Charlotte Hornets: Offseason and Pre-NBA Draft Roundtable

LaMelo Ball and Miles Bridges, Charlotte Hornets (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
LaMelo Ball and Miles Bridges, Charlotte Hornets (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) /
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Charlotte Hornets, Cody Zeller
Charlotte Hornets Cody Zeller. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images) /

What is the biggest issue facing the Hornets?

Giovanni Spillman – This one is easy. Rim protection and rebounding is an issue. The Hornets were one of the worst teams in defensive rebounds this year, so they should be looking at adding a consistent rebounder. Defense is another key issue, but getting a rebounder that does not give up boards for easy second-chance points would be a dream.

Jason Huber – I’ll cheat a bit and go with two things here: A lack of a reliable center and experience. It’s no surprise that priority number one for Charlotte this offseason will be upgrading the center position with a defensive big that can score. Having Cody Zeller and Bismack Biyombo at center this past season was a failed experiment.

Whether it’s through the draft or free agency, if the Hornets can get their offense and defense flowing down low, their chances as a playoff threat rise tremendously. When it comes to experience, Charlotte is a young team with only Gordon Hayward and Terry Rozier having true playoff experience. If the Hornets can add another veteran with experience in addition to the sneak preview of playoff basketball that they experienced in this year’s play-in game, it might just help them take that next step.

David Hendren – Defending is the biggest issue currently facing the Hornets. They have no rim protection at the center spot and lack multiple on-ball perimeter defenders. All the current guards on the Hornets roster aren’t good on-ball defenders and they only have one guard with legitimate size, that being LaMelo, and he is the worst on-ball defender of their core four (Monk, Graham, Rozier, and Ball). The Hornets ranked in the back half in blocks per game, defensive rating, and opponent field goal percentage. Adding perimeter defenders and rim protection at the center spot could help the Hornets become a legitimate playoff team in the East.

Michael Wylie – The Charlotte Hornets have a few issues. The show is officially on for Charlotte to surround LaMelo Ball and show they can become a contender. The biggest hole on the roster lies in the frontcourt. A legitimate big man can take the Hornets to the next level. Preferable, a center that can protect the rim and provide some pick and roll abilities.

Evan Birchmore –The biggest issue facing the Hornets is the center position. Cody Zeller and Bismack Biyombo both enter unrestricted free agency, making this offseason a good time to upgrade. In my 2021-22 season preview article, I noted that Charlotte finished the season 25th in defensive rebounds per game, 19th in total rebounding, and 16th in blocks per game. P.J. Washington has played well as a small-ball center, but at 6 feet 7 inches he is too short to be a full-time center.

Stephen Sears – The main issue the Hornets need to address this season is defense. Center has been a hot topic of late but perimeter defense also needs a major overhaul. Along with center, Charlotte would benefit from bringing in a couple of guys who guard the perimeter well.

Shawn Simmons – The Hornets’ biggest issue is the same one that’s plagued Charlotte since the departure of Al Jefferson. This offseason, Charlotte must address their need at the center position. The Hornets need a center that can contribute on both ends of the floor. Charlotte doesn’t have an elite scorer at any position on the roster so the Hornets can’t have a position on the court that can’t contribute at scoring. However, defending the paint, protecting the rim, and rebounding is where the Hornets have missed a player like Jefferson. Charlotte’s move in free agency must be an impact player at the center position; someone who can come in and contribute immediately.