The Charlotte Hornets have done a great job building up their young core over the past few seasons. Everyone knows about LaMelo Ball of course, but Miles Bridges and PJ Washington seem to be solid complementary pieces alongside the reigning Rookie of the Year. Having veterans on a team is vital for long-term success, but having a young core place allows for a team to grow organically from within. Home grown prospects that were able to watch not only themselves grow, but the others that are going through the grind of an 82-game season with them. The best part about all of that though, is that they only get better with time.
To be honest, the NBA is filled with a lot of interesting young players that make up the league. From the Atlanta Hawks, to the Memphis Grizzles, and so many more. The Hornets find themselves among those type of talented cores. For example, both the Grizzles and Hawks feature great young point guards in Ja Morant and Trae Young. Charlotte is fortunate to have LaMelo Ball, who could be just as talented as those two. Finding a playmaker for a young core is the equivalent of having glue for a school project. They help right the ship and make sure that it runs smoothly throughout the season.
However, Ball could be a little more versatile than most point guards his age because he is 6’6. His size allows then Hornets to play him at multiple positions, especially with how the game is played now.
Miles Bridges and PJ Washington also will likely be apart of the teams long-term future. Throughout last season, we have seen both of them play multiple positions. Bridges played everything but point guard last season, while Washington manned both forward spots, as well as center. Their versatility has bailed Charlotte out of the immediate need to get more depth on the roster. Seeing how much these guys have stepped up over the past couple seasons has to be promising site for Hornets fans. Not to mention, Bridges is one of the best dunkers in the league and did show he can carry an offense during stretches where their main guys are struggling to score.
Ball, Bridges, and Washington offer a fun brand of basketball to watch for the Hornets. However, the young depth does not stop there because they also added James Bouknight and Kai Jones through the 2021 NBA Draft. Bouknight could develop into a lethal scorer over time and Jones is sure to be a lob threat to pair next to Miles Bridges in the frontcourt.
The Hornets have done well in the draft for the past three years. They have been patient too with their young guys, which is crucial for them to develop into impact players. Ball is a special case because he is a rare talent that was able to find his footing after a month in the association. He jumpstarted the team with his energy and the other young guys responded well. Even the veterans like Gordon Hayward and Terry Rozier felt his impact and had one of the best seasons of their career with him.
This young core special and certainly deserves to be placed among the leagues best. Who knows, if Ball and the Hornets are able to get a taste of postseason action in 2022, it will put the whole world on notice.