Buzz City Beat: Charlotte Hornets moves to make, Players that need a change scenery

CHICAGO, IL - APRIL 3: Michael Kidd-Gilchrist
CHICAGO, IL - APRIL 3: Michael Kidd-Gilchrist /

Buzz City Beat is Swarm and Sting’s one stop for the latest news and stories from around the web about the Charlotte Hornets.

Malik Monk scored 21 points (16 in the fourth quarter) and had one of the best dunks of the season against the Chicago Bulls. (VIDEO) In this edition of Buzz City Beat, we look at offseason moves for the Charlotte Hornets to make, three players who need a change of scenery and Dwight Howard‘s record-setting season.

Moves Charlotte can and should make this offseason (

"You can justify a top-10 salary when you are championship-level or a team that can compete for a deep playoff run. The Hornets do not check either box. Charlotte will be in a similar position as it was in the summer of 2017: a team with limited flexibility in free agency. Besides their lottery pick, the Hornets will have to rely on the $5.4 million taxpayer midlevel exception in free agency."

The Hornets are one of two teams to never pay the luxury tax and I’ll bet they will try their best to avoid doing so next season. The problem for Charlotte is that they have a number of bad contracts that other teams aren’t looking to take on. If the Hornets can’t find a new home for one or two of their bigger contracts, they will be forced to instead move a valuable player like Kemba Walker or Jeremy Lamb.

Most of Charlotte’s mid-level exception will likely go towards signing a new backup point guard unless they address that in the draft. The team has little wiggle room and will need to make the most of their available cap space to bring in a couple new players. This will be a very interesting offseason for the Hornets.

3 Hornets’ players who need a change of scenery (

"Frank Kaminsky, C/PF, Cody Zeller, C/PF, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, SF: The last of three Hornets on this list, Kidd-Gilcrest is a top-notch defender who still can’t shoot, and because of that is a poor fit next to Dwight Howard due to spacing issues."

Of the five players named in this article, three of them are on the Hornets’ roster. There’s an argument to be made that a change of scenery for Kaminsky, Zeller and MKG would not only do the individual players well but it would also be a positive for Charlotte to move them. Not only would trading them create more cap space but it would allow the team to bring in better two-way players.

The Hornets already have a replacement for Cody on the roster in Willy Hernangomez but may be hard-pressed to immediately find suitable successors for Frank and Michael in the rotation. Still, getting a small forward and a backup power forward who aren’t a liabilities on one end of the floor would be of great benefit for Charlotte.

Don’t take Dwight Howard’s historic season for granted (

"The play of the Hornets over the last few months has certainly been a disappointment for a team that rightfully had high expectations entering the season. Although he’ll be one of the first to say individual performances hardly matter when the team isn’t winning, Dwight Howard has quietly been playing some of the best basketball of his NBA tenure."

With Charlotte set to finish under .500 and miss the playoffs yet again, it’s easy to overlook the incredible season that Dwight has had for them. He’s set a number of franchise records including most defensive rebounds in a single season, most total rebounds in a season, most double-doubles in a season and the most rebounds in one game just to name a few. His first year with the Hornets will go down in history as one of the best ever for a big man in the Queen City.

Next: Will next season be a breakout year for Malik Monk?

Although it hasn’t been the season that Howard and Charlotte were hoping for, one silver lining has been the outstanding play of the eight-time all-star. He looks motivated under Steve Clifford and had his best year since 2013-14 when he was last an all-star with the Houston Rockets. Credit to Dwight for bouncing back after unsuccessful stops in LA, Houston and Atlanta. The Hornets will be hoping that he can continue to play at or neat this level next season.