Charlotte Bobcats guard Gary Neal (12) talks with Charlotte Bobcats guard Gerald Henderson (9)

Charlotte Hornets Position Preview: Shooting Guards

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Arguably the Charlotte Hornets deepest position, shooting guard, was once considered its weakest. At the beginning of last season the Charlotte Hornets shooting guard depth included Gerald Henderson and Ben Gordon. That’s not a recipe for success. Luckily throughout the season the team got rid of Gordon, and acquired Gary Neal, and CDR. This season the position looks stronger, and deeper than ever!

LANCE STEPHENSON 

The biggest acquisition of the offseason for the Hornets was Lance Stephenson. Stephenson is a player that has shown flashes of extraordinary talent, and potential. Last year he was best known for his playoff antics (blowing in Lebrons ear) but people who watched him play know him for much more. I have always been a big fan of Stephensons game. He is a player who can create shots for himself but often chooses to pass to a teammate with a better shot opportunity. This leads to better shooting percentages for the entire team, something the Hornets need badly. He also brings elite wing defending to an already superb defense. Just imagining the perimeter defense Walker, Stephenson, and MKG will bring makes the wait for the season unbearable. With the depth at shooting guard Stephenson might not play 36 minutes every night but he is undoubtedly the starter.

Projected Stats:

PPG: 15 APG: 8 RPG: 7 FG%: 49 3PT%: 43

GERALD HENDERSON

Gerald Henderson has had very little competition for minutes at shooting guard the past few seasons. He is a solid wing defender, that can hit the mid range shot, and finish at the basket. That is it. Henderson is a “what you see is what you get” player. He is a good shooting guard that can get the job done, but he will never carry a team. The team has anxiously awaited the arrival of his three point shot but it never came. The NBA is all about floor spacing, so you must have a shooting guard who can shoot threes. I see Henderson being a great 6th man who can bring consistency to a second unit that lacked it last year. He will most likely average between 10 and 20 minutes a night depending on if he plays any small forward.

Projected Stats:

PPG: 9 APG: 2 RPG: 3 FG%: 45 3PT%: 32

Gary Neal

Gary Neal was acquired last season at the trade deadline. He was brought in to provide 3 point shooting off the bench, and that’s what he did. He was nothing spectacular but he did provide needed scoring which I look for him to do again this season. Most people are looking for Gerald Henderson to get traded before the deadline, but I think Neal is the prime candidate. He is on the last year of his contract, which is attractive to teams, and he can provide a playoff team with scoring depth. With the plethora of 2 guards on the roster look for Neal to be dealt.

Projected Stats:

PPG: 8 APG: 1 RPG: 1 FG%: 46 3PT%: 40

P.J. Hairston 

P.J. Hairston is an intriguing prospect who has very little physical limitations. He is a 6’6 shooting guard who has the size, length, and athleticism to be elite at any spot on the floor, not to mention his beautiful three point stroke. The problem with P.J. is not physical but mental. He has not shown the maturity, or love of the game to be elite at the next level. If he can put in the work to be a good defender, and rebound on both ends of the floor he will earn minutes as the season goes on, but that’s a big if. I see P.J. averaging around 7 minutes a game to start the season, with more if he improves.

Projected Stats:

PPG: 4 APG: 0 RBG: 1 FG%: 43 3PT%: 37

Let us know how you feel about the Hornets shooting guards in the comments section!

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Tags: Charlotte Hornets Gary Neal Gerald Henderson Lance Stephenson P.J. Hairston

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