The Hornets desperately need to make another move before the season starts.
Specifically, they are in need of some muscle in the front-court. Looking at the roster, you will notice that the frontcourt goes four, maybe five (depending on Biyombo’s production) deep. This may be an average amount of big men for most teams.
However, the Hornets are not your usual team.
A bulk of the offense last year came from newly acquired big man Al Jefferson. In fact, Jefferson was the team leader in both points and rebounds, averaging 21.8 points per game and 10.8 rebounds per game. However, Jefferson also missed 9 games last season and was clearly limited in countless of other games.
Also, last season Big Al had the support of enforcer and fan favorite, Josh McRoberts. He gets no such luxury this year. This coming season Charlotte’s primary frontcourt rotation will likely be made up of Al Jefferson, Noah Vonleh, Cody Zeller, and Marvin Williams. Now, please don’t misinterpret my point here. Those players are extremely gifted. However, the attribute that makes them so exciting for fans, their age, may be a determent to Big Al. Both Cody Zeller and Noah Vonleh are below the age of 22. Additionally, Zeller and Vonleh both weigh in at 240 lbs. While new signing and former 2nd overall pick Marvin Williams weighs in at 237 lbs.
These figures may make Hornet’s fans nervous. Big Al is the most gifted offensive big man Charlotte has had in recent memory. However, his offense will not be as potent if he and his frontcourt mates are constantly getting beaten up in the post. Additionally, without sufficient muscle down low, Jefferson may not have the space necessary to display his offensive firepower. Charlotte must alleviate some of the punishment Big Al will endure in the post, and create space for the big man. Rest is also a huge key to keep Big Al’s production up. Last season, Big Al averaged 26.0 points per game when he was given five days rest.
The bottom line is that Charlotte desperately needs to make another move before the season begins in order to get more muscle down under the basket. They simply cannot afford for Big Al’s production to fall off because of lack of rest, lack of space, and being banged around all season. Moreover, the move needs to be imminent because Vonleh will be out for the first 6-8 weeks and the Hornets cannot afford to have a slow start in such a competitive Eastern Conference.