives them depth at the position and insurance if McRoberts doesn’t return this offseason.
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