Before the season, no one would have thought we would be asking this, but it is a reality now. To tank or not to tank? That is the big question for the Charlotte Hornets for which they have answered... NO WE WILL NOT!
In their last 2 games, the Hornets have beaten Washington and Atlanta. Both will be playoff teams so very impressive wins for the Hornets, but it only improves their record to 31-39 and they now stand 3 games out the final playoff spot in the East with 12 games to go.
This team is quickly running out of time to make up ground to get to the 8th spot and more than likely will not get there.
In their final 12 games, 10 are against teams that would be in the playoffs if they started today or are tied for the final playoff spot.
That is a tough stretch of games!
The Hornets players, coaches, and front office folks would NEVER say this, but I will. They need to lose and get a better draft position.
This upcoming NBA Draft has the potential to be one of the deepest in a very, very long time.
The YOUNG talent is tremendous! The key word in that sentence is young because most of the high draft picks, if they decide to declare for the draft, could be just freshmen.
Even with that fact, if there ever was a time for a team to be in the draft lottery, this is the year to be in it. Here are some of the potential players.
Markelle Fultz- Freshman PG from Washington (has already declared for the NBA Draft)
Lonzo Ball- Freshman PG from UCLA
Josh Jackson- Freshman SF from Kansas
Dennis Smith- Freshman PG from NC State
Jonathan Isaac- Freshman SF/PF from Florida State
Jayson Tatum- Freshman SF from Duke
Malik Monk- Freshman SG from Kentucky
De'Aaron Fox- Freshman PG from Kentucky
John Collins- Sophomore PF from Wake Forest
All of these guys have not declared for the draft, but there is a good chance they will and ANY of them would be good for the Charlotte Hornets.
The top 10 of this draft could be significant players for years to come once they get their seasoning and the top 5 could be future All Stars.
As of now, the Charlotte Hornets are the 11th worse team in the NBA which means if the season ended today, they would be in the draft lottery.
Of course, it is a lottery and the Hornets would have a chance to move up but those chances are slim. Right now, they would have a 2.9% chance to move into the top 3 and only a slim 0.8% chance to get the #1 spot. BUT as slim as those chance are, it's a chance. So you say there is a chance. TAKE IT!
Will a rookie come in and make the Hornets an instant championship contender? Probably not, but it is a piece that points you in the right direction.
Also consider the Hornets salary cap situation and it is not good. They will need the draft even more now to improve this team. A better draft pick now will help a team that will not have a lot of money to sign significant free agents.
Some other teams have started shutting significant players down for the season and even though they don't say it, that is tanking. Charlotte will not do that, but a great draft pick would go a long way in helping this franchise get better and become a consistent contender in the East.
This team ultimately needs a 2nd scorer behind Kemba Walker. Could that be in this draft? Sure.
If you look at the list above, you may ask yourself, "what if one of those picks is a point guard?" The Hornets already have an All Star point guard in Kemba Walker. Well, you still take him and with the right trade, you can turn that into the 2nd scorer you desire.
There is so much to gain from this draft that it could be a game changer for this franchise.
I'd hate to see the chance slip away.