5 free agents the Charlotte Hornets should target in the 2021 NBA offseason
After an entertaining season in which the Charlotte Hornets narrowly missed out on a playoff berth, there is cause for optimism around the franchise. They have a strong young core, including Rookie Candidate of the Year LaMelo ball, on which to rely.
This means that the Charlotte Hornets front office will be extremely busy during the offseason. The Hornets will look to build on their success this year and secure a playoff appearance in the 2021-22 campaign.
Currently, Cody Zeller, Devonte ‘Graham, Malik Monk and Bismack Biyombo are all expected to become free agents. If the franchise allows some, if not all, of these players to roam around in the summer, they will have a considerable amount of cap space to use in the free agency market.
5 free agents who would match the Charlotte Hornets’ needs for the 2021-22 NBA season
With their cap space, the Charlotte Hornets can target key areas they have struggled with this season despite their success. In this article, we’ll take a look at five free agency options that can help the Eastern Conference team close the gap between their late season start and a playoff run.
# 1 Richaun Holmes
There’s no denying that the most glaring hole in the current Charlotte Hornets squad is in the middle. They’ve paid too much to have Cody Zeller and Bismack Biyombo on their books for the past three seasons together. The two big men become free agents this summer and it wouldn’t be surprising to see the organization part ways with them to bring a more effective star to the five.
Richaun Holmes matches this billing. He is available as an unrestricted free agent this offseason. Holmes will have multiple contenders in the league and could form a valuable partnership for LaMelo Ball’s circus passes.
Holmes transforms into a serious offensive threat down center every season. He’s averaged 14.2 points, shooting 63% from the field this season and taking 8.3 rebounds. He has the ability to compete physically for the job and is a potentially pick-and-roll partner for Charlotte Hornets starlet Ball. The 27-year-old is an effective shot blocker and has finished every game of any of his previous NBA seasons this year with 61 appearances.
# 2 Josh Hart
The New Orleans Pelicans are expected to be extremely busy this offseason after their disappointing campaign. Interest in Lonzo Ball will be vast, which could leave the door open for people like the Charlotte Hornets to pounce on versatile role player Josh Hart.
Hart can play either as a shooting guard or a small forward and has the kind of swashbuckling mentality any team would want. He’s a formidable rebounder, grabbing eight boards, a career-high this quarter, despite being just 6 “5 ‘. He has also hit personal bests from the midrange and down line. free throws also this year on its way to an average of 9.2 points per game.
The Charlotte Hornets could use him as a wing scorer who can also take rebounds to support a new center.
# 3 Mitchell Robinson
Another center the Charlotte Hornets can watch in the free agency window is Mitchell Robinson of the New York Knicks. The 23-year-old has arguably the biggest advantage of all the great men available in the offseason and is said to be cheaper than Holmes.
Robinson’s season was cut short by injury. But over the 31 games he’s played, he’s averaged 8.3 points and 8.1 rebounds. He had a winning share of 3.4 due to his efficiency at both ends of the pitch. He’s a versatile defenseman who has averaged 2.1 blocks per season throughout his career and is an effective scorer in the paint.
Where the Charlotte Hornets may be reluctant to bring in Robinson is in the fact that he has a fragile injury history. He hasn’t completed a full season since joining the league three years ago. Since this is a particular point of need for the Hornets in the short term, they may choose to go with someone more reliable than take their chances.
# 4 Kendrick Nunn
One player who might go unnoticed in this year’s free agent class and whom the Charlotte Hornets might target is the Miami Heat’s Kendrick Nunn. Miami received incredible value from the second-year goaltender, who averaged 15 points and three assists during his time in Florida. It’s easy to forget that he finished second for Rookie of the Year in 2020 and then helped the Heat reach the NBA Finals.
Since he is now in a position to demand a contract in the range of $ 15 million, the Miami Heat theoretically cannot afford Nunn. They are looking to create enough space to bring in another superstar. Plus, they’re more likely to want to keep fellow restricted free agent Duncan Robinson.
Nunn is a capable combo-guard with playoff experience. In the playoffs this year, the Heat were better with him on the pitch than when he was out. He averages a 48.5 / 38.1 / 93.3 shooting spread and has plenty of room for development. He could do so as a starting goalie alongside Ball or coming off the bench for the Charlotte Hornets.
# 5 Lauri Markkanen
In addition to their painting needs, the Charlotte Hornets require an additional wing score. Forwards Miles Bridges and PJ Washington both effectively shot the ball downtown, but the franchise can part ways with Devonte ‘Graham or Malik Monk, or both. It would hinder their offensive production considerably, which is where Markkanen comes in.
The seven-foot forward could meet both the Charlotte Hornets’ needs for shooting efficiency and ground spacing. He’s limited on defense, however, he’s a prolific deep scorer with a career-three average of 36%. His highest rate came this year when he scored over 40% of all attempts beyond the arc.
Markkanen was also extremely efficient with his ground time, racking up 13.6 points and 5.3 rebounds in 25 minutes per game. The Finn could be moved by the Chicago Bulls in restricted free agency as they already have the athleticism and size of Nikola Vucevic and Zach LaVine. Plus, he lost his starting spot towards the end of the season as the Bulls looked to make a playoff push, signifying their potential desire to keep his serves.