With Kemba Walker leaving I understand the Hornets lost their franchise player but that is why they brought over Mitch Kupchak to
steer the boat around in Charlotte. With Kemba Walker gone Miles Bridges must now step up into a leadership role and take on more of a Draymmond Green type of mentality on the defensive side of the ball and also as a play-maker. Miles Bridges is already more athletic than Draymmond Green has ever been but does he have Draymmond’s motor is the question? Other young players like Dwayne Bacon and Devonte Graham, are they ready to produce at the NBA level after their short G-League stints. Malik Monk who was not a favorite of Steve Clifford when he was coaching, can he step up his defense and provide scoring off the bench? I believe Malik Monk has the potential to win 6th man of the Year this coming season if he buckles down on the defensive side of the ball and can shoot the 3 ball more efficiently.
Zeller,Marvin,Biyombo, and Batum are all under contract but can all contribute as they all have more than enough experience on the NBA floor already. They drafted PJ Washington who coming out of Kentucky I thought could be a forward who can average 21 ppg and 10-11 rpg in his prime but judging off his showing last night where he poured in 27 points in a victory for the Chicago Bulls I came away impressed. Not to mention James Borrego’s confidence in him a starter by thrusting him into the fire early on. And now onto their surprise signing over the off-season Terry Rozier who signed for $57 million dollars and will be sure to bring his toughness and grit to the Charlotte Hornets. I like the outlook for this team, they are not a preferred destination for superstar free-agents over the coming years but who knows? What if going into 2021 free-agency Kawhi and LeBron decide to come over to Charlotte? You will never know.
Just look at Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, they have left dysfunctional organizations twice already, Kevin Durant left OKC and even a seamless situation in Golden State all because of the rift with Draymmond Green and the need to prove he can win a ring without jumping on a 73-9 team that probably would’ve won without him. I always supported Mitch Kupchak even in his days with the Lakers, he drafted Brandon Ingram for the Lakers who I believe will be a great player in the NBA yet he got fired and things went south for him. Most of the time we look at player transactions but do not take into account how Management and Coaching effect the game a ton. So than I look at James Borrego and Mitch Kupchak who both came from great organizations such as the San Antonio Spurs and the Los Angeles Lakers and I think to myself something has to go right over time.
The title reads the Charlotte Hornets can make the playoffs and most would say it is ridiculous but I saw Terry Rozier through the 2017-2018 playoff run and his intensity up and down the floor along with his defense helped the Celtics massively, he does not disrupt team chemistry and will not hinder the growth of Bacon,Monk,Washington, and Graham who are the young core pieces. Terry Rozier can play within a system and is not a ball dominant guard whom disrupts ball movement, no disrespect towards Kemba Walker he is a great 3 point shooter and exceptional ball handler but he is not what I would call an all-around guard. He can light you up for 30-40 points and be unguardable any given night but what about rebounds,assists,defense, and being able to guard multiple positions on the floor? Kemba Walker can not play better defense,rebound,and play within a system better than Terry Rozier.
To conclude I failed to mention Michael Jordan in this article who most would say is the Greatest Basketball Player the NBA has ever seen, he owns the Charlotte Hornets and wanted Terry Rozier on the team. Michael Jordan praises Kobe Bryant over LeBron James and is a huge fan of Russell Westbrook because of his ferocity and passion for the game, Terry Rozier shows a ton of that and is out to prove the rest of the NBA wrong,specially those saying he is overpaid. At the end of the day to win you have to build a team, and sometimes you have to make decisions which might raise some eyebrows like skipping out on re-signing Kemba Walker. They offered him close to $169 million but if they had payed him that their leverage over the next few years in free-agecy would become limited. They signed Terry Rozier for a fraction of that amount and might be a better team this coming season, let’s face it Kemba Walker is pushing 30 and guards of his size with limited athleticism are atrocious defensively as they get older. Give me your thoughts on the Hornets.