Do the Charlotte Hornets need help at shooting guard?

Charlotte Hornets Kemba Walker (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Charlotte Hornets Kemba Walker (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images) /

The Charlotte Hornets get some solid production from the shooting guards that they have, but should they look to add a star at that position?

After yet another loss, the Charlotte Hornets and coach James Borrego were left to feel the same effects as before. Regardless of it being a one-point loss, the Hornets lost to a lowly Atlanta Hawks team that had been 3-16 before heading into the match-up. With the NBA’s most surprising star of the new season in Kemba Walker, the team was assuredly a lock to come out of this game with another win to lead the division with a 10-9 record. However, in the NBA many things can happen, and on this night it did.

For the Hornets, six players ended the night with double-digit points in the Sunday night game, led by Malik Monk’s 26-point outburst. Walker finished with 22-points and a team high nine assists, Marvin Williams finished with a double-double of 20-points and 13 rebounds, Nicolas Batum finished with a 14-point performance, Jeremy Lamb finished with 13-points and eight rebounds, and Frank Kaminsky finished with 11-points.

Collectively, 106 points were spread between the six, with 17 sporadically coming from other players on a particularly bad shooting night for the team.

Amidst reported trade talks for disgruntled Washington Wizards star Bradley Beal, the Hornets seem to have nights where many people can contribute. Lamb’s sustained play has shown that he can be a starter in this league, and Monk has shown in his latest performance that he could possibly be a scoring punch of the future.

So, would bringing in a star player at that position be the best move to make for the sputtering Charlotte Hornets franchise in need of something more?

With Lamb, the Hornets have a young player who is playing above his career averages. Improving from 9.4 to 14.3 points and 3.3 to 5.3 rebounds, Lamb has shown that he can indeed be a compliment to Walker. With a season high of 22, Lamb’s lowest point total of 10 points came in a losing effort to the Detroit Pistons.

However, that night Lamb was an efficient 4-6 (66.7%) from the field while making both of his three-point field goal attempts. Though he may be slow at times on defense, he has worked on it in years past, and that part of his game has significantly improved in his tenure in Charlotte.

With Monk, the Hornets have a young offensive threat who can fill up a stat sheet on a good night. Currently averaging 11.8 points, he is capable of raining threes as well as rising high for flashy and athletic dunks, Monk has the tools to be a great player in the NBA.

With a season and career high 26-point performance last night against the Hawks, Monk brilliantly showed the entire NBA the kind of player he strives to be. Shooting 9-15 (60%) from the field while connecting on 7-11 three-pointers. Clearly, the potential is there for the 20-year old sophomore, but there is much to work on for the Arkansas native besides shooting.

Combined, the players add approximately 26.1 points, 4 assists, and 7.2 rebounds for the Hornets. To be fair, the totals are good enough for role players on a contending team. But in order to make serious noise in the East, more production has to be shown from the position that focusing primarily on shooting.

To compare, Walker who is generously given a listed height of 6’1 averages 28.2 points, 6.6 assists, and 4.2 rebounds. To have a go-to player who is not only counted on, but expected to score at a high rate on a nightly basis is too much for a player with realistically no go-to help on a constant basis.

But what would it be like if the team did acquire Bradley Beal?

Financially, acquiring Bradley Beal would cost the team $81,279,057 million for the next three years. With $25.4 million coming in the current year, $27.1 million in the second, and $28.75 million in the third, Charlotte would have to commit big money to the 2018 All-Star while also committing big money to Walker who will likely make the first and only $188 million max deal in Charlotte’s history.

That in itself averages to about $37 million per year, so with an estimated $37 million dedicated to Walker for the 2019-2020 season and $27.1 million dedicated to Beal, the combined $64 million dedicated to two players would hinder the small market team from being able to properly build around the two.

Statistically, the Charlotte Hornets would have the best scoring duo to wear purple and teal since Jamal Mashburn and Baron Davis in the Charlotte Hornets 2001-2002 season. During this season, Mashburn led the team in scoring with 21.5 points, followed closely by Davis with 18.1. However, the combination of Walker’s 28.2 points this season and Beal’s 21.5 could easily surpass the production of the former Hornet stars.

Walker, who currently holds multiple records as a Hornet, would continue to be the franchise leading player who is the heart and soul of the franchise, and Beal could become the secondary scorer and co-star that the Hornets have never really had in its young history. With a greater ability to play two-way basketball with two All-Star caliber players, the Hornets could realistically make a playoff run if the right players around the two.

The numbers, though inflated, show that the two men could be stars together. With a combined 49.7 points, 10.7 assists, and 8.8 rebounds, the Hornets could easily produce one of the most difficult back courts in the Eastern Conference, as well as the NBA.

Some could say that the fit between the Hornets with Walker would possibly be better for Beal than his current situation allows. With tempers allegedly flaring in the D.C. organization, a move for Beal has been reported league wide, and the Hornets were the first team reportedly engaging in trade talks for the 6’5 guard.

Having a young productive All-Star talent in need of a less hostile situation and a hungry and willing team in need of a young productive player obviously seems like a fit on the surface. But with the current pieces that Charlotte has, would it realistically be enough to turn the team around lead them on a deep playoff run? Does Charlotte even have enough pieces to entice Washington to part ways with a reportedly disgruntled but productive young star?

Hot. Charlotte Hornets: 3 standouts from loss to Hawks. light

No one knows for certain. One thing is for sure, this is definitely a situation to keep an eye on. And if it does happen, would it also lead to votes for Mitch Kupchak as a possible Executive of The Year?