Charlotte Hornets: Grading the off-season


It has been a great off-season for the Charlotte Hornets. From the name change from the Bobcats to the Hornets, and to all the signings and acquisitions the team made, it has been very successful. Here is a quick summary/review of everything that took place in the Hornets busy summer, and we will grade everything that took place over the summer:

In case you didn’t know….the Charlotte HORNETS are back. Ok, we all knew that, and we are beyond excited about it. In my opinion, this was the best thing that happened to Charlotte over the off-season. The Hornets name means so much to the city, it’s great to have the Buzz back in the Queen City. Grade: A+

Not only did the Charlotte Hornets return, but so did Hugo the Hornet! Hugo is a celebrity in Charlotte, he is much more than a mascot. Hugo gets an A+ grade as well:

After Hugo’s return came the NBA Draft. Heading into the Draft, Charlotte had two selections, the 9th overall pick, and the 24th overall pick. The Hornets drafted Indiana freshman Noah Vonleh with the 9th pick, and UConn point guard Shabazz Napier. As soon as Napier was selected, the team traded him to the Miami Heat for UNC star P.J. Hairston, who carries a home-town player stigma has he played college basketball for UNC. The Bobcats never had much success in the NBA Draft, but the Hornets might have broken that trend with a successful 2014 Draft, at least we hope. Grade: It’s hard to grade a draft class before they have even played, Grade TBD

Once the NBA Drat was all over, then came NBA Free Agency. Before it started, Hornets owner Michael Jordan promised the team would “make a big splash” in free agency, and he stuck to his word.

Charlotte and Utah Jazz free agent Gordon Hayward agreed to a four-year offer worth $63 million dollars, about 15 to 16 million dollars per year. Ouch. That’s a lot of money.

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Just a few days later the Utah Jazz matched the offer sheet on Gordon Hayward, which ended up being a good thing for the Hornets, because they were able to sign Lance Stephenson at a cheaper price: 3 years, $27 million per year. Signing Lance was the biggest move of the off-season for Charlotte, and he was a steal at only $9 million per year. I’d much rather pay Lance $9 million a year than pay Gordon Hayward max contract money. Because of Lance’s behavior issues, I’m giving this signing an A, not an A+ but I believe Lance will behave off the court this season. Grade: A

Marvin Williams was a very underrated signing for the Hornets. As of now, Williams will be starting for Charlotte to open the season. But that came at a price, as Williams will be making $14 million over the next two years. He brings a lot to the table, but some questioned the signing. I’ll give the signing of Marvin Williams a B. Grade: B

We’ve talked a lot about what the Hornets gained over the off-season, but let’s take a look at what they lost. Charlotte lost two of their fan-favorites in free agency when they were unable to re-sign Josh McRoberts and Chris Douglas-Roberts. McRoberts joined their division rival, the Miami Heat. Chris Douglas-Roberts signed with the Los Angeles Clippers. We were all sad to see CDR walk away.

Josh McRoberts was a big part of the Bobcats’ success last year, but there wasn’t much of a need for him. The team drafted Noah Vonleh in the NBA Draft, and losing Josh will give Vonleh some more playing time.

The Hornets won’t be able to replace CDR’s energy, but losing him wasn’t the end of the world. Charlotte already has a crowded back-court, and there just wasn’t room for CDR this season.

In addition to the name change to the Hornets, they also revealed the new uniforms, which almost everyone loved. My only complaint is that they weren’t pinstripes like the old ones. Maybe they will add a pinstriped alternate jersey later on….hopefully. I give the uniforms an A-. Grade: A-

Next they revealed the court design. This pretty much speaks for itself. Grade: A+

What were your thoughts of the Hornets off-season? Let us know in the comments below!