NBA Team Preview: Charlotte Hornets
The Charlotte Hornets are looking to be a household name in the near future. After making their way to a play-in game to the playoffs last season, the Hornets are knocking on the doorstep of ending the five-year drought of missing the playoffs. With the additions to the team in 2021, they look very promising to compete for a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
Additions in 2021
The Hornets had two first-round draft picks in 2021. With the 11th pick in the draft, the team took James Bouknight from the University of Connecticut. The fast-paced guard looks to give some versatility to the young backcourt that has been established in Charlotte. Bouknight gives the Hornets depth at a shooting position, which they needed.
With the 19th pick, the Hornets drafted the power forward out of the University of Texas, Kai Jones. The 6’11” big give the Hornets a chance to have more of an inside-out look with the departure of Cody Zeller.
They also acquired Kelly Oubre Jr. and Mason Plumlee over the offseason. Oubre has yet to really pan out in his six years in the league, but he has yet to find consistency, playing on three different teams in that short amount of time. Plumlee is an instant starter for the Hornets, who lack size big time. While he is not the most offensive-minded big in the league, for Charlotte, he will be needed to protect the rim defensively.
Cody Zeller, a Charlotte Hornets player for the last eight seasons, signed a free-agent deal with the Portland Trail Blazers. While he never did a whole lot offensively for the team, averaging 8.7 points in his career, he was a fan favorite and was great for the community.
Malik Monk signed as a free agent with the Los Angeles Lakers after four years with the Hornets. Monk was a sharpshooter, shooting over 40% from behind the arc, which will be the biggest loss going forward for Charlotte.
The Hornets will return the 2020-2021 NBA Rookie of the Year in Lamelo Ball. In just 51 games last season, Ball averaged 15 points, six assists, and six rebounds. While the numbers do not jump off the paper, watching the life Lamelo brings to this Hornets team is something that there are no statistics for.
Gordon Hayward has all the tools to be one of the best players in the league if he can stay healthy. Missing almost 30 games last season, Hayward has struggled his whole career with injuries. The one bright side, Hayward was able to finish out the regular season on the court and enter their off-season healthy to work on his game.
Hornets Betting Odds
The Charlotte Hornets NBA Betting line is at +1100 to win the Southeast Division this season. These numbers currently put them in third, behind the favorite Miami Heat and the Atlanta Hawks.
The Hornets are currently +4000 to win the Eastern Conference. The Brooklyn Nets are the current favorites at +100.
The Hornets have a team win total line at 38.5. The Hornets finished 33-39 last season for reference. If there is one bet to place an online wager on, this would be the one, as the Hornets should win over 38.5 games.
* All odds provided by Action247 Sportsbook and all odds subject to change.
**All views expressed are my own. My picks are my own and are not a guarantee, bet at your own risk.