If you are a fan of the Charlotte Hornets (and if you are reading this, then chances are very probable that you are), you feel one of those ways about the team's offseason.
- You are excited that the team looks like it may finally have an offensive identity and ready to compete for a playoff spot immediately.
- You are worried that the team has no long-term goals and is sacrificing sustained success for a chance to be good in the short term.
Turns out Hornets fans are not the only ones who feel this way.
Matt Moore and Zach Harper of CBSSports.com graded every team's free agency (the grades for the East can be found here and grades for the West can be found here), and, depending on who you ask, the Hornets either did very well or very poorly.
Let's start with Mr. Moore.
I'm very concerned about where this team is headed. They have an inefficient point guard (Kemba Walker) signed to big money, they traded Noah Vonleh and Gerald Henderson, who had a lot of value now and in the future. Nicolas Batum is a good get, but this Al Jefferson-Frank Kaminsky combo along with Spencer Hawes is about the scariest frontcourt (for Hornets fans) I could imagine. Jeremy Lin was a fine value signing, but doesn't move the needle much. Batum was a smart move and I'm still concerned overall about where the team is headed. Grade: D+
He brings up some good points. We all knew the team had to give up talent to get talent in Nicolas Batum. We won't know who really won the trade with the Trail Blazers until we see how Noah Vonleh pans out, which will most likely take a few years. Jefferson + Kaminsky + Hawes is the ideal front court offensively for what Steve Clifford has said he's wanted to do since last offseason, but defensively...well, we'll just say it leaves a lot to be desired on paper. Walker is far from being as efficient a point guard as most would like — though his big money deal will look like an average deal when the new salary cap comes into play.
Alright, what say you Mr. Harper?
If we factor in the pre-draft trade of moving Lance Stephenson for essentially Spencer Hawes and Jeremy Lamb and then moving Noah Vonleh and Gerald Henderson for Nicolas Batum, the Hornets have had a good free agency season. They lost Mo Williams to the Cleveland Cavaliers, but they're replacing him with a quality backup in Jeremy Lin. Other than those moves, they've been relatively quiet and hope to regain what they had when they made the playoffs a year ago. Grade: B-
Much more positive and less doomsday-y than Moore's, Harper focuses on how improved offensively the team is and how the chemistry will most likely be improved with the subtraction of Lance Stephenson.They are in a much better position than they were a year ago, when they were hoping on the likes of Marvin Williams to have discovered a deep shot and Stephenson to grow from the role he became so accustomed to in Indiana. A B- may not be the best grade, but it probably closer to what the team deserves in my opinion.
Which grade do you think is more indicative of the Hornets' offseason?