The Charlotte Hornets Should Draft a Guard and Worry About a Center in Free Agency


With the NBA Draft and offseason fast approaching, the Charlotte Hornets must make a decision regarding what positions they are going to address in the draft and in free agency.

The Charlotte Hornets will have a lot of holes to fill this summer in both the draft and in free agency. They will have missing pieces across their roster with so many impending free agents. Re-signing all of them will be a difficult task so the team will need to look for cheaper options through the draft.

This free agent market is rich with big men like Al Horford, Hassan Whiteside, Dwight Howard, Joakim Noah, Bismack Biyombo, and Festus Ezeli. The open market for guards is less talent laden. That is why the Hornets must look for a young guard/wing player in the draft and leave signing a big man for free agency.

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One reason why Charlotte shouldn’t draft a big man is because the team already has two young centers that are still developing in Cody Zeller and Frank Kaminsky. Zeller was finally showing signs of development in his third season with the team this past year and Kaminsky will only be entering his second season in the NBA. Adding another young big to that group could stunt the growth of one of those players.

If the team drafts a player like Diamond Stone or Steven Zimmerman Jr. (both players who they have worked out) it could take them years to make an impact. They will need to develop and learn the NBA game behind Zeller and Kaminsky. Cody may not be the team’s best option going forward.

Signing a big name center in free agency should be the Hornets’ number one priority after re-singing some of their main players from last year. Adding a veteran big man could vastly improve the team’s chances of contending in the Eastern Conference next season. The center position was Charlotte’s biggest downfall last season.

They need a big man who can rebound and defend the interior. That could put them over the top and push them to the next level as the Hornets will try to continue their success from last year.

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There is also a need for a guard/wing player this offseason for Charlotte. They may be losing a combination of Courtney Lee, Jeremy Lin, Troy Daniels, and Jorge Gutierrez. Some of these guys are easily replaceable but Lin and Lee will be difficult to not only bring back but to potentially replace next year. Both of them could be moving on as the Hornets may not be able to afford them as they are in line for bigger contracts in free agency.

Draft a young guard with loads of potential is better for the team because they will not be asked to make an immediate impact. With Kemba Walker, Nicolas Batum, and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist set to be the starters, it will allow a rookie guard to learn from those three players. It would also be cheaper to draft a guard/wing than to sign a free agent guard that could potentially cost the team over $8 million a year.

The 2016 NBA Draft Class has plenty of talented wing players that are projected to be selected in the bottom half of the first round where the Charlotte Hornets will be picking. The team holds the 22nd overall pick and they have worked out guards such as Malcolm Brogdon, Patrick McCaw, Tyler Ulis, and Wayne Seldon Jr.

They have also worked out plenty of big men but they are taking a close look at guards and wing players leading up to the draft. If the Charlotte Hornets draft a young guard/wing player with potential and the ability to play off of the bench behind either Kemba Walker, Nic Batum, or MKG, then they can target a big name center in free agency that will make a direct impact.

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With the amount of talented big men on the open market this year coupled with the Charlotte Hornets’ cap space, that would be the best bet for the team’s future success. Drafting a young guard would be a cheap option that could easily impact the team. They need more young, athletic players on the wing.