No matter how you calculate the statistics, with his 30.1 points per game average and a phenomenal run of six unbeaten NBA Finals appearances, Michael Jordan remains the greatest player in NBA history. Nevertheless, even his legendary status in the sport has yet to inspire greatness at the Charlotte Hornets, since becoming the first former NBA player to gain majority ownership of a franchise back in 2010.
During that time, the Charlotte Hornets have only managed to reach the NBA Playoffs on just three occasions. Twice as the Bobcats during the 2009-2010 and 2013-2014 seasons, ranking 7th in the Eastern Conference each time, then back as the Hornets during the 2015-2016 campaign, the team finished 6th in the Eastern Conference standings. However, First Round Playoff defeats followed on each occasion, swiftly cutting short any Championship hopes.
Following a decade of Michael Jordan ownership, youth seems to be the new focus for the season to come, with head coach James Borrego remaining positive. That said, ahead of the 2019-2020 season, the latest NBA betting on bet365 in the futures markets doesn’t paint a pretty picture. Charlotte Hornets are priced as 300/1 rank outsiders for the NBA Championship, which are the joint-highest odds along with the Phoenix Suns and Cleveland Cavaliers.
Other futures markets are equally unfavorable when it comes to expectations for the team. Along with the Cavs, the Hornets are joint-lowest 150/1 shots to win the NBA Eastern Conference, and lowest-rated at 150/1 to win the NBA Southeast Division. If such odds are to be taken seriously, such forecasts hardly bode well for average attendances at the Spectrum Center, which have consistently declined over the last couple of seasons according to ESPN.
Despite just missing out on the playoffs last season, finishing 9th in the Eastern Conference with a .476 win percentage, the Hornets have also lost their two leading points scorers from last season. Kemba Walker scored 2,102 points in 82 games during the 2019-2020 campaign, but after spending 8 seasons with Charlotte, he departed for the Boston Celtics. After four seasons on the roster with the Hornets, Jeremy Lamb has also left for the Indiana Pacers.
Two such important departures are undoubtedly a tough blow for Hornets expectations, ahead of the new NBA season. While some believe that 21-year-old Malik Monk could finally make his mark, others have questioned his ability to take the lead role in scoring points for the team. Monk is clearly a player with great talent and potential, although it remains to be seen if head coach James Borrego will give him such a key role.
Yet to complete their roster and with free-agent signings still possible, the Charlotte Hornets could look to experience to bolster their currently youthful offensive options. Jodie Meeks is one name gaining traction of late, having featured in 14 Playoff games with the Toronto Raptors on their run to the NBA Championship last season. The 31-year-old has enjoyed a solid career in NBA and would good addition, as a team player the Hornets could build around.
Still looking for a new team, Carmelo Anthony might also be an interesting option for the Hornets to consider. As a Jordan brand endorser, the 35-year-old is looking to play for one last team in what is expected to be his final NBA season, and would certainly be a good fit from a marketing perspective for the Hornets. Seemingly willing to temper his ego and accept any role offered, the presence of Carmelo might also serve as inspiration for younger players.
With interesting moves still possible as the Hornets look to fill out the final places in their roster, turning to experience will be invaluable as the team seeks to defy their expectations for the 2019-2020 season. The fans will demand nothing less than a team that works hard and has the capacity to entertain, even if reaching the NBA Playoffs seems highly unlikely.
This is regarded as a transition period for the franchise, a process of rebuilding the team, yet fans in Charlotte will still hope to have some high points they can cheer about, during the season to come.