Charlotte Hornets: Could Willy Hernangomez potentially start?

Charlotte Hornets Willy Hernangomez. (Photo by Lintao Zhang/Getty Images)
Charlotte Hornets Willy Hernangomez. (Photo by Lintao Zhang/Getty Images) /

With training camp set to start in two weeks, could the Charlotte Hornets have a position battle for the starting center spot?

In two weeks the Charlotte Hornets are set to begin training camp, and there may be a position battle that occurs. With his impressive play for a FIBA gold medal, Willy Hernangomez could have a shot at being the starting center.

Hernangomez is a player who was drafted by the New York Knicks during the 2016 offseason. For his impressive play as a rookie, he would earn a spot on the 2016-17 All-Rookie 1st Team.

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Hernangomez has been a player who has had a lot of success but has never got the chance to start consistently. Since joining the Hornets in 2018, Hernangomez has been able to start in four games for Charlotte; he started in twenty-two with the Knicks.

Since Hernangomez has been in Charlotte, he has managed to average 7.0 points and 5.3 rebounds per game. Hernangomez has also been able to get seven double-doubles as a Hornet.

Hernangomez is set to play in his fourth NBA season, and he has started it off well during the offseason. So far this offseason, Hernangomez has managed to win a gold medal in the 2019 FIBA World Cup.

During his quest for the gold medal, he managed to average 7.0 points and 3.9 rebounds per game. He did not get a lot of playing time, and the main reason behind this was because he had to play behind Marc Gasol.

Hernangomez has proved that he can play well as a role player when the lights are brightest. His impressive play during his FIBA World Cup campaign could be something that helps him earn a starting job.

As a starter last season, Hernangomez managed to average 6.3 points and 8.0 rebounds per game. In the twenty-six career games that he has started in, Hernangomez has managed to average 11.0 points and 9.3 rebounds per game.

Hernangomez currently has two players to beat out for the starting center position; those players are Cody Zeller and Bismack Biyombo. Both of these players lack in areas that Hernangomez excels in.

To start, Zeller has missed 82 games over the past two seasons. His inability to stay healthy hurts the Hornets, and the team needs a consistent starter. Biyombo, on the other hand, is an offensive liability who does not possess a post-game, and he also lacks height at the center position.

During his time in Charlotte, Hernangomez has managed to stay healthy. He has proven to be a decent post player (has good post moves), while also showing off his shot from beyond the arc.

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Hernangomez is a young player who still has a lot of potential. If the Hornets plan on using a more youthful lineup this season, Hernangomez could get the nod from Coach James Borrego.