Michael Jordan will look to add another marquee player via free agency this offseason, according to reports. A playoff trip after going 28-120 the prior two seasons has created some positive momentum for the now Hornets and Jordan is looking to build.
Jordan feels that with the cap space and draft picks the team has, that shouldn't be a problem. They made a big splash last year in free agency by signing Al Jefferson, and will look to continue to add some star power this offseason.
Charlotte has the 9th, 24th & 45th picks in this month's upcoming draft. they will have roughly 19 million in cap room, with 44 million locked up in player contracts, and the salary cap estimated at 63 million next season.
The Hornets ranked in the bottom half of the league in field goal percentage, three point percentage and free throw percentage this season. Perimeter shooting should be priority #1, and Doug McDermott out of Creighton would be a nice help at the ninth pick.
At 6'8" 225, he can play shooting forward/power forward off the bench and stretch the floor with ease. Adding another perimeter scorer off the bench could also be addressed with their second pick in the first round, PJ Hairston (Jordan is known to take UNC players) could be a nice fit. Hairston would provide instant offense off the bench, as he was ineligible at Carolina this year and played in the D-League. Hairston made 73 three pointers in 26 D-League games.
Josh McRoberts has a player option for next season, and reports state he may opt out for a bigger deal. He'd be slated to make 2.7 million next year if he opted in. McRoberts played an important role for Charlotte, as he was third on the team in rebounding (4.8 RPG), and second on the team in assists (4.3 APG).
Charlotte may want to look at adding a big man via free agency. Greg Monroe (restricted free agent), could be a good option to look at to play alongside Jefferson. There have been mixed reports if Detroit wants to keep Monroe so they can move Josh Smith back to power forward and save money for Andre Drummond when his rookie contract runs up.
Some other options via free agency could include: Marcin Gortat (unrestricted), Chris Bosh (player option), Pau Gasol (unrestricted), Zach Randolph (player option), and Spencer Hawes (unrestricted).
One thing is for certain, Kemba Walker and Jefferson are the centerpieces of this team. Walker is coming off his second straight solid season in which he averaged 17.7 PPG & 6.1 APG. Jefferson was named to the NBA's All-Third team as he dominated the paint down low, and had 42 double-doubles in 73 regular season games.
They'll need to figure out if Gerald Henderson and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist are the answers at the two and three; the jury is still out there. Veteran guard Gary Neal filled in nicely off the bench, as he averaged 11.2 PPG in the final 22 games for the Bobcats after being traded from Milwaukee. Cody Zeller has room for improvement after a sub-par rookie campaign and they no longer have to worry about paying Ben Gordon 13.2 million dollars, yes that actually happened last year, Gordon played 19 games all season.
A trade could possibly be in the works with the ammo they have this offseason. One rumor was trading for Aaron Afflalo and Jameer Nelson of the Magic for a couple draft picks and Gerald Henderson. It gives them another perimeter threat and a veteran backup to Walker, while still keeping the roster intact for the most part.
After a 43-39 campaign in just year one of Jefferson's contract, there's room for optimism moving forward for the Hornets. If they can add a top flight free agent and address some needs in the draft, there's no reason this team can't crack the top four in the East.
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