Charlotte Hornets: Mitch Kupchak has always coveted Jodie Meeks

Charlotte Hornets free agent candidate Jodie Meeks (Photo by Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images)
Charlotte Hornets free agent candidate Jodie Meeks (Photo by Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images) /

Free Agent Jodie Meeks remains an option for the Charlotte Hornets. He’s a player that General Manager Mitch Kupchak has highly coveted in the past.

Last week, Ben Stinar of AmicoHoops reported that the Charlotte Hornets and Los Angeles Clippers have expressed interest in unsigned guard Jodie Meeks. Recently, ESPN’s Dave McMenamin confirmed the news.

You may be thinking to yourself ‘why?’, but after I thought about it, I do think that it’s a move that would make sense for the Hornets. At this point in his career, Meeks is more of a veteran leader in the locker room, and that’s something that all young, rebuilding teams need.

Also, Meeks has a history with current Hornets General Manager Mitch Kupchak. When Kupchak was with the Lakers, he signed Meeks to a two-year contract. The hope was that Meeks would provide the Lakers, who were then hoping to make a deep playoff run, with elite three-point shooting.

I would say Meeks did that and more. During his first season in Los Angeles, Meeks averaged 7.9 points and shot 36 percent from deep. The team didn’t have nearly the season they were hoping for after acquiring Dwight Howard and Steve Nash, winning just 45 games and getting swept in the first round of the playoffs.

Kupchak then decided to go in a different direction and build towards the future. The Lakers won just 27 games that season, but Meeks was a major bright spot, averaging 15.7 points in 33.2 minutes while hitting 40 percent of his three’s.

Meeks solidified himself as an elite shooter in the NBA, and went on to sign contracts and have success with Detroit, Orlando, Washington and Toronto. Five years later since his career-best season in LA, Meeks is a reigning NBA Champion and could reunite with Kupchak in Charlotte, this time in a different role.

If Meeks does indeed sign with the Charlotte Hornets, it will be something different for him. Sure, he’ll get more chances to be on the court compared to a championship caliber team like the Clippers, but his main purpose would be helping the young guys with their development and teaching them the ins and outs of the league.

Kupchak and Meeks have a history together, and maybe that’s why Meeks is being linked to the Hornets. It’s not the sexiest move, but it would make sense for both sides. Meeks can show that he still belongs in the NBA, while serving as a mentor to the youngsters at the same time.

Meeks owns career averages of 9.3 points and 2.1 rebounds with a three-point percentage of 37. He’s always been a good role player and someone that you can count on for shooting and professionalism.

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The Charlotte Hornets’ training camp roster currently sits at 18 players. It wouldn’t surprise me to see the team add Meeks, but with training camp beginning next month, they’ll have to put the pen to paper pretty soon.