Tuesday, October 26 2021

The Charlotte Hornets didn’t necessarily make any huge splashes during the offseason, but you can’t say that they’re coming away worse as a team.

The Hornets signed wing Kelly Oubre Jr. and veteran guard Ish Smith while acquiring center Mason Plumlee via trade and drafting first-rounders James Bouknight and Kai Jones.

The Athletic’s David Aldridge ranked the Hornets as having the No. 7 best offseason in the league, while ESPN’s Zach Lowe crowned Charlotte as one of his winners during free agency.

On Monday, Lowe’s colleague, Kevin Pelton, gave the Hornets’ offseason a C+ grade.

See Pelton’s reasoning for the C+ grade below..

Adding Kelly Oubre Jr. on a two-year, $24.6 million deal ($17 million guaranteed) offered more upside to what had been a conservative offseason for the Hornets. They used the rest of their cap space to add veterans Mason Plumlee (via a trade that also allowed them to move up in the second round) and Ish Smith instead of aggressively pursuing a bigger upgrade at center.

Kelly Oubre Jr., who spent last season with the Warriors, comes in as a versatile wing who can either start or be the first man off the bench for the Hornets. The Kansas product brings a competitive, energetic spirit which fits in perfectly amongst the likes of LaMelo Ball and Miles Bridges. With the loss of Cody Zeller, Mason Plumlee fits in perfectly as a well-rounded big who can defend and pass out of the post. The former Piston will fit in nicely with Charlotte and be a good mentor for the likes of Kai Jones. https://twitter.com/LonzoWire/status/1430213399024214023?s=20

Atypically, Charlotte gave up a future first-rounder to add a second one this year (taking center Kai Jones after previously drafting James Bouknight in the lottery) but was able to replace it with one from a sign-and-trade sending restricted free agent Devonte’ Graham to the New Orleans Pelicans.

It wasn’t just free agency where the Hornets got better this offseason. Their offseason started during the draft, where they selected James Bouknight and Kai Jones in the first round. With the departure of Malik Monk, Bouknight could immediately fill in as the top scoring punch off the bench for Charlotte. For Kai Jones, he comes in as a backup center to Plumlee with the potential of being the center of the future and best friend of LaMelo Ball in the pick-and-roll.

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Source: Yahoo Sports

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