The 2021 NBA off-season seems to be moving along well for the Charlotte Hornets. Charlotte added players James Bouknight, Kai Jones, JT Thor, and Scottie Lewis via the 2021 NBA Draft and the Hornets also agreed to a trade with the Detroit Pistons for center Mason Plumlee. All five players seem to fit the direction the organization is headed, but there’s still restructuring that needs to occur. Free agency gives the Hornets that perfect opportunity to continue to build their roster and Charlotte has money to spend. Here are two moves Charlotte should make during this 2021 free agency period.
Improve defensive rebounding
During the 2020-2021 season, the Hornets ranked 25th out of 30 NBA teams in total defensive rebounds. They were 28th in defensive rebounding percentage at 75%. Simply put, Charlotte isn’t a great defensive rebounding team.
Between the two primary centers last season, Cody Zeller and Bismack Biyombo, Zeller had the higher defensive rebounding percentage at 23%. Biyombo rounded out around 17%, slightly lower than his career average of 23%. It seems as though Charlotte is already taking steps towards their defensive rebounding woes with the addition of Plumlee. Plumlee’s defensive rebounding percentage was 28%, making him the best defensive rebounder on the Hornets roster currently.
Add another veteran guard
Charlotte acquired guard Brad Wanamaker from the Golden State Warriors in March 2021. Wanamaker has playoff experience with the Boston Celtics; his statistics aren’t eye-popping and he isn’t the flashiest player but he brings that veteran guard presence similar to how Tony Parker did during the 2018-2019 season. His prior playoff experience makes him valuable to a young team that is determined to make the playoffs this season. Charlotte already seems to be making room for another guard after allowing Malik Monk to become an unrestricted free agent. If the Hornets could sign or trade for another veteran guard with slightly more experience than Wanamaker, that would be ideal going into next season.