So yesterday I threw my hat into the ring in terms of making suggestions of what path that I thought that our Charlotte Hornets should go in with our roster. Well, I want to go ahead and bring you another set of suggestions for everyone to review. Yesterday’s ideas did garner a good point. I was stockpiling shooting guards. That is not a good thing.
Over the course of writing the article yesterday, Embiid having a foot injury came to light. Could this be a warning sign for teams to possibly avoid him? Is he injury prone? Will he be ready for the 2014-2015 NBA season? They had him projected to go at the first pick. Will this damage his draft stock? There were concerns about his back and he was being projected at 1, so will the foot injury matter? I guess we will see, but in the meantime, back to the article at hand.
Today I’m mixing up my suggestions from yesterday. I am taking the advice of a Trade Street Post reader and I am not going to go heavy at the SG position. Instead, I’m going to throw some different names in the pot. Let me first list the 9 players currently under contract for the 2014-2015 season:
Last time I stressed not drafting a point guard. I believe Kemba is our future, and I don’t see a need to replace him any time soon. I will say that there are guards other than Sessions out there that are unrestricted free agents that could possibly fit the bill for us. Names of players that I like on that list include Shaun Livingston, Patty Mills, Nate Robinson (yes, Nate Robinson), and Ramon Sessions. I figured it made more sense to give a small cross section of players versus me just throwing specific players out there. From this list, Shaun Livingston, Patty Mills, and/or Ramon Sessions would be main targets for me. I listed those guys in no specific order. I always liked Livingston and I think adding him back in Charlotte would be incredible. His size and ability causes so many nightmares for other teams’ point guards.
If you really want to draft a PG, I suppose you could do so at 24, because you’d be adding a solid role player and not someone to take Kemba’s job. Shabazz Napier’s name comes to mind. Just so you understand my mindset, I like the idea of having Kemba, a vet, and a rookie or inexperienced guy. This way the vet can help the starter and the inexperienced. You gain vet experience, and possibly a breakout guy who can only be getting better with every minute played.
Let me move on to shooting guard. It’s no secret that we need some scoring power from the perimeter to take some heat off of Big Al. As much as I have supported Gerald Henderson, I just don’t think he is the best fit with the hornets anymore (I’ve mentioned before that he and MKG do not fit well together on the floor because they are not prolific scorers). So what do I think we should do? Well, we don’t want to overload at this spot because I fully believe Jeffery Taylor can excel at SG, so when I gaze at our roster, I think I would make a change. I believe I would have Jeffery Taylor start at SG and have Gerald come off of the bench. I’ve always liked the idea of JT and MKG on the floor at the same time. Those are 2 high energy guys, and they both play killer defense. JT has to keep in mind, though, that he needs to think about scoring and scoring and scoring. Obviously he can’t be a ball hog, and I don’t think he would be, but he needs to move well without the ball so that if Al is in trouble, he can come off of a screen for an open shot. Am I saying I’m OK with our SGs? I guess so…for now. Time is going to tell just how well JT comes back form the Achilles injury. Once we see that, we may have to make adjustments once we are into the season.
So I’m sliding on to the small forward situation. We have Michael Kidd Gilchrist and Jeffery Taylor as our 2 small forwards. Again, much like with the point guards, I’d like to have our starter, an experienced player, and some youth that brings something completely different from what we have currently. As free agents go, past Carmelo and LeBron, there are other names that are on my radar. Obviously Anthony Tolliver and Chris Douglas-Roberts are right there because they were with the team last season. I have other names though that are worth considering as well. Trevor Ariza, Luol Deng, and even Gordon Hayward come to mind. At this position, these names could very well become the starter over MKG, so we would need to watch how much money we spend and how we plan to proceed with the team. For me, I’m looking at this spot and thinking that MKG is a great defender. Who could we add that is a balance of defense and scorer? Deng and Hayward would fit those descriptions, so perhaps one for those is the fit and MKG becomes the backup. I just feel we need to have varied levels of experience at each position. We are youngest at small forward, so experience would be a plus. Perhaps we bring back Tolliver or CDR, and we add Deng, Hayward (Hayward is a RFA, so it will cost Utah to keep him), or Ariza. If we stay young, we shouldn’t draft another SF.
My biggest concern is the power forward position. Josh McRoberts is a free agent and we have sophomore PF/C on roster. This concerns me greatly. I have the utmost faith in Cody, but I’d love to bolster this spot. This might actually be the area where we focus on and we spend the biggest amount of money in free agency. Cody needs an experienced brain to pick. I loved Josh McRoberts on our team, but if he doesn’t sign back, we have a hole to fill. This is where our reader’s suggestion figured into this article. Pau Gasol would be a great addition to the Hornets. Cody could learn so much from Gasol. Gasol could split time with Cody and really get the kid where he needs to be in the NBA at the power forward position. Other free agent PFs that are out there include players like Jeff Adrien, Zach Randolph (player option), Antawn Jamison, Royce White, Ivan Johnson, DeJuan Blair, Drew Gooden, & Kris Humphries, just to name several. For me, we have the youth that will be the starter of the future. We need to get a guy to get him up to speed. I believe Gasol is that guy. Our 3rd guy should be capable of coming in and doing at least 1 thing well, whether that would be shooting, rebounding, or playing staggering defense. So what am I saying? I’ll keep it simple. If we spend on a guy like Gasol, I want 2 young guys that can benefit from his knowledge and experience. Let’s draft McDermott at #9. The guy can shoot the lights out, and between Gasol and Big Al, they 2 of them can make this guy the best roll player we could possibly ever have.
At the center position, we have holes as well. Behind Big Al, we have Bismack Biyombo, which I believe will be coming into his game this year. He is 6’9” with a crazy 7’4” wingspan and incredible strength. I want the guy to be a Hornet forever. Behind him, however is Brendan Haywood. Haywood is past his prime and I think past his playing days. Charlotte needs to buy him out and free up another roster spot. With that spot, there are centers like Chris Andersen, Greg Oden, and Andrew Bynum (if you’d take on that gamble). I’m keeping this one short and sweet. I still have faith in Greg Oden, and I’d love to add him to the Hornets, but for experience reasons, and the ability to play PF or C, I’d go with Chris Andersen.
Have you guys been keeping count?
I’ve named 3 PGs, 3SGs, 3SFs, 3PFs, and 3Cs.
Want the list?
So…what do you guys think?