The Charlotte Hornets are years away from becoming a contending team, and that’s only if everything goes right. The building blocks are in place. LaMelo Ball and (hopefully) Brandon Miller are the two young stars. Mark Williams, P.J. Washington, and Nick Smith Jr. are young talents who can develop into high-level role players. And there are multiple tradeable contracts on the books.
Mitch Kupchak has aligned the Hornets to be flexible enough to acquire a star talent while also being young enough to show continued improvement over the next few years. Unfortunately, that means the Hornets will need to continue navigating some teething issues while also looking for ways to improve their roster in terms of their starting unit and depth.
The team will begin to look different as the talent level within the Hornets roster improves, and the bench gets deeper. Charlotte will become an interesting option for other star players around the league as the opportunity to play alongside LaMelo and Miller becomes a prospect worth exploring.
Here’s a look at the Hornets’ dream, yet realistic, starting five in five years.
Hornets Dream Starting 5, PG: LaMelo Ball
This should come as no surprise.
LaMelo is the Hornets’ franchise player. With a dynamic skillset and legitimate length, the sky is the limit for how far LaMelo can go. If he can put his injury history behind him and get back to playing at an All-Star level, the California native will be among the league’s best guards within the next five years.
The 2022-23 season didn’t go to plan for LaMelo, as his year was cut short due to a fractured ankle. Yet, during his sophomore season, where he became an All-Star for the first time, LaMelo averaged 20.1 points, 7.6 assists, 6.7 rebounds, and 1.6 steals per game on 38.9% shooting from 3-point range.
The next few years will be integral for LaMelo. If he can stay healthy and continue to develop his game, he will a an All-NBA caliber player, which could be the catalyst for Charlotte to become a contending team.