Charlotte Hornets not projected for high win total in 2023-24

LaMelo Ball, Charlotte Hornets. (Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images)
LaMelo Ball, Charlotte Hornets. (Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images) /

Almost immediately after the Charlotte Hornets’ schedule was released for the upcoming season, a win-loss projection followed for every team appearing in Bleacher Report. Author Andy Bailey does not have faith in the Hornets’ chances this season, setting their over/under for wins this season at just 30.5.

Bailey has a few concerns with the Hornets, and they are all valid. From the status of P.J. Washington to health, and finally Brandon Miller, there is not a ton of faith being placed in Charlotte’s chances for the upcoming season.

"“There’s still some uncertainty surrounding the Charlotte Hornets. P.J. Washington has yet to re-sign. It’s hard to know exactly what Miles Bridges (who’ll play this season on a $7.9 million qualifying offer) will give them after missing all of 2022-23 while going through the legal process for domestic violence charges. And two of the team’s highest-paid players, LaMelo Ball and Gordon Hayward, have struggled to stay healthy for much of the last three years. Assuming those two can give them 60-plus games, Washington re-signs, Bridges plays close to the level he did in 2021-22 and Terry Rozier plays more like he did during his first two seasons with the Hornets than he did in 2022-23, Charlotte should at least be competitive. That’s a lot of assumptions, though. And the Eastern Conference is significantly better than it’s been in years past. To push toward a .500 record, the Hornets will probably need someone to smash expectations. Perhaps that’s incoming rookie wing Brandon Miller. If he scores in the high teens and shoots around 40 percent from three, Charlotte’s prospects probably look a lot different.”"

None of the reasons listed here should come as a surprise. Charlotte experienced plenty of adversity last season, and their record at the end of the season is indicative of that. Injuries and overall inefficient seasons from key players led to a season that was filled with the hope of advancing through the Play-In Tournament coming crashing down, resulting in landing the second-overall pick in the most recent draft.

Speaking of the draft, Miller is very much an essential part of their roster for this season. Charlotte needs Miller to show why the Hornets were comfortable selecting him over Scoot Henderson. The pick was panned immediately, with criticism being hurled from every direction toward Charlotte’s draft process.

What this season will come down to really is health. This is a team that needs LaMelo Ball to play in at least 70 games for just the second time in his career. If the youngest Ball brother is available for that many games, everything else should fall into place. If not, this could be another season of disappointing basketball in Charlotte.

Projected win total via Bleacher Report: 34-48