With the Charlotte Hornets’ season ending sooner than they anticipated, let’s take a look at five possible free agents they could look to add this summer.
The Charlotte Hornets finished the season with an underwhelming record of 36-46. The Hornets had one All-Star in Kemba Walker and a lot of young, role players around him. Steve Clifford’s group were middle of the pack for most of the major statistical categories and that was their major problem. From offensive rating to defensive rating to 3-point shooting or total rebounding, the Hornets didn’t stand out anywhere.
Their best player by far was Kemba Walker, the former UConn star. Walker averaged 23.2 points and 5.5 assists per game on 44 percent shooting. It was his best season in a Hornets’ uniform, but he still doesn’t give off the superstar vibe. On a championship roster, Walker would be the second or third-best player, but he’s being asked to do too much with the Hornets.
Charlotte has some good role players, in Nicolas Batum, Marvin Williams and Frank Kaminsky. Aside from Walker, there’s five players on the team that averaged double figures in scoring, but it still doesn’t seem to be consistently enough. The Hornets will need to find them a consistent secondary scorer, who can drop 20 points on any given night. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist is fantastic wing for the Hornets — on the defensive end. Offensively, he’s a major work in progress and it might be time to flip the page. This past season, Kidd-Gilchrist attempted NINE 3-pointers all season long. That’s a hard number to accommodate for a starting small forward in today’s NBA.
Charlotte also needs to find itself a backup point guard for Walker. Ramon Sessions isn’t the answer here and it should be a high priority. Walker had a usage rate of 29.2 percent, which was far higher than everyone else on their roster. The Hornets need to address this so they can bring down Walker’s usage during the early parts of the season.
When Charlotte was successful two years ago, Jeremy Lin and Courtney Lin were huge pieces, as they could spread the floor, create their own shot or make plays for others on the team. The Hornets weren’t able to keep them this past season and they suffered. Here are five free agents that the Hornets need to target this offseason.
5. Stephen Curry, PG, Golden State Warriors
Let’s agree that there’s a snowball’s chance in hell this happens. Curry’s happy with the Warriors, he just won his second championship and they look untouchable for the next few years. From the Hornets’ standpoint, they have a rising star in Kemba Walker who plays the same position.
But here’s the thing, players like Curry come around once in a generation. The two-time MVP is also from the Charlotte, NC area, where he grew up when his dad, Dell Curry, played for the Hornets. Maybe it’s always been in the back of Curry’s mind to come back and play at home, so Charlotte should try and take advantage.
They should try to throw the kitchen sink at Curry, attacking him from all angles in the pursuit to bring the superstar back home. With Kevin Durant winning the Finals’ MVP and taking over as the best player on the team, the Charlotte Hornets would have to try to stroke Curry’s ego. KD’s a Nike guy and Curry’s a Under Armour guy. Michael Jordan and the Hornets would have to try and sell Curry from the standpoint that it’s hurting his brand and business as well.
If the Hornets are lucky enough to even get a meeting with Curry and his agent, this is exactly how they should try and pitch to him. The timing might not be right this year, but the Hornets should always try to target their hometown star whenever he’s a free agent.