The summer of 2014 for the Charlotte Hornets should be one of the more intriguing summers in franchise history. With names like LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, Chris Bosh and Dwayne Wade available in free agency, fans in the Queen City have high hopes for the newly rebranded franchise.
But, this summer may turn out to be a little less flashy for the Hornets, and a little more practical. The Hornets were able to grab, what looks like, two contributors at the NBA Draft this past Thursday with Indiana forward Noah Vonleh and UNC guard P.J. Hairston. Both picks are getting rave reviews around the league, but head coach Steve Clifford has reiterated that experience will be key in getting this team back to the playoffs. Below are some free agent bargains that should get a long look on July 1st.
Josh McRoberts – Charlotte Hornets, PF
The Hornets have stated their desire to bring back their own free agent, McRoberts. A lot of fans assumed that McRoberts might be on the out once the Hornets selected Vonleh. Clifford prefers size yes, but he also talks a lot about experience. McRoberts brings experience, toughness and was the “Glue-Guy” to last year’s playoff trip. Owner Michael Jordan, GM Rich Cho and Clifford have all stated how important McRoberts is to the Hornets going forward.
Kirk Hinrich – Chicago Bulls, G
Hinrich fits the mold that Clifford is looking for as his backup point guard. He could be the player they thought Luke Ridnour would be after his mid-season trade last year. Hinrich seems like a player that has all the old-school tricks up his sleeve. He would be a great addition to the bench, while helping Kemba Walker reach the next level as a point guard.
Anthony Morrow – New Orleans Pelicans, SG
Shooting, shooting and more shooting. Morrow is exactly what the Hornets have been lacking the past few years. Morrow was third in the league in 3FG% in 2013-2014. He would be another option off the bench. The Hornets have shopped Gerald Henderson this summer and Gary Neal’s expiring contract could be used to free up extra room if a bigger free agent decides to take a look at Charlotte.
Jason Smith – New Orleans Pelicans, C/PF
Smith would be an option if McRoberts leaves or if the Hornets are able to unload Bismack Biyombo. Smith has great size, 7’0’’ tall, and has developed his game since entering the league in 2007. Smith might be best known for a hard foul on Blake Griffin in March of 2013, but that toughness is something the Hornets need off their bench. Smith has a good shot but has suffered through some injuries the past couple years.
Maurice Williams – Portland Trail Blazers, PG/SG
Williams, a combo guard, would be nice complement to Walker. He’s been a productive player in all his stops. Mo Williams would bring a scoring punch to the bench that left when Ramon Sessions was traded to Milwaukee.
Ramon Sessions – Milwaukee Bucks, PG
According to the Charlotte Observer’s Rick Bonnell, Sessions has said that he would have no issue coming back to Charlotte. The Hornets were desperate for more scoring off the bench when he was traded to the Bucks along with Jeff Adrien for Neal and Ridnour. Ridnour never lived up to Sessions’ scoring or leadership in the locker room. Fans should not be surprised if Sessions is one of the first free agents that Charlotte contacts once the NBA Free Agency Moratorium period passes (July 10th)
It could be an interesting summer for the Hornets when it comes to free agency. They’ve worked for three seasons on getting to this summer with money to spend. Now, they have to decide whether to swing for the fences, or add to their already strong core.
Who do you think the Hornets should sign this offseason? Let us know below in the comments section!
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