Charlotte Hornets: Evaluating the Roster’s Potential Future with the Team

Charlotte Hornets huddle (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)
Charlotte Hornets huddle (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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Charlotte Hornets
Charlotte Hornets Devonte; Graham. (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images) /

Our first outlook into the Charlotte Hornets’ roster going forward will the point guards.

Joe Chealey

Chealey was signed to two 10-Day contracts by the Charlotte Hornets before the season was put on pause after being on the Greensboro Swarm this season, and was a two-way player last season for the Hornets.

Joe Chealey appeared in four games this season for the Hornets, and while three of those were in garbage time or in a major blowout, when Devonte’ Graham missed a game against the San Antonio Spurs due to an injury, Chealey was called on to soak up some minutes at point guard.

It’s fair to say that didn’t go as planned: Chealey scored two points (both on free throws) on 0/4 shooting from the field with two turnovers. I do not know whether he was a bit nervous (doubt it, after all, he’s played in games in the NBA before, albeit mainly just when they are already decided) or just could not keep up with the pace of the game after making the jump from the G-League.

He is normally a pretty smart player, but he just looked overmatched in this game. Although he could develop into a decent end of the bench/depth guy, I’m not sure that’s with the Charlotte Hornets.

Outlook: Gone after season/Potential depth player.

Devonte’ Graham

Graham has been a surprise for the Charlotte Hornets this season. He quickly earned the starting job after a hot start to the season, and even was a fringe All-Star player before he cooled off in January.

He picked it back up in a couple of games that he played in March (24.2 PPG 46.7 FG% 93.8 FT% in 5 games) and will likely be in consideration for the Most Improved Player talks at the end of the season, whenever that may be.

Devonte’ Graham‘s main problems are defense and scoring inside of the arc (39.7 FG% on shots inside of the 3-Point line). Graham may never be a plus defender, but he is a smart enough of a player to not become a total minus on D if paired with the right backcourt partner.

He was also improving on scoring inside of the arc too, shooting 44.9% on 2-Point Field Goals in his last 10 games played. I think that Graham will likely be the starting point guard of the future and while he will likely never be THE guy, a potential building block towards a contender in the future.

Even if his defense becomes a big problem, at the very least he can be a good 6th man with the ability to help close out games due to his knack of taking and hitting big shots and confidence in clutch moments.

Outlook: Starting PG/6th man in closing lineup.

Must Read. Deni Avdija could be a versatile, do-it-all forward for the Charlotte Hornets. light

Terry Rozier

Terry was acquired this past offseason in a sign-and-trade deal for Kemba Walker. He has started the whole year, and has performed better than most people have expected. Although being arguably the second-best player on the Hornets this year, his potential long-term fit with Devonte’ is in question, and if the Hornets are forced to decide between the two, Graham is the likely (and obvious) choice.

This is evident as Terry’s names have been floating in trade rumors, ever since he was reportedly almost traded to the New York Knicks around the trade deadline this season. Terry Rozier has been having a solid season as he is tied for the team lead on steals per game, and second on the team in points and assists.

Despite this, I doubt he remains on the team past next season, or maybe even this season. He could fetch a nice return, maybe a future first (depending on the team) since that was on the table during Knicks talks, and that could very much help the franchise for this rebuild.

Outlook: Trade bait/Starter for a couple of years.

Coming up, we’ll take a look at the Hornets’ shooting guards.