With the signing of Lance Stephenson, the Hornets roster is really starting to improve. We recently filled both back up point guard slots with Brian Roberts, and Jannero Pargo which leaves the team where they want to be at just about every position. My question is, do the Hornets believe their roster is equipped with a starting power forward? I don’t think it is.
One of our most questionable moves of the off-season was signing Marvin Williams to a 2 year, 14 million dollar contract. A lot of people believe this is an indication that he will start at power forward to start the season. There are a variety of reasons why I think this is a bad idea. Marvin Williams is 6’9 which is relatively short for a power forward. I would think that he could make up for his lack of height with his 7’3 wingspan, but with Al Jefferson playing center you must make up for the size deficit at center with a tall power forward. Williams is best equipped to play small forward, and registered better stats when doing so. He would be best coming off the bench at small forward, and playing power forward along side one of our taller centers.
Cody Zeller is another option to start at power forward. Zeller came on strong at the end of last year, but struggled in the playoffs with the heats high pressure defense. He has the athletic ability and offensive skill to be a starting power forward, but he is not quite ready at this point in his development. I think that as the season goes on Zeller will get more, and more minutes and can grow into a solid starter. He must gain more confidence in his mid to long range shot in order to spread the floor for Al Jefferson.
The fan favorite to start would be Noah Vonleh.
Most fans would love for Vonleh to be able to start from day 1, and it is often expected of a player that was as highly regarded as Vonleh to have that ability, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. Vonleh has struggled throughout summer league to score efficiently, and has been late rotating on defense. This is not to say he won’t one day be a cornerstone of the franchise, but at this point in time he is not ready to start. He has the size, and skill level to develop into an all star caliber player but he cannot be depended upon just yet.
The Hornets could look to sign a veteran like Andray Blatche, or Al Harrington to start the season at power forward. I think Zeller could come in and start later but I would hope the team isn’t counting on it.