Is it possible that the Charlotte Hornets improve upon last season and still end up making changes at the end of the season? That is exactly what is being suggested by Bleacher Report’s Grant Hughes.
Charlotte could increase their win total by double-digits this season, and yet, the jobs of head coach Steve Clifford and general manager/president of basketball operations Mitch Kupchak are far from secure.
"“With LaMelo Ball healthy, there’s a good chance the Charlotte Hornets add 10 or 15 wins to last year’s total, finish around .500 and threaten for a play-In spot. Even if all that happens, the smart money is still on head coach Steve Clifford and top executive Mitch Kupchak looking for new gigs after the 2023-24 season.”"
Adding 10 to 15 wins would be quite the accomplishment for the Hornets. But that still may not be enough to preserve the jobs of Clifford and Kupchak. It is important to take all of the changes that occurred during the offseason into account.
There has been a change in ownership, with longtime owner Michael Jordan selling his majority share to a group headlined by Rick Schnall and Gabe Plotkin. The change on top could lead to those in charge wanting to bring in their own guys to run the show.
It honestly seems like an uphill battle for the duo of Clifford and Kupchak to remain in Charlotte no matter how the season goes. The Hornets could certainly play above their talent level, and be a genuine contender for the Play-In Tournament, but being in the mix and ultimately falling short seems to be the more likely best-case scenario.
No matter what happens when the season is over, it is important to keep focus on the right things. This is supposed to be a season of growth, development, and hopefully progress. If none of these things happen during the year, it would just make any potential decision about parting ways with Clifford and/or Kupchak that much easier.