Jan. 02, 2014; Portland, OR, USA; Charlotte Bobcats point guard Kemba Walker (15) celebrates with center Al Jefferson (25) after scoring a basket during the third quarter of the game against the Portland Trail Blazers at the Moda Center. Mandatory Credit: Steve Dykes-USA TODAY Sports

Charlotte Hornets: Summer of 2015 Could be Intriguing

The summer of 2014 for the Charlotte Hornets has been a little bit quieter than fans had hoped. Charlotte fans had big dreams of Carmelo Anthony, LeBron James and Lance Stephenson. Now, the dreams are turning to Kris Humphries, Ramon Sessions and Gordon Hayward. Although Hayward was close to becoming a Charlotte Hornet, the Utah Jazz matched the offer. The only move the Charlotte Hornets have made so far is signing former Tar Heel Marvin Williams.

Normally, fans might start to criticize management for not jumping on a player quick enough, being cheap or just not being good at what they do. The Hornets have been a tight-lipped franchise and there usually are not a ton of rumors out in the media of who they are targeting. But, one reason the Hornets might not have been active yet, is the summer of 2015.

The Hornets will be faced with some pretty tough decisions in 2015. Al Jefferson has a player option for the 15′-16′ season. If he has another season like his past, it would be a no brainer to opt out and maximize his money. It remains to be seen if Jefferson will be giving the Hornets a hometown discount. Kemba Walker will be a restricted free agent and will be able to negotiate with other teams. The Hornets will be able to match any offer he signs, but it might be their best move to get him signed before July 1st, 2015.

Jefferson, a much criticized signing last summer, was a major addition and sparked the Hornets playoff run in 2014. Jefferson was on the ALL-NBA Third Team and finished 7th in the MVP voting. Walker, the starting point guard for the Hornets improved as a point guard and his numbers stayed about the same in 13’-14’. His shooting took a small dip this past season but he wasn’t counted on to score in the same way he was his first two seasons in Charlotte. Being that next year is technically a contract year, the Hornets should expect a big season from Walker.

On Monday, the Charlotte Hornets found out that starting power forward Josh McRoberts had agreed to a four-year, $23 million deal with the Miami Heat. It was reported that the Hornets offered close, but not close enough.

Apr 20, 2014; Miami, FL, USA; Charlotte Bobcats forward Josh McRoberts (11) dunks the ball over Miami Heat forward Chris Andersen (11) during the second half in game one during the first round of the 2014 NBA Playoffs at American Airlines Arena. The Heat won 99-88. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Apr 20, 2014; Miami, FL, USA; Charlotte Bobcats forward Josh McRoberts (11) dunks the ball over Miami Heat forward Chris Andersen (11) during the second half in game one during the first round of the 2014 NBA Playoffs at American Airlines Arena. The Heat won 99-88. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

The Hornets were a little wary of signing a long-term deal with some of their own free agents coming off the books next summer. The Hornets also have two top-ten picks from 2013 and 2014 that play the same position in Cody Zeller and Noah Vonleh. It might make sense that they didn’t offer a longer deal to McRoberts because there are some top free agents available around the league next summer.

One option for the summer of 2015 is long coveted shooting guard Aaron Afflalo. Afflalo has a player option in his current contract that is sure to be exercised. Afflalo is due to make almost $8 million for 15′-16′ and he could capitalize on a significantly less than great shooting guard market. Among some other free agents for the summer of 2015 are Kevin Love, LaMarcus Aldridge, Marc Gasol, Rudy Gay, Rajon Rondo, Wesley Matthews, Goran Dragic, Thaddeus Young, DeAndre Jordan, and Paul Millsap. The Hornets will also be able to trade their own 2015 draft pick if they need to this year. That pick has been held up in recent years due to a trade with the Chicago Bulls of Tyrus Thomas.

Hornets’ fans should be excited about the summer. There are still plenty of free agents that the Hornets are interested in and talking to although you might not hear about it. The organization is not one that is going to jump out and set the market. They have a long-range plan that they are sticking to it.

Tags: Al Jefferson Charlotte Hornets Kemba Walker

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