NBA Daily: 2022-2023 Season Preview #14 – Charlotte Hornets
By Reylan Loberternos
Thu, 29 Sep 2022
In this limited 30-part series, we shall be discussing each team’s latest developments, current roster, and future prospects in the upcoming 2022-2023 NBA season. For every team, we will examine bit-by-bit the important aspects that may shape its progress and provide a rough projection of how it will fare vis-à-vis its previous year’s performance and versus the rest of the league.
2021-2022 Season Win-Loss Record:
PG – LaMelo Ball, Terry Rozier, Dennis Smith Jr.
SG – Kelly Oubre Jr., James Bouknight,
SF – Gordon Hayward, Cody Martin, Miles Bridges*
PF – P.J. Washington, Jalen McDaniels, JT Thor, Kai Jones
CE – Mason Plumlee, Mark Williams, Nick Richards
*Restricted Free Agent
No significant injuries.
Miles Bridges, at 6-foot-7 and 225 pounds, led the Charlotte Hornets in scoring last season. He was extended a qualifying offer to make him a restricted free agent, allowing the team to match any offer sheet signed with another team. His future, however, hangs in the balance.
The restricted free agent was charged with three felony domestic violence charges, after being accused of assaulting his girlfriend in front of their two children last June. He has pled not guilty to all these charges during his arraignment a month later.
On a positive note, LaMelo Ball was stellar in his sophomore year, averaging 20.1 points, 6.7 rebounds, 7.6 assists, and 1.6 steals for the Hornets in 75 games. He, Terry Rozier, and Miles Bridges formed an explosive trio that almost brought Charlotte to the playoffs.
Kelly Oubre Jr. and Gordon Hayward will try to fill the shoes that Miles Bridges leaves if and when his off-court issues continue to haunt him. P.J. Washington was mentioned in a few trade rumors over the summer, but if he’s not dealt, he’d most likely start for the Charlotte at the four spot.
To address the Hornets’ frontcourt limitations, Charlotte selected center Mark Williams out of Duke, as the 15th overall pick in the recent NBA Rookie Draft.
Charlotte’s chances will largely hinge on how head coach Steve Clifford’s wards adjust to Bridges’ impending absence. LaMelo Ball will have to look for someone else as the main target of his assists. He is arguably this team’s best player and should remain the face of the franchise for the foreseeable future.
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