The Charlotte Hornets' rise during the 2020-21 season has been huge. They came extremely close to ending their playoff drought and were the 4th seed in the Eastern Conference for a while.
Injuries to LaMelo Ball and Gordon Hayward led to a drop in the standings. If not for those unfortunate incidents, the team might have guaranteed a playoff berth. The front office is now aware that the team is capable of making a significant playoff push and needs to make the necessary changes to the roster.
Which Charlotte Hornets players will we not see with the team next season?
Brad Wanamaker is a possible upcoming trade for the Charlotte Hornets. He was traded by the Golden State Warriors at the NBA trade deadline and did not show significant production during his time in Charlotte.
There are three more players on the roster who possibly won't be with the team for next season. Let's take a look at who they are.
#1 Bismack Biyombo
Bismack Biyombo's time with the Charlotte Hornets might be coming to an end. He was drafted by the Kings in 2011 and subsequently traded to the Hornets, with small stops at Orlando and Toronto.
Biyombo never panned out as the player the Hornets expected him to become when they traded for him as the 7th overall pick on draft day. Despite being a 10-year NBA veteran, Biyombo has never averaged double-digits in scoring or even rebounding.
In the 66 games he played this season, he started in 36 and averaged 5.0 points, 5.3 rebounds, 1.2 assists and 1.1 blocks per game in 20.4 minutes per game. Those numbers certainly don't reflect a starting center, and the Charlotte Hornets have already made it clear that they are looking for centers in the upcoming offseason. They have been linked to the Cavaliers' Jarrett Allen and the Pacers' Myles Turner.
#2 Malik Monk
Charlotte Hornets might have to part ways with Malik Monk. He has played just one game as a starter his entire career and a second doesn't seem to be anywhere on the horizon.
Monk never got to reach his full potential with the Hornets as issues beyond his control always derailed his season. A drug suspension in 2019, the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 and an ankle sprain in the final stretch of this season, has led to Monk often rooting for his team from the sidelines instead of lacing up to play.
He is set to enter restricted free agency this offseason and it is unlikely the Hornets will match any offers for him.
Monk currently plays the backup shooting guard position. The Hornets, however, have LaMelo Ball alongside Terry Rozier as starters, while Devonte' Graham averaged the fourth-highest points on the team. As a result, the Charlotte Hornets paying another $7-10 million for Monk doesn't seem like a worthy investment.
He averaged 11.7 points, 2.1 assists, 2.4 rebounds and 0.5 steals per game this season.
#3 Cody Zeller
Cody Zeller's issue with the Charlotte Hornets is the same as Bismack Biyombo. He didn't turn out to be the player the Hornets hoped he would be when they drafted him 4th overall in the 2013 NBA Draft.
In his eight-year career with the Hornets so far, Cody Zeller has averaged 8.7 points, 6.0 rebounds and 0.7 blocks per game. Those are great numbers for a bench role player, but certainly not enough for a starter. In fact, his statistics in the 2020-21 season are lower than last season and he is getting lesser minutes every year.
As mentioned earlier, the Charlotte Hornets are already in the market for a center, with reported ties to Myles Turner and Jarrett Allen. There is no evidence to prove the Hornets will retain Cody Zeller in the offseason. He is getting paid $15 million this year and then will become an unrestricted free agent for the first time in his career. It's safe to say we can expect Zeller to don a new jersey next season.
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