The Charlotte Hornets finished second-to-last in the Eastern Conference last season, landing themselves land the second-overall pick which they used to draft Brandon Miller.
The partnership between Miller, who averaged 18.8 points while shooting 38.4 percent from three in college, and a healthy LaMelo Ball will be the Hornets’ foundation for years to come and coach Steve Clifford will look to them to improve on the team’s 27-55 record from last season.
|2022/23 Charlotte Hornets||Record: 27-55|
|Result: Missed Playoffs|
|To win 2023/24 NBA Championship:||+30000|
|To win 2023/24 NBA Eastern Conference:||+15000|
Entering his fourth NBA season, Ball has improved every year since he debuted in 2020 after being the third-overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft.
He has improved every season, seeing both his points and assists per-game averages rising every campaign. His 2022/23 season was interrupted by ankle injuries that eventually required surgery, but if he’s healthy, he could make his second All-Star Game appearance.
Brandon Miller - Draft/Alabama
Frank Ntilikina – Dallas
Edmond Sumner – Brooklyn
Leaky Black – Undrafted Free Agent/North Carolina
RJ Hunter – Free Agent
Nick Smith Jr. – Draft/Arkansas
Svi Mykhailiuk – Boston
Kelly Oubre – Philadelphia
Dennis Smith Jr. – Brooklyn
The Charlotte Hornets’ season begins with three straight home games: against the Atlanta Hawks on Oct. 25, against the Detroit Pistons on Oct. 27, and against the Brooklyn Nets on Oct. 30.
They face another young team – the Houston Rockets – in their first road game Nov. 1.
Charlotte plays reigning Eastern Conference champions the Miami Heat in North Carolina on Nov. 14, and Gordon Hayward plays his former team, the Boston Celtics, Nov. 20.
With an over/under for total wins at 30.5 and -1000 odds to miss the playoffs, not much is expected of the Charlotte Hornets this season.
They have the talent to surprise people, but that would involve big steps up from their core of young players led by Ball and Miller.
Terry Rozier can score and his eight years of NBA experience will help the younger players, but roster depth is the biggest issue for Charlotte.
The starters will likely be Ball, Rozier, Miller, PJ Washington, and Mason Plumlee, although Hayward could start for Miller if Clifford doesn’t want to throw the rookie into the deep end.
Speaking of Hayward, he has not returned to the player he was before suffering a horrific leg break five minutes into the first game of the 2017/18 season, and at 33 years old, he is not likely to. That said, he would be a welcome veteran presence off the bench for any team.
Washington, a product of the University of Kentucky, has been a nice player for Charlotte as he enters his fifth NBA season. The 6’7” forward averaged 15.7 points per game, 4.9 rebounds per game, and 2.4 assists per game last season while starting every one of the 73 games he played.