The Charlotte Hornets (then-Bobcats) were the surprise of the league in the 2013-2014 season.
In the 2013 offseason, the Hornets made two huge moves. First, they hired a new head coach, former New York Knicks, Houston Rockets, Orlando Magic and Los Angeles Lakers’ assistant Steve Clifford. They signed former Boston Celtics, Minnesota Timberwolves and Utah Jazz big man Al Jefferson to a three-year contract worth $41 million. Jefferson was absolutely fantastic, averaging 21.8 points, 10.8 rebounds, 2.1 assists, 1.1 blocks and 0.9 steals per game while shooting 50.9% from the field and 69.0% from the free throw line. The two moves combined with the development of guard Kemba Walker, among other things, helped the Hornets finish 43-39 and return to the postseason for the first time since 2010. Much like in 2010 when they were swept by the Orlando Magic in the first round, the Hornets were swept by the Miami Heat, but it was still a great season and they have a lot to build on.
The Hornets want to be aggressive and add another big name to their team this offseason. They likely will be targeting offensive players – they finished fifth in defensive rating last season, but were just 24th on offense. Per Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer, Utah Jazz swingman Gordon Hayward will be visiting the Hornets next week.
Hayward may be receiving a max contract from the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Jazz are reportedly willing to match any offer so acquiring Hayward certainly won’t be easy.
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