The Charlotte Hornets have always been also-rans. They have never appeared in an NBA Finals and have never even won their division either. The team has missed the playoffs for the last four years. But now they seem to be on the cusp of bagging a playoff spot.
The team looks ready for a playoff berth, Gordon Hayward has significant playoff experience and will elevate LaMelo Ball's game. Moreover, their young players are all improving at a steady pace. The young team is ready for a bigger challenge and this season why might see the Charlotte Hornets in a new spirit.
Charlotte Hornets 2020-21 NBA Season Preview: A potential playoff spot
Gordon Hayward and LaMelo Ball will turn a new page in this franchise's history. The duo is expected to take this team back in playoff contention and the acquisition of LaMelo Ball fits the roster's timeline perfectly.
Although the Charlotte Hornets haven't had a playoff appearance in almost four years, the team isn't exactly bottom of the table either. They always wander around the 9th or 10th seed and this year they might finally make it into the top 8 spots. Their young guards, Terry Rozier and Devonte' Graham are incredibly talented and are on an upward trajectory in terms of their stats and minutes.
Charlotte Hornets 2019-20 NBA Season Record
Regular Season: 23-42 (.354)
Conference: 10th seed (Eastern)
Division: 4th position (Southeast)
Playoffs: Did not qualify
G LaMelo Ball, F Gordon Hayward, C Bismack Biyombo
LaMelo Ball is the brother of New Orleans Pelicans guard, Lonzo Ball and was selected 3rd overall by the Charlotte Hornets in the 2020 NBA Draft. The 19-year-old has shown great potential at an early age and is likely to be the new face of the Hornets franchise. He dropped 92 points in a game last year, and along with Terry Rozier and Devonte' Graham, the Hornets backcourt can be incredibly lethal in the years to come.
Gordon Hayward was the Hornets' blockbuster signing in the offseason. They signed the former Celtics forward to a $120 million deal and his leadership and playmaking abilities will elevate the Charlotte Hornets to new heights. Gordon Hayward was a key player in the Celtics' lineup, many former teammates appreciated Hayward's contributions, and his presence on the court always improved their chances of a win.
Charlotte Hornets Predicted Lineup
G Devonte' Graham, G LaMelo Ball, F Gordon Hayward, F PJ Washington, C Cody Zeller
G Terry Rozier, C Bismack Biyombo, F Miles Bridges, C Vernon Carey Jr., G Joe Chealey, F Caleb Martin, F Cody Martin, F Jalen McDaniels, G Malik Monk, C Nick Richards
Gordon Hayward has decent playoff experience and can guide this young team through a grueling postseason if they finally make the playoffs this year. His addition to the team has certainly improved the Hornets' chances of more victories.
Terry Rozier and Devonte' Graham have improved in every statistical category and continue to be on an upward trajectory. They are incredibly talented young guards who have the ability to grow into All-Stars. Terry Rozier even drew interest from title-contending teams like the LA Clippers in the offseason.
Prediction for the Charlotte Hornets' 2020-21 NBA season
As mentioned earlier, the Hornets always finish as the 9th or 10th seed, and this year, with the addition of Hayward and Ball, the Hornets might just get a playoff spot. The attention is going to be on a lot of players on the roster. Hayward and Ball will have to excel right from their debut and everyone is anticipating more growth in Rozier and Graham.
The Hornets can follow in the footsteps of the Nets and Clippers from the 2019 offseason. These teams showed signs of promise and capability to win games so All-Star free agents were attracted to sign for them.
The Charlotte Hornets did sign Gordon Hayward but they are still lacking in a lot of ways. Their defense is subpar and they lack a bona fide big man and the addition of another All-Star caliber player might give them a chance to make a deep playoff run in the future.