While the Charlotte Hornets may have ended their season in blowout fashion, it doesn't mean their players don't want to return for next season.

After the Hornets established franchise-bests in wins (48) and postseason victories (three) since basketball returned to Charlotte in 2004, numerous Hornets free agents expressed their desire to return for next season.

Al Jefferson, who has been around for two of the team's postseason berths in the last three years, stated that he wants to finish his career in Charlotte:

Jeremy Lin, who outside of Kemba Walker, was probably the Hornets' biggest difference-maker in their series loss to the Miami Heat, is looking to opt out of his deal so he can sign a long-term contract with Charlotte:

Marvin Williams left no doubt that he wants to be a part of this team as it continues to grow:

“There's no question. I want to return,” Williams said. “Ill let it be known right now this is the most fun I've had in a season.”

While Nicolas Batum was not as decisive as his teammates when it comes to his thoughts on a return, he did say that it would depend on who's returning to the team:

“Who's returning on this team, who's coming back on this team,” Batum said when asked what the determining factors are. “I had a lot of fun with those guys.”

There is little doubt that the Hornets are a team on the rise. They have a solid and young nucleus in place, but need a true No. 1 option on offense in order to take that next level to being a championship contender.

Provided the aforementioned free agents return to Charlotte for 2016-17, the Hornets could be one piece away from playing in the NBA Finals.