Charlotte Hornets: It was fun while it lasted, time to embrace tanking

Charlotte Hornets Devonte' Graham. (Photo by Kent Smith/NBAE via Getty Images)
Charlotte Hornets Devonte' Graham. (Photo by Kent Smith/NBAE via Getty Images) /

The Charlotte Hornets’ recent loss proves why the team is beginning to tank and play for draft positioning.

As the Charlotte Hornets continue to lose, they are proving why now is the right time to start “tanking”. After what happened at the trade deadline, it was easy to see that the Hornets are more interested in rebuilding than winning.

On Thursday, the Hornets did not make a trade, and on the day after, they prepared a contract buyout with their oldest player Marvin Williams. On Saturday, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist’s contract was subjected to a buyout also.

More from Hornets News

With the Hornets’ recent loss to the Dallas Mavericks, the team now has the fourth-worst record in the league and is the 13th ranked team in the Eastern Conference standings. With this record, it’s safe to say that the playoffs are out of reach.

Moreover, the loss did allow Caleb Martin and Jalen McDaniels to get some minutes. This was Martin’s fifth game with the Hornets, while this was McDaniels’ third one. These players saw minutes because of Kidd-Gilchrist’s and Williams’ departure.

With the Hornets moving them up to the active roster after the recent contract buyouts, I can only expect Charlotte to continue to play both rookies more. Playing both players should be advisable moving forward since the team is tanking.

In all my years as a fan, I have always wanted the Hornets to win no matter what. After what I have seen in the past few months, it’s hard to demand a win with the current roster that the team has.

Since 2016, the Hornets have been in trouble with their player salaries, and it has restricted them from adding more talent. With the departure of expiring contracts following this season, the Hornets will finally enter free agency with close to $50 million in cap space.

This amount of cap space is almost unheard of for the Hornets, and it will assist the team moving forward.

However, fans should not expect free agency to save the Hornets. In October, ESPN reported that Hornets’ General Manager Mitch Kupchak does not plan to build through free agency.

Must Read. Charlotte Hornets Early NBA Draft: Onyeka Okongwu is a defensive option. light

With the Hornets having a terrible season (record-wise), they may be looking at a potential top-5 lottery pick in the draft. The Hornets have not had a top-5 pick since 2013 when the team selected Cody Zeller with the fourth pick.

The Hornets have some great young players on their roster moving forward, but the team still lacks in many areas. One area they struggle with is their rebounding and paint defense.

Currently, the Hornets are ranked 30th in the league in defensive rebounds per game with 31.6. The Hornets are also ranked 24th in the league in points allowed in the paint per game with 51.2.

Clearly, the Hornets need help in these areas, and they may be able to draft someone this year who can. At this point, I’m just hoping that the Hornets can somehow come away with the first pick in the draft.

There’s still a lot of season to be played, and it should be fun to watch these younger players continue their development. The Hornets will also have three players playing in the Rising Stars Game this year during All-Star weekend. I expect this to raise their confidence moving forward.

Next. Has the Charlotte Hornets’ front office become too sentimental?. dark

With all of this said, I am happy to jump on the tank bandwagon, because I know it will benefit the team in the future. I am confident that the Hornets can get some much-needed help in the draft, and that Charlotte’s youth will continue their strong development.