Saturday, December 4 2021

The Charlotte Hornets were mighty busy this offseason.

After losing in the first game of the play-in tournament, the Hornets looked to improve their roster during the draft and free agency to ensure a further push in the playoffs next season.

ESPN’s Zach Lowe chose the Hornets as one of his winners during the offseason with the additions of Mason Plumlee, Kelly Oubre, and Ish Smith as well as drafting James Bouknight and Kai Jones in the first-round.

The Athletic’s David Aldridge had similar sentiments, giving Charlotte the No. 7 best ranked offseason throughout the entire league.

Check out Aldridge’s reasons behind the No.7 ranking for the Hornets below.

“This comes down to how much you like Bouknight and Jones, and I like them a lot. Bouknight, LaMelo Ball and Rozier could form a pretty dynamic guard trio. Bouknight isn’t a great shooter, but he can score. Charlotte sent a protected (1-18 next year) first and heavily protected second to the Knicks to move up to get Jones. The 20-year-old has stupid upside — not quite along the lines of fellow Bahamian big Deandre Ayton, but plenty of it. The mind reels at the potential rim-running extravaganzas he’ll pull off with Ball in transition.” Mitch Kupchak and the Hornets had themselves a field day on draft night, scoring both James Bouknight and Kai Jones in the first-round. Bouknight, who most had slated to go in the top 10, fell to Charlotte and Kupchak and company could not have been happier. With Malik Monk now in L.A., Bouknight will have the chance to take the reins as the Hornets No. 1 scorer off the bench. For Jones, the chance to add an athletic big with such upside was a no-brainer for Charlotte to trade up in the draft to acquire. The amount of lobs that one can imagine Kai Jones catching from LaMelo is countless. As Charlotte looked to be in the market for a center this offseason, landing Jones makes it so the Longhorn could be the big man of the future in Charlotte.

“The skeleton of a very dynamic young core is coming into focus here, with Ball and Bouknight and Jones and P.J. Washington and Miles Bridges. The Rozier extension is high, but you can’t ding Charlotte for not being able to get free agents and then ding the team again for spending to keep its best guys. Plumlee was miscast in Detroit but should find solid minutes here…We all know Oubre isn’t a dynamic shooter, but Hayward, Rozier, Washington and Bridges all shot at least 39 percent on 3s last season; how great does Oubre have to be?”

A ‘very dynamic young core’ could definitely be coming together for the Hornets with Ball as the head of the snake. With the likes of Rozier, Washington, and Bridges already alongside him and adding Bouknight, Jones, and Oubre to that core, the Hornets can jump from the No. 10 and final seed in the play-in tournament to a potential solidified playoff spot this season.

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Source: Yahoo Sports

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