Charlotte Hornets 2017 NBA Preview, Draft, Offseason Recap, Depth Chart, Outlook
Charlotte Hornets 2017 Preview
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The Charlotte Hornets have nowhere to go but up after winning just 36 games last season and not winning a playoff series since Paul Silas was head coach back in 2001-02. There’s obvious questions to answer with the Hornets, but this is a squad that has to like its chances being in the East and having one of the more underrated coaches in the league leading the way.
Here is your Charlotte Hornets 2017 NBA preview.
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Key Player Losses: The only key player the Hornets lost was Marco Belinelli, who spent one season in Charlotte, averaging two assists and 10.5 points on 36 percent shooting from deep. Belinelli was one of the Hornets top bench players due to his leadership and ability to space the floor while creating for others.
Key Player Additions: The Hornets got their big man by trading for Dwight Howard, who still has plenty left in the tank at 31 years old, as he averaged 13.5 points and 8.7 rebounds on 63.3 percent shooting last season with the Atlanta Hawks. While the public perception of Howard isn’t good, he’s a player who is still effective and can help a team win games if used properly. The Hornets also landed their backup point guard in Michael Carter-Williams, who is already on his fourth team at 25 years old. While Carter-Williams hasn’t panned out since winning Rookie of the Year in 2014, he does set his teammates up nicely and can be good for stretches where he’s not asked to do too much.
Draft: Malik Monk was the best shooter in the draft after making 39.7 percent of his threes in one season with Kentucky and his skill set suggests all-star potential. Monk is one of those players who can takeover a game when hot, and he’ll be a key contributor off the bench from day one for Charlotte. Dwayne Bacon is a lengthy shooting guard who really shined in two seasons at Florida State, shooting 51 percent on twos and averaging five rebounds. Bacon’s outside shot has to improve in order to become starter quality, but there’s a lot to like with the soon to be 22-year-old.
Outlook: The Hornets kept pretty much the same roster they had a season ago while improving in the draft and stealing Howard. Those moves suggest the Charlotte Hornets will be a better team than last season. However, while the East is weak, I’m still not sure there’s enough overall talent or scoring for the Hornets to make a jump into the playoff conversation. It’s often Kemba Walker or bust with this squad and that’s simply not going to get it done. While I like the addition of Howard, the Hornets are still one of those blah teams in the East that’s on the outside looking in.