The optimism oozing from the Charlotte Hornets players and coaches is refreshing after the media festivities. After a rough 27-55 record in the 2022-23 season, everyone seems determined to avoid having back-to-back bad seasons. The young players are excited to get going, but the veterans have a different swag to them heading into this season. Gordon Hayward finally had the chance to go into an off-season healthy and got to workout regularly this summer. While Terry Rozier's energy was written all over his face. Steve Clifford seems hyped about what's to come as well. Even went as far as saying this is the most talented team he's ever coached.
Rozier supported his coach's claim.
“No knock on our previous Charlotte Hornets' teams, but this is definitely by far the most talented. We have a great locker room, guys that can do what we need, and play their role. You can see that right now. Definitely the most talented team I've been on since I put on a Charlotte Hornets uniform.”
LaMelo Ball also feels like they have, “A really talented team,” as well. The main reason for that is the amount of depth that have on roster compared to years in the past. With the main strength being at the wings and frontcourt. two through four, you can move around Gordon Hayward, Miles Bridges, PJ Washington, Brandon Miller, and potentially more guys are available. Mark Williams & Nick Richards are holding down the center spot. LaMelo Ball & Terry Rozier are manning down the guard spots with capable backups behind them.
The last team that made it to the postseason seven years ago for the Hornets was headlined by Kemba Walker, Al Jefferson, and Nic Batum. That team lost in seven games to the Miami Heat back in the 2015-16 season but was a fun, solid group to watch, which was coached by Steve Clifford. If anything, Clifford would know what he's talking about right? Having a chance to evaluate both rosters, this 2023-24 team has the edge over that Kemba-led squad.
Now those Hornets teams in the 90's could be a conversation for another day. If this team is able to make it to the postseason and find some success though, maybe it's a conversation worth bringing back up to the forefront.