Just two years after losing the only thing keeping the Charlotte Hornets relevant, Kemba Walker, it seems like some excitement is creeping into Buzz City. They continued to stay relevant with veterans Gordan Hayward and Terry Rozier. This franchise makeover was based on a huge amount of luck in the 2020 draft. Landing the number 3 pick even though the Hornets were 9th in the East, just outside the playoffs, and having Lamelo Ball fall into their laps. After another successful draft and a Ball brother heating it up in the Summer League, the Hornets are starting to become fan-favorites. 

The Bounce 

Last year’s squad was super exciting. The combo of Lamelo Ball and Miles Bridges provided exciting dunks and oops. This year we will be seeing more of the same, with a healthy Ball providing even more highlights. With the addition of Kelly Oubre Jr. in free agency, the Hornets are adding another high flyer. They also drafted Kai Jones, a 6”11 big who has athleticism not meant for his size. This entire group has forwards and centers that can rock the rim, and both Ball and Rozier who can set others up. The Hornets have 3 or 4 players that can create a highlight reel play every night, and that’s the key ingredient for some of the most exciting teams in the league. 

The Core 

This Charlotte team is going to run up the score almost every night. They have buckets at every position, and the only question will be how well this team gels. Lamelo Ball’s passing and playmaking ability should open up the floor for everyone else. The Hornets have veteran options Gordan Hayward and Terry Rozier who should make the growing pains of some of the younger guys much more manageable. Kelly Oubre should be able to get his mojo back at some point this season, and having a player in his prime can help this team in the present and future. Their rookies, James Bouknight and Kai Jones, have immense upside and could be major parts of this team in the future. Bouknight is a natural scorer, making him a great compliment to Lamelo, and once he becomes a more rounded player this backcourt could be the best in the league. If Jones can tap into his potential, the sky’s the limit. An athletic big is something that every team dreams of having. This core of Charlotte’s has so much potential, and with the established talent already on the roster it seems like this team can be competitive now and in the future. 

Top Image: AP Photo/Jacob Kupferman

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