The Charlotte Hornets are officially heading into the NBA offseason after being eliminated from playoff contention with a loss to the Atlanta Hawks in the 9-10 play-in game. This is Charlotte’s second straight season losing this game, and it was yet another road blowout defeat. Here’s how the Hornets look heading into the offseason.
2021-22 season recap
Behind LaMelo Ball, Terry Rozier and James Borrego’s offensive system, the Hornets ranked fourth in points per game and fifth in pace. That offensive explosion did not result in a rise in the standings though, because the Hornets were horrendous defensively. Charlotte ranked in the bottom 10 in points allowed, field goal percentage allowed, three-point percentage allowed and opponent assists per game. That’s a recipe for disaster no matter how efficient this offense is.
2022 offseason priorities
The front office will have to make an evaluation on Borrego after yet another play-in exit. Gordon Hayward has proven to be a liability at his price tag, so he’s likely to be moved. The Hornets have some exciting young prospects to continue filling out the roster around Ball. There’s no clear path to a second star for Charlotte, which is going to eventually become a problem. For now, the Hornets should focus on clearing out long-term salaries and adding better frontcourt talent.