The Charlotte Hornets have all 15 roster spots filled heading into training camp. However, Kobi Simmons and JT Thor are on non-guaranteed deals, allowing the front office some flexibility if they upgrade their roster ahead of the new season.
Unless Mitch Kupchak identifies a ‘can’t miss’ prospect, it’s likely that Simmons and Thor will be part of the roster when the new NBA season begins. However, if Charlotte is genuinely serious about making a push for the playoffs this year, they would be wise to explore their options.
One type of player that could make sense is a veteran with championship experience. Someone who can come into the Hornets locker room, demand respect, and instantly improve the professionalism of the younger players on the team. Someone who can teach Charlotte’s young stars what it takes to win or be in contention for a championship.
Fortunately for the Hornets, a player who fits the mold of a veteran with championship experience recently became a free agent after being waived by the Dallas Mavericks.
Charlotte Hornets: Mavericks waive JaVale McGee
JaVale McGee has enjoyed a highly respectable career. In the upcoming season, McGee will be entering his 16th year in the NBA. Yet, it was between 2017 and 2020 that McGee enjoyed the best years of his career, as he won three straight NBA championships: two with the Golden State Warriors and one with the Los Angeles Lakers.
Most recently, McGee has been plying his trade with the Dallas Mavericks. However, Dallas decided to tear up the veteran’s contract just one year into a three-year deal. McGee will have no shortage of interested suitors.
If the Hornets want some veteran insurance at the big man position, McGee would be the ideal addition. A capable rim-runner who can defend the rim, set solid screens, and provide a lob threat and low-post option — McGee provides a different type of production to Mark Williams and Nick Richards.
Importantly, McGee wouldn’t need to play every game. Nor would the veteran expect to walk into a starting role. Instead, he will operate as the third-big in the rotation while providing invaluable tutelage behind the scenes. Sometimes, signing a player to undertake a small on-court role but a big off-court role is an important move to make.
For a team as young as the Charlotte Hornets, McGee would be the ideal locker-room veteran.