Wish #1: Prioritize the future
This should be abundantly clear at this point, but every single move the Hornets make must be with the long-term future in mind. If the goal is to build a real contender, it’s going to happen 3-to 5 years from now, at best.
Brandon Miller has looked amazing lately, LaMelo Ball has already made an All-Star team, but those guys are years away from their primes. Hopefully, Mark Williams will be part of that young core, and hopefully, the team will add a top draft pick this offseason that will become a part of the young core. That would be a nice start, but it’s going to take a long time.
The team needs to operate with this timeline in mind, and nothing else. Making moves to get marginally better for next year to chase the 8 seed would be extremely frustrating and counterproductive to the long-term goal of competing for a championship.
Plus the 2025 NBA draft is supposed to be a very good one, and as a result of an absolutely disastrous trade, the Hornets owe their pick to the Spurs in 2025 if it doesn’t fall in the lottery. If that pick doesn’t convey, it will become second-round picks in 2026 and 2027.
Some Hornets fans may not want to hear this, but it’s the best - and only - route if this is the true goal. Embrace it. We can have fun watching the kids grow and get better, and hopefully, it will all be well worth it, and a fun part of the journey in the long run.
This means the emphasis in all trades must be adding draft capital and young players with upside. Even if that means sacrificing players who are clearly better right now, like Bridges and Washington, it has to be done in the name of adding valuable assets for the future.