Will the Charlotte Hornets be a playoff team next season?

OAKLAND, CA - DECEMBER 29: Nicolas Batum
OAKLAND, CA - DECEMBER 29: Nicolas Batum /

After a number of offseason moves, are the Charlotte Hornets good enough to contend for a spot in the postseason this year?

I know what many Hornets fans are thinking right now, will the Charlotte Hornets make the playoffs next season? I too have been pondering that same question over the past couple of weeks since draft night and with the recent acquiring of Tony Parker.

It is clear to everyone the Hornets are moving in a different direction now than they did in the Rich Cho/Steve Clifford era of the Bobcats/Hornets. The Hornets want to be a contender and in playoff contention every season going forward. There were some good decisions made during the Cho/Clifford era, but they did not get very far after making their now questionable decisions.

Now we have a new head coach in James Borrego, who was an assistant head coach with the San Antonio Spurs for the last three seasons. We also have a new General Manager, Mitch Kupchak, who was with the Lakers organization for over thirty seasons.

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I am sure while you are reading this are thinking it is mid-July and the season does not start until October why would someone be making predictions now? Well, from everything I have seen so far from the summer league games and some team decisions through trades/free agent signings. I have every reason to feel confident about next season for the Hornets.

Their style of play has changed. After watching the summer league games it is evident they want to move at a quicker pace and get to the basket more effectively. Which I believe will translate into the regular season for the Hornets.

For the most part, their line-up will be the same with the exception of the center position, but the main core of the Hornets have played together for the last couple seasons together. Kemba Walker, Jeremy Lamb, Nicolas Batum, Marvin Williams, and Cody Zeller. Sure Malik Monk could be starting next season, but I think this could be the starting lineup to begin next season.

Kemba is the heart of the Hornets and a very competitive player. He is the team’s leader and will drive them to play at their best next season. With James Borrego coaching the Hornets now, I think we will see better player development and more consistent defense being played. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist still has to improve his mid-range jumper, but he has come a long way on his offensive game from when he was first drafted.

Of course with Tony Parker being picked up within the last week, the bench just got deeper for them. The Hornets need a good backup point guard for Kemba and they got it. I believe this was their missing link last season and getting a seasoned veteran in Tony Parker they have checked that block.

Next: Why Bismack Biyombo will be a good fit with Charlotte

After reviewing everything that has happened with the Hornets so far. I do think they are a playoff team next season. The Eastern Conference is wide open and I believe the Hornets will emerge next season as the dark horse going into playoffs.