The Charlotte Hornets missed the postseason for the sixth straight season and want an excellent offseason after getting blown out within the play-in tournament for a second yr in a row. 2022 NBA free agency is coming up this week, and the Hornets are in position to make some necessary moves.
The Hornets fired head coach James Borrego and were able to hire Golden State Warriors assistant Kenny Atkinson. After Golden State won the championship, Atkinson decided to stay on the Warriors’ staff. The Hornets pivoted and brought back former head coach Steve Clifford, who could have the duty of getting them back to the playoffs.
Charlotte has a solidified young star in LaMelo Ball to construct around and a few solid pieces alongside him, including a key free agent in Miles Bridges. The Hornets had an eventful draft night after entering the day with a pair of first-round picks, with one in every of those being traded away.
Charlotte can have found its franchise center by choosing Mark Williams with the fifteenth overall pick. Williams is a conventional big who can protect the rim at an elite level. He won Defensive Player of the Yr within the ACC at Duke. He averaged 11.2 points and seven.4 rebounds while shooting an efficient 72.1 percent from the sphere. Williams anchored Duke’s defense with 2.8 blocks per game and can look to do the identical at the following level. The Hornets have been looking for a long-term solution at center for some time, and maybe Williams might be that guy.
Within the second round, the Hornets chosen guard Bryce McGowens. McGowens is an athletic guard with a solid all-around game. He will not be an efficient 3-point shooter, which is what he needs to enhance within the NBA.
These rookies will need time to develop but may very well be an element of the rotation next season.
Charlotte now must work on filling out the remaining of the roster through free agency. With that said, listed here are two players the Hornets must check in 2022 NBA free agency.
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Hornets 2022 NBA Free Agency Targets
2. Cody Martin
Cody Martin was a solid role player for the Hornets off the bench this past season. Martin is a young wing entering restricted free agency and needs to be retained by Charlotte.
In 2021-22, Martin recorded 7.7 points, 4.0 rebounds, and 1.2 steals per game. He shot 48.2 percent from the sphere and 38.4 percent from 3-point range. He’s an excellent two-way player who suits the timeline for this youthful Hornets bunch. Bringing him back shouldn’t cost a ton, and so they can match a proposal sheet due to his restricted free agent status.
While Martin won’t be the highest priority, Charlotte should consider re-signing the 26-year-old.
1. Miles Bridges
The Hornets’ biggest task this offseason is getting Miles Bridges back. Bridges had a breakout campaign in 2021-22, posting a profession high in multiple statistical categories.
Bridges averaged 20.2 points, 7.0 rebounds, and three.8 assists, providing stability and forming a lethal tandem with LaMelo Ball. Bridges was a reliable scorer for Charlotte while providing good defense on the opposite end.
The Hornets have been actively seeking to shed salary with a purpose to feel higher about paying Bridges. Trading Gordon Hayward is an obvious technique to try this, however it may very well be difficult to search out a trade partner. It was reported that Charlotte desires to re-sign Bridges but may not need to match a max contract from one other team.
While Bridges hasn’t ascended right into a superstar, he’s the second-best player on the team behind Ball. The Hornets must keep him, and so they really should accomplish that in any respect costs. Remember, Charlotte can match any offer sheet.
The Hornets appear to have a vivid future ahead. They don’t have a ton of cash to make moves, as they’ve multiple large contracts on the books. Until Charlotte is capable of get off these big contracts, the one big moves require re-signing young players.
Bridges and Martin would each help the Hornets be competitive next season. Ball is a dynamic, growing star who will only recover through the years. Keeping Bridges and Martin around could be highly useful relating to making a postseason run next season.