Michael Jordan has said his Charlotte Hornets will be looking to make a major move for the second consecutive offseason (they added big man Al Jefferson last year).
Yannis Koutroupis of Basketball Insiders believes the Hornets could make a run at Indiana Pacers’ guard Lance Stephenson and Utah Jazz forward Gordon Hayward who are both set to become free agents (Hayward is restricted).
The Hornets are still on the bring in my opinion. They really benefited from the Eastern Conference being so weak this year. Internally, as far as the decision makers go, I don’t think there should be a lot of celebration. They’re on the right track, but there’s work to be done. And, I don’t think they’re going to take the next step forward with more young talent. They need to look at the way bringing in a proven veteran in Al Jefferson impacted them this year, especially with only $41 million in guaranteed contacts on the books. Even if that means overpaying for someone a little bit, adding a potential All-Star like Gordon Hayward or Lance Stephenson is the way to go. They’re re-branding the team and trying to start a new era; moving forward is imperative. They can’t afford to take a step back.
Stephenson averaged 13.8 points, 7.2 rebounds and 4.6 assists per game this season while shooting 49.1% from the field, 35.2% from beyond the arc and 71.1% from the free throw line in the regular season. In the postseason, he put up 13.6 points, 6.9 rebounds and 4.2 assists per game. He shot 45.5% from the field, 35.8% from three and 71.4% from the charity stripe.
Hayward averaged 16.2 points, 5.2 assists, 5.1 rebounds and 1.4 steals per game for the Jazz last season. He shot 41.3% from the field and 30.4% from beyond the arc.