There are 9 games remaining this season for the Charlotte Hornets. It has been a disappointing one in a lot of regards. After barely missing out on the playoffs this past two seasons, and with its best player fresh off his first All-Star appearance, one could be forgiven for having had higher expectations for this team. Now, considering what this season has become, it’s time to make some important decisions on how to finish. Even great players are openly talking about how they will or won’t finish the season.
Late-season NBA games can be weird. Between teams trying to nurse players back from injuries before a postseason run, and teams actively trying to lose for better draft positioning, there are lineups that have played very few games together. For the Hornets, it’s a time they can make sure their established players don’t suffer any injuries that might keep them off the floor next season.
It’s also an important time for development for the Hornets squad. There are a good amount of younger players, some on expiring deals, that the franchise needs to learn more about. True, the quality of basketball around the league can vary depending on what the situation is for the team. But the Hornets are in the helpful position of playing only playoff/play-in contending teams for the rest of the season (except for their penultimate game against the Houston Rockets).
That means the young players will be going up against not only the usual NBA-caliber talent but against teams actively fighting and playing for their lives. There is no better environment for the younger players to play than the heat of the crucible of teams playing to extend their seasons. With that said, here are the three players that the Hornets should play to find out if they can contribute next season.