It’s Time for the Charlotte Hornets to Rebuild

Feb 13, 2017; Charlotte, NC, USA; Charlotte Hornets head coach Steve Clifford looks on during the first half against the Philadelphia 76ers at Spectrum Center. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 13, 2017; Charlotte, NC, USA; Charlotte Hornets head coach Steve Clifford looks on during the first half against the Philadelphia 76ers at Spectrum Center. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports /

With the Charlotte Hornets’ struggles this season and not that many answers going forward, rebuilding seems to be the answer for the organization.

Tear It Down

The Charlotte Hornets have been struggling lately, which was totally evident in a defensive meltdown against a Los Angeles Lakers‘ team that just traded away their top scorer. Kemba Walker makes up for a lot of mistakes made by this team but he can’t dominate games often enough to make them successful by himself. Frank Kaminsky has been playing well as of late but he can only offer so much support.

Nicolas Batum is normally a capable second distributor and scorer but he occasionally fails to come through in big moments. Yes, Cody Zeller is coming back and he does play a huge part in the success of this team but not even Cody coming back at 110% makes this team a contender and that’s what everyone in this organization should be seeking. There are plenty of reasons why Charlotte should rebuild.

There is not enough firepower to go around in today’s  NBA with teams like the Golden State Warriors and the Cleveland Cavaliers stockpiling talent. Golden State has 4 all-star players in their starting lineup while the Cavs has one of the most explosive rosters 1-15 that has ever taken the court outside of 2K or an all-star game. The Charlotte Hornets finally have a star player in Kemba Walker but the supporting cast is severely limited compared to championship contenders.

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Plus, considering Al Jefferson is the best free agent to ever come to Charlotte, it’s doubtful Stephen Curry is coming to Buzz City to chase a ring. Trading is a possible avenue to improve this team long-term but there isn’t a lot of cap room to spare and there are some hard to swallow contracts on this team as currently instructed including Miles Plumlee and Marvin Williams.

There is youth on this roster which normally means the team will improve but this is a special case. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist would be great if he was a capable scorer but it doesn’t look like that’s going to happen. Cody Zeller is great at doing things that don’t show up in the box score but as great as those things are, the things that do show up (like points scored) are still pretty important to winning.

Frank Kaminsky looks worth keeping around long-term following his breakout but he’s an exception on this roster. And this roster isn’t the Philadelphia 76ers or the Minnesota Timberwolves, overflowing with young prospects. Marvin and Marco Belinelli aren’t getting any younger. This team needs an influx of young talent, preferably on affordable contracts.

If a rebuild were to take place, Kemba Walker should be the only untouchable on this roster. He is too valuable a player at too important a position on too valuable a contract to trade just because this team needs upside. And it should require a borderline great deal to sell on Nic Batum or Frank Kaminsky. Just because of Batum’s versatility and Kaminsky’s modern skill set at the center position.

But anyone else on this roster could be moved for a decent deal. This team could get draft picks and expiring contracts so that by the time today’s contenders start to fall this team could be on the rise.

This year’s draft class is as talented as any in the last decade. Now is the time to sell and get a jumpstart on the inevitable rebuild that will result from today’s sustained mediocrity. There’s no worse place to be in the NBA than the middle. Even though they didn’t sell at the trade deadline this year, they still can in the offseason.

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Too good for a great prospect but too bad to make it past the first round of the playoffs. That’s where this team is currently, chasing an 8th seed and a likely first-round exit courtesy of the Cavs. Now’s the time. Frank shouldn’t be the only tank in the Queen City come this summer.