Where do the Charlotte Hornets go from here?
Monday night provided a much-needed glimpse of light for Charlotte fans when the Hornets secured a 125-119 win over the Sacramento Kings.
This season so far, however, has not been pretty. The Hornets currently sit at 14th in the Eastern Conference with a record of 8-24 and there does not seem to be an abundance of enthusiasm for the rest of the season.
One of the biggest issues they’ve struggled with is their perimeter shooting. In sharp contrast to last season, Charlotte ranks 29th in the league in three-point percentage at 32.3% and is 26th in made threes. These shooting woes are a perfect example of an area that the Hornets thrived in last season but have not yet replicated that level of performance this season.
With a third of the season in the books and an upcoming draft class headlined by a generational prospect named Victor Wembanyama, Charlotte may be nearing a crossroads in which they will need to decide what they want to make of this season. At this point in the year, there are only a handful of options.
Should the Charlotte Hornets try to win now with this roster?
If the front office feels confident enough about this roster once it returns to full health, they may decide to focus on securing a slot in the playoffs or at least the play-in tournament.
Frankly, this option is not likely to yield great results. Even if the roster spends the rest of the season fully healthy, this Hornets squad is simply not playing at the level that they were last year and the absence of last year’s leading scorer has truly damaged their offense.
Should the Charlotte Hornets complete a big trade before making a playoff push?
Although Charlotte was involved in trade rumors for Los Angeles Lakers sixth man Russell Westbrook, that trade buzz has died down and the Hornets haven’t publicly been involved in many blockbuster trade rumors since.
Luckily, the NBA is an unpredictable place.
NBA fans have come to expect the unexpected when it comes to trades, especially within the last several years. In theory, the Hornets could trade away a player or two plus a draft pick and get a decent return in time to make a playoff push. This option may help them in the short term but with the second worst record in the league, a playoff run is a long shot.
Should the Charlotte Hornets make this season a “gap year” and look towards the draft?
This option seems to be gaining more and more traction as the days go by. Many of us, myself included, had high expectations for Charlotte going into the off-season. These expectations were not as high after a summer that was filled with roster losses and topped off with the front office scrambling to find a head coach just five days before the draft.
With a loaded draft class on the horizon and playoff hopes that are dwindling by the second, another rebuild year is a serious option for Charlotte.
At the end of the day, there is no way of knowing what Charlotte will decide to do or when they will make a decision, but it’s safe to say the clock is ticking.