Far-Fetched Friday: This Offseason Will be a Turning Point in the Charlotte Hornets’ Rebuild
By: Ryan Stein
No franchise has had less success in the 21st century than the Charlotte Hornets. Charlotte has only five playoff appearances since 2000, with two of those appearances technically being from the team that would later become the New Orleans Hornets/Pelicans. With that level of futility for the past 20 years, it's reasonable to question whether or not the team will ever be relevant in the NBA. However, I believe this upcoming offseason will mark the beginning of a major change of fortune for the Hornets.
Welcome back to Far-Fetched Friday, where every Friday we give you a bold prediction that we believe will come to fruition. This Friday we look at that one basketball team in North Carolina.
Having the 3rd overall pick in the draft, Charlotte will be able to pick the remaining player from the consensus top-3 in the draft (LaMelo Ball, Anthony Edwards, and James Wiseman.) While none of those players are a sure hit, they all have star potential in their own right. Regardless of which player they choose to draft, their free agent goal should be the same: aggressively pursue young players with legitimate talent.
The Hornets should be willing to throw out money to guys like Christian Wood, Fred VanVleet, and Brandon Ingram (who will likely have any offer made be matched by his current team, the New Orleans Pelicans, but is still worth a shot.)
Wood is the most uncertain player of that group, considering his tremendous play at the end of last season was such a small sample size. Still, he was consistently putting up 20-point, 10-rebound nights while being able to score from anywhere on the floor. A player like that is worth taking a risk on, and I expect the Hornets to be one of the teams willing to take that risk.
Adding a young duo like Anthony Edwards and Christian Wood won't immediately put the Hornets into the playoffs. However, it will give the Hornets a couple of guys with legit star potential, so long as they are properly managed. Don't be surprised in a few years when the players Charlotte acquire this offseason end up being key factors in a major resurgence for the team.
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