Countdown to NBA Tip-Off: Charlotte Hornets Season Preview

Charlotte Hornets Season Preview
DETROIT, MI - MARCH 18: Miles Bridges #22 of the Michigan State Spartans reacts as he is introduced during the first half against the Syracuse Orange in the second round of the 2018 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Little Caesars Arena on March 18, 2018 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

With the start of the season in the near future, many fans of the Charlotte Hornets are getting excited to see their new team in action. For the countdown to NBA tip-off, the Charlotte Hornets season preview is not like other teams. Although hoisting up the Larry O’Brien trophy isn’t an expectation for the Hornets next season, they will still perform at a high level. The young players will be able to grow and develop while playing high minutes. With superstar point guard Kemba Walker gone, the Hornets season preview is not like the ones at the top of the league.

Charlotte Hornets Season Preview

Recap of Last Season

Last season, the Hornets played at an underwhelming level. The player’s numbers decreased. The players who were expected to perform higher did not. The only player who seemed to have improved was Walker. Despite Walker’s phenomenal year, the Hornets ended the season without making the playoffs. Being on the cusp of the playoffs seems to be a recurring theme for this franchise. The Hornets had yet another season of mediocrity–which didn’t bode well for Walker.

Offseason Changes

Walker was the main priority for the Hornets in the offseason. If the franchise could re-sign him, they could completely reshape the roster to build a championship contender around him. Walker had other plans. On June 29th, Walker committed to the Boston Celtics. Since the Hornets were out of a point guard, they looked around the league. They decided to work with the Celtics to bring in Terry Rozier via sign-and-trade.

The Hornets also decided to let go of Frank Kaminsky, to free up cap space. At first glance, it looks like a loss for the Hornets. But with the young players being able to develop more with more minutes and more scoring opportunities, the future is bright. The Hornets will be able to focus on developing their young core to build a consistently winning team.

With most of the big contracts ending at the end of next year or the year after, the Hornets cap space will finally be free. The Hornets will be able to use that free cap space to spend money on players to build around the young core. They can also use the funds to acquire another superstar player in free agency in 2020 or 2021 (Giannis Antetokounmpo?).

Expectations

Bluntly speaking, the fans aren’t expecting much out of the Hornets this year–or for the next few. The Hornets’ main goal this year is to develop the young players as much as possible, and fans expect that. No one is expecting a deep playoff run. No one is even planning a playoff run in general. The Hornets will simply invest their time and effort into their young core to try and build a winning culture later down the road.

The young stars of the team like Malik Monk and Miles Bridges will be able to thrive in the environment that they are the number one and number two options offensively. Expect them to learn a lot this season, and to improve immensely. As the countdown to NBA tip-off clock keeps ticking, fans are ready to see what the young core can accomplish this season.

Season Prediction

Again, with the roster that they have currently, they most likely won’t make the playoffs. The Hornets are labeled one of the worst teams in the league. With the goals that the franchise has for this season, this team won’t win very many games. Expect their win total to be in the high 20s or low 30s. Although that sounds atrocious, for the franchise, it’s great.

The Hornets get another shot at the lottery in the following draft, then perhaps they can draft a young star. Although the predictions seem to be a lot of losses for the season, those losses can eventually turn into wins for the future.

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