4 Hornets who may not be back next season

A few players from this year's roster may not be back in Charlotte next season.
JT Thor, Charlotte Hornets
JT Thor, Charlotte Hornets / Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports
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The 2023-24 NBA season was marked by change for the Charlotte Hornets. A team that began the year as playoff hopefuls went through an array of injuries that ultimately robbed Head Coach Steve Clifford and his staff of any kind of roster consistency.

As a result, new owners Rick Schnall and Gabe Plotkin made the executive decision to restructure the team at the trade deadline, and set pieces in place that will in theory help Charlotte reach playoff contention in the near future. Making a push for a Play-In berth simply did not make sense for the injury-riddled Hornets this year.

Ideally, LaMelo Ball and Mark Williams can use the offseason to nurse their respective injuries back to full health and be ready to go for the 2024-25 season. If that can happen and the front office can make other key moves like re-signing Miles Bridges, there will absolutely be reason to believe in this team as an up-and-coming squad in the Eastern Conference going forward.

When next season begins, it is possible several players from this year's squad will no longer be in Charlotte. These are four Hornets players that may not be back by the time October rolls around.

Bryce McGowens

The second professional season for Bryce McGowens was ultimately similar to his first. The 40th overall pick from the 2022 NBA Draft was mostly buried behind Charlotte's deep guard rotation, but he did find more time on the floor prior to the deadline.

In December, Bryce played his highest minute average in a month of any month in his career where he played in at least five games. Getting on the floor for 20.1 minutes a night, McGowens had some very positive flashes, scoring in double figures four times in a six-game span.

But when the Hornets brought over a fresh crop of talent in February from Dallas and Oklahoma City, it became much harder for Bryce to get on the floor for extended stretches. Consistency is hard to build when live game action becomes scarce, and McGowens frequently looked out of rhythm down the stretch of the season.

Managing an NBA team means making difficult decisions, and moving on from a player is never an easy thing to do. McGowens could still have a place with this team going forward, but with his salary being non-guaranteed going forward, he is certainly at least a candidate to be seeking an opportunity elsewhere in the league next season.