Charlotte Hornets: Don’t tank, spend the bank

Charlotte Hornets Playoffs (Photo by Kent Smith/NBAE via Getty Images)
Charlotte Hornets Playoffs (Photo by Kent Smith/NBAE via Getty Images) /

The Charlotte Hornets should focus on upgrading the roster and pushing for the playoffs, rather than tanking the season away.

After three consecutive losing seasons, the Charlotte Hornets fan base has become more restless and impatient than ever before.  At 11-16, Charlotte has shown little signs of picking a side between tanking or winning, making fans even more aggravated.

Which is why the Charlotte Hornets have to take the initiative here after a small sample size of games to decide to push hard for a playoff seed. (I don’t think they ever wanted to tank.) At 11-16, Charlotte has a better record than these tanking teams; Chicago, Washington, Atlanta, Cleveland- who have lost 13 of their last 14, New York, Memphis, New Orleans, and Golden State.

That would make the Hornets around the 10th worst team in the league. (their record is similar to the struggling Spurs and Trail Blazers) A draft pick based on that kind of order, even though you never know what the lottery will give you, is too much like what the Hornets have done every single year.

This time, the Hornets can turn their mediocrity in a playoff seed while the East continues to be less talented than the West. They should do anything they can to get into the Eastern Conference playoffs while the playoffs are still set up this way. (There has been talk of turning the playoffs into a 1-16 seeds among all teams, despite conferences.)

After a win against the Washington Wizards on Tuesday, (114-107) Charlotte has shown signs they can close out close ball games thanks to a Miles Bridges go ahead 3 pointer late in regulation. A big reason for the Hornets to rally is the play of second year player, Devonte’ Graham.

While not all of the national media is on board yet, Devonte’ is on pace to become the league’s most improved player. (In front of Bam Adebayo, Marcus Smart and Ivica Zubac.) He is averaging 19.2 points and 7.7 assists a game.

Last season he only averaged 4.7 points and 2.6 assists a game while serving time with the Greensboro Swarm. If anybody has filled Kemba’s shoes, it hasn’t been Terry Rozier, but Devonte’ Graham. Graham, right now, is the most interesting thing in Charlotte.

Here’s how the Hornets can pull off a way into the playoffs, making everyone happy;

  •  Trade Marvin Williams, or keep him. Teams have shown interest in the veteran who is in his final year of contract. He is much more appealing to the rest of the NBA than Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Bismack Biyombo, or the disaster that has been Nicolas Batum. If the Hornets trade Williams they can try and get a second round pick for him or even an asset like DeAndre Jordan from the Nets, Kent Bazemore from Portland, Miami’s Dion Waiters, Houston’s Tyson Chandler, or even Andre Iguodala who hasn’t played much for Memphis. The Hornets could also keep him if offers aren’t good enough as his veteran presence is wonderful for this ball club’s youth (especially for PJ Washington who plays the same position) and he is averaging 7.6 valuable points a game off the bench.
  • Go out and trade for someone that could actually make a difference. The Cavaliers have made it public that Kevin Love is available to be traded. The NBA champion has expressed that he wants to play somewhere that is going to compete. While Charlotte doesn’t seem like a team that could do that right now, with him in the starting five it is very much possible. Mr. Love could lead the charge much like he did with his time in Minnesota. Another player to watch for is Andre Drummond as the Hornets have been rumored to want to trade for him for years as a center is still a need to take pressure off of Cody Zeller.

dark. Next. 5 realistic trade packages for Marvin Williams

  • If the Charlotte Hornets refuse to do anything like that, there is one simple thing they can do to better their chances at winning. All I want for Christmas is for the Charlotte Hornets to sign Jamal Crawford. The 39 year old veteran has some juice left of the tank just like Carmelo Anthony who has revived his NBA career with the Trail Blazers. Crawford could sign a veterans minimum, so even if Charlotte is stingy there is a little risk for what could be a huge reward. NBA players, experts, and fans are still in question as to why this man is still left unsigned and his signing would not only boost the Charlotte offense but would literally create a buzz for this team, a buzz that’s needed for the noise surrounding the team. The lack of media coverage can be to blame for lack of Charlotte fans and support and it can even be a factor on how the players carry themselves night in and night out. J-Crossover can be the answer if he’s given the chance.