The Charlotte Hornets came into the 2017-18 season with high hopes and even higher expectations. They had just acquired Dwight Howard from the Atlanta Hawks, in an attempt to boost their below-average defense, and with a fresh bill of health to their roster, things were looking up.
While the Hornets jumped out to a quick 5-3 record, that quickly became their best record of the year, as they went on to lose six straight, unraveling their season to the point of no return.
With yet another disappointing season behind them, the Hornets’ best option moving forward may just be as drastic as tearing down what they have and completely starting over.
With only two players under the age of 24, Charlotte posses veteran pieces that could be shipped to contending teams for young players or future draft picks. The Hornets also wield a few above-average players that could be used to secure a top-10 draft pick, or even two picks in this year’s upcoming draft.
While Kemba Walker may be a fan favorite in Charlotte — rightfully so — he could be used to acquire a top pick, such as the Magic’s pick at No. 6 or sent to Cleveland for the eighth pick, as they try to add players to keep LeBron James in town. The Hornets could also try to package Howard with their own pick in an effort to move up into the top 10 again and select another young prospect with a bright future.
If the Hornets decide to make these moves, they could potentially use their first pick of the night to select the player to replace Walker, which would ideally be in-star Trae Young of the Oklahoma Sooners. They could then use their second pick of the night to potentially select forward Michael Porter Jr. of Missouri, creating a scoring duo that could be absolutely lethal in the future.
If Charlotte admits that their way-of-today just isn’t working and start over by bringing in younger — much more talented players — to revive this dying franchise, the Hornets will finally be headed down the right path in the 2018-19 season.