You can submit questions to this mailbag by direct messaging/replying to the @At_The_Hive Twitter account, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
First up, @statcenter asks:
Who plays more mins this season, Monk or Bridges?— statcenter (@statcenter) September 19, 2018
You have to assume Malik Monk plays more minutes. He’s a second-year player and will likely be the sixth man in the rotation. Monk should easily get about 20-25 minutes per game. Bridges won’t be too far behind Monk in terms of playing time, although the difference between James Borrego and Steve Clifford’s willingness to play young players will certainly be one of the major talking points this season. Unless JB is Clifford in disguise, I expect Bridges to see about 15-20 minutes of action each night.
Next, @AlexLeuf asks:
Do you think that MKG will finish the season as Hornet Player ?— Alexis Karamazov (@AlexLeuf) September 19, 2018
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist’s playing time will be something to watch this year. I’m pretty sure that in every single mailbag, at least one person has asked about Kidd-Gilchrist’s status as a Hornet. At this point, it doesn’t seem plausible that he will be moved before or during the 2018-19 season. This is mainly due to his contract, which is considerably more than he’s actually worth. The only way I could see Kidd-Gilchrist being traded is if there was a playoff team desperate enough to get a wing player before the deadline due to some crazy injury - and even that’s a stretch.
Following, @_yung_jacob asks via Twitter DM whether it’s realistic the Hornets could put together some sort of package for Jimmy Butler.
Jimmy Butler on the Hornets would be interesting for multiple reasons. First, they’d have to re-sign both Kemba Walker and Jimmy Butler to avoid a ‘mission failed’ type scenario. Second, it would certainly be intriguing to see what type of package that one year of Jimmy Butler nets. Assuming he isn’t traded to Charlotte (which he probably won’t be, don’t get your hopes up), it may give the Hornets a baseline as to what they may be able to receive for Kemba Walker, should things go bad towards the beginning of this season.
As to whether it’s realistic the Hornets could come away with Butler, I’m not so sure. The Timberwolves would probably ask for Monk/Bridges in addition to Jeremy Lamb, and possibly a pick as well. That might be too rich for a team that may end up heading into a rebuild after this season (because it’s important to remember that Jimmy Butler didn’t have the Hornets on his list of teams he’d re-sign with).
Next, @GiorgioMan8A asks:
Is Willy Hernandez ready to be a starter? Why not send him to Houston and get some Olajuwon moves?— Giorgio (@GiorgioMan8A) September 19, 2018
James Borrego said recently that the only starting position settled as of right now is point guard (duh), and it has previously been inferred that the center position is going to be the closest battle going into training camp. As much as I’d like to be confident that $13 million per Cody Zeller will be the starter, Willy Hernangomez really impressed in the summer league and towards the end of last season. If he continues to develop his long-range game, it may be sooner rather than later that Hernangomez actually does start.
Finally, @alee_2400 asks:
Should Jeremy Lamb be starting at SG?— Alex Lee (@alee_2400) September 19, 2018
With Nicolas Batum moving back to small forward, it seems like Jeremy Lamb is destined to be the starting two-guard. The only way Lamb doesn’t start is if Malik Monk starts scoring 25 points per game, which would also be pretty awesome by the way. This has been a pretty popular question, but in his contract year, Lamb has something to prove. This ‘thing to prove’ may not be displayed for Mitch Kupchak, but rather other NBA general managers.