Charlotte Hornets Need To Shake Up Free Agency


The Charlotte Hornets latest season was disappointing to say the least. While expectations were high, for several players on the roster, the results were bland. If the team hand’t brought in Mo Williams in the middle of the year, it could’ve been the most anticlimactic season based on team expectations.

Kemba Walker seems to be improving every year. Per 36 minutes, his points were up this year based on last year. I went with per 36 minutes because towards the end of the year, his minutes per game were cut as he was rehabbing from his knee surgery. However, some components seem unsettling, as his assists and rebounds were both down compared to last year.


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From 1:29 to 1:47 in this 2015 highlight video, we see Walker’s step back game was strong again this season. However, can we expect this to continue with the current state of his knee? Possibly not. It’s not a guarantee that Walker can do as much for the team next year as he did this year.

So, who on the roster could step up next year? Williams showed promise, but as of right now, he’s a free agent with a history to move around a lot. I wouldn’t be surprised if he was gone by the time next season started. At the very least, he’s unreliable, and we can’t expect him to be a role player for the team next year. Even if he doesn’t move with free agency, he’s a huge value in the trade market, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him leave with the trade deadline either.

Lance Stephenson was a player brought in by free agency last year, and was seen as a bust. We can see based on his stats, he had an off year. But we can’t expect every year to be like his fantastic season in Indiana. However, falling back in every category is nothing to be happy with. If anything, he showed us he might not be a good fit in Charlotte this year.

4 seasonsIND.467.325.524.6824.
1 seasonCHO.376.171.425.6274.

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Now, going into next year, the roster needs to be shaken up a bit. While there are players on the roster who have the opportunity to have breakout years, like Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Cody Zeller, they need to do more than rely on players who are already on the team. There must be new players brought in to help win games, and make next season successful.

The struggle with Charlotte is making their team look like an attractive landing spot for star free agents. They haven’t been playoff contenders in a very long time, and that rules out a lot of the biggest free agents. Most people were surprised to see even Stephenson choose Charlotte. That rules out a lot of this year’s biggest free agents like LaMarcus Aldridge, DeAndre Jordan and Tyson Chandler.

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These players are likely to stay loyal to their teams since they’ve been able to make it into the playoffs with them and have success. Right now, these players won’t see those opportunities with Charlotte.

However, there are some players available that they could pick up who could become role players for the team. In my opinion, the Hornets are really missing a power forward desperately. Although Zeller has played as one, he’s listed as a center, and no one else has been able to do a very good job with the position.

So who’s available in that position? Lots of players could be targets for the Hornets. Here’s some of the biggest names available that have experience being a power forward:

  1. LaMarcus Aldridge
  2. Marc Gasol
  3. Tyson Chandler
  4. Amir Johnson
  5. Brandon Bass

As I said earlier, the top three likely won’t want to come to Charlotte. And with the disappointing end to this season and an absence from the playoffs, who could blame them? But the latter two are players who could be open to Charlotte.

Out of the two, we’ve seen a decline in Johnson’s production in recent years. Bass dropped in a few categories compared to last year, but this is largely due to last year being huge for him. Last year he averaged 11 points per game, and 5.7 rebounds per game. One thing unsettling about Bass is his free throw percentage, but that’s something that could be corrected if it becomes a huge issue. It’s not bad enough for teams to be using Bass as a hack-a-Shaq item.

There’s even been talk of looking into Wesley Matthews.

My point is that the Hornets don’t want to risk having another bland season, and with their current roster, and the state of Walker’s knee, they’re at risk of this. I would strongly urge them to explore their options in free agency this offseason.

Shaking things up and bringing in some new guys could start next year off with a new dynamic. There’s lots of players with potential, and some that may be willing to give Charlotte a shot for the right deal.

Next: Hornets Should Target Wesley Matthews