The Charlotte Hornets have a lot of work ahead of them in the offseason. They are one of the NBA’s worst teams in the 2022-23 season. The Hornets might benefit from a makeover, and not only in terms of ownership. Of course, they definitely require more offensive firepower. Here we will look at the biggest roster need that the Charlotte Hornets must definitely address in the coming 2023 NBA offseason.
The Hornets had high expectations for their promising core of players, including LaMelo Ball, Miles Bridges, Kelly Oubre Jr., PJ Washington, and Terry Rozier. However, their underperformance on the court and off-court distractions have undermined their potential. Despite this setback, the team should prioritize the development of Ball. He just has legitimate superstar potential. The Hornets must make important decisions regarding their personnel, but their focus should be on Ball’s growth to improve their chances of success.
Of course, this team’s defense needs work. However, apart from that, there are other areas the Hornets need to address to prevent another disappointing season. They have a net rating of -6.5 this season, which is among the bottom four. Even worse, though, the Hornets are dead last in terms of offensive rating at just 108.5.
Now, let’s look at the biggest need that the Hornets must address this 2023 offseason.
Get more scoring punch
The New York Knicks have a high offensive efficiency but a low three-point percentage. We reference the Knicks because the Hornets are in kinda the same boat, at least in terms of low three-point percentage. This may indicate that the team needs to look for more shooters in the offseason. However, even without relying on long-range shots, they need to find ways to score more effectively.
The reality this season is that the absence of key players like Ball negatively impacted the team’s offense. This just highlighted their dependence on Ball’s individual talents. To improve their scoring, the Hornets need another player who can create his own opportunities without relying solely on Ball. This attribute should be the primary consideration when selecting a new player in the upcoming NBA draft.
LaMelo Ball games everyday until the Draft Lottery: (Day 1)
February 2nd, 2022…
38 PTS, 9 ASTS, 2 STLS, 4 3PM pic.twitter.com/v5hid5dksK
— jaden (@washedjaden) March 27, 2023
The irony is that despite having Ball, the Hornets have struggled to perform well from behind the arc. This is even if Ball shoots over 10.5 threes per game and makes around 38 percent of them. It is even more puzzling considering that last year’s team, consisting mostly of the same players, was ranked sixth in three-point percentage. However, this year, they are dead last (29th), only making 32.5 percent of their triples.
Part of the issue is due to the absence of Miles Bridges and Ball’s availability for only half the season. Additionally, Terry Rozier has struggled. He has made only 32.7 percent of his roughly eight three-point attempts per game. Gordon Hayward’s performance has also been disappointing, with a 32.2 percent success rate. That’s low compared to his career 37.1 percent mark before the season. Kelly Oubre Jr. has been one of the worst performers. He makes only slightly above 32 percent of his attempts despite being third on the team in attempts per game (7.1). He may have begun prioritizing his three-point shots instead of taking advantage of the opportunities created by others’ attacks to the basket. We can perhaps blame that on his hand injury.
Although Ball’s return will help the Hornets address some of their shooting problems, they may also need to address this issue through free agency. If they decide to re-sign free agent Oubre, he may need to change his approach to long-distance shooting.
The Hornets could benefit from targeting Atlanta Hawks big man John Collins in the upcoming offseason. There have been rumors about the Hawks trading Collins, and the Hornets could be an excellent fit for him. With Ball as a facilitator similar to Trae Young, Collins could be an excellent leaper as a stretch-four. He can potentially fill the roles of Washington and Bridges. Sure, Collins lacks potential as an on-ball defender and is more of a forward-center than a combo forward. Still, he positively impacts a team’s interior defense and is active on-ball. Ball should find Collins above the rim and beyond the arc, making him a valuable offensive asset.
In addition to his on-court contributions, Collins may also have a positive impact off the court. He is known to have a strong interest in his community, and his positive attitude is infectious. Adding Collins to their core could be an opportunity for the Hornets to think about personnel development alongside improving their on-court product. As the Hornets look to develop their players, Collins could bring value as a leader to the team. That’s certainly something that Bridges has yet to do.
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