Hornets general manager Mitch Kupchak and head coach James Borrego each held a virtual press conference on Monday morning to discuss the results of the past season and their outlook on the future of the franchise.
Big thanks to Sports Illustrated and The Painted Lines’ Jack Duffy for providing thorough coverage of the event via Twitter. There was a lot of Hornets news that came out today. Kupchak began the conference at 10:30 AM.
During the #NBA’s hiatus, Malik Monk was reinstated, ending his indefinite suspension. Monk has been in the facility and has participated in team activities and zoom calls per GM Mitch Kupchak. #Hornets— Jack Duffy (@JackDuffySI) June 8, 2020
Malik Monk is back! All of the speculation around him can finally come to an end. It’s great to hear that he’s already back working out and keeping in touch with the team. Hopefully, his play can pick up where it left off before his suspension.
Kupchak said that the team’s record may not indicate progress but he thought this season was a success.— Jack Duffy (@JackDuffySI) June 8, 2020
This thought represents a large portion of the Hornets fan base. The team’s win-loss record got worse, but one would be hard-pressed to find someone who was genuinely upset with what they saw on the floor this season.
Asked Mitch Kupchak his thoughts on the long-term fit with Terry/Devonte along with Miles & P.J. Washington. He said the team isn’t worried about for yet and focused on getting and developing as much sustainable talent as possible. #Hornets— Jack Duffy (@JackDuffySI) June 8, 2020
This quote gives a little bit of insight into the Hornets’ draft strategy. The team has needs on the wing and at center, but accumulating talent is more important than filling those needs at this stage of the rebuild.
Kupchak said there have not been talks between the team and Devonte Graham on a possible extension which he is eligible for this summer. Graham has a $1.66 mil option for next season. #Hornets— Jack Duffy (@JackDuffySI) June 8, 2020
Devonte’ Graham’s team option for next season is certain to be picked up, but it is a bit surprising that the Hornets have had no talks with Devonte’s agent. I hope they re-sign him no matter the price, but inking him before his market value rises would be a good idea.
Now, on to James Borrego...
The biggest interruption for the #Hornets was when the virus struck - right as they were firing on all cylinders w their young talent making the majority of the contributions - according to Borrego. JB wishes he could get at least some reg season games to recapture momentum.— Jack Duffy (@JackDuffySI) June 8, 2020
Borrego was also a guest on The Woj Pod on Monday morning with Cleveland Cavaliers head coach J.B. Bickerstaff, and both echoed a similar sentiment to this. The coaches of the eight non-Orlando teams will be eager to get their players in a gym and play some sort of exhibition game between now and the 2020-2021 season, and rightfully so.
The Hornets’ official Twitter account posted this graphic (which is very well-designed) with a telling quote from Borrego;
This is exactly the type of culture that the Hornets need to build. Charlotte is never going to be an attractive destination in itself for free agents, so the team needs to give players reasons to come here. Having a proven track record of developing players is how to do that; if a guy knows he’s going to get better by playing for the Hornets, that’s as good of a selling point they can have being in a small market.
Thanks again to Jack Duffy and everyone else who covered the virtual press conference and gave us a look into what the franchise has been thinking over the last three months. Perhaps we’ll get some more news about their offseason plans soon.