Hey it’s no longer the Charlotte Bobcats anymore and while it was nice for the city to have a team I don’t think anyone’s going to be missing the ‘Cats. It’s good to have this wrong made right and give the city a chance to reclaim its buzz. The Charlotte Hornets currently lead the NBA in new season ticket sales, merchandise sales are through the roof and the team has tripled its followers across social media platforms which altogether makes for an exciting upcoming season.
Although we’re still about a month away from free agency, now that the season it’s as good of a time as any to look at the salary cap situation for the Charlotte Hornets.
The short and sweet of it was also considered as the alternative title for this post: Charlotte Hornets: SEE YA BEN GORDON’S CONTRACT!
In retrospect it wasn’t really the best of trades for either side in terms of the players dealt. Gordon was never really a major contributor for the team and he spent most of his time sulking on the bench. The bright spot though was thanks to Nick Gilbert’s bowtie winning Cleveland the number one pick, the top-8 pick Detroit owed Charlotte got bumped to the 9th spot and Charlotte now has it. With Gordon’s contract of $13.2 million now off the books it means the Hornets will have the cap space to hopefully upgrade in the offseason.
The current projected salary cap for next season is $63.2 million and as of now the Hornets have $44.8 tied up already—assuming Josh McRoberts picks up his player option for next season. However, due to his play this season, McRoberts could renounce his player option and potentially fetch a better deal which would drop the Hornets down to $42.1 million on the books.
The Hornets are then looking at nearly $20 million then in cap space for next season which could make them big buyers on the free market. Unfortunately for Charlotte because it’s a smaller market and the franchise isn’t looked upon as the best destination, the team will probably have to overpay in order to get the kind of talent it wants. That’s why some saw the Al Jefferson contract as a bit of an overpay. But thanks in part to making it to the playoffs, the excitement of returning to the Hornets name and getting the 9th pick, Charlotte’s fortunes are looking up.
It’s been reported already that the team has been shopping their pick and it really shouldn’t be all that surprising (shameless self-promotion). I won’t be getting into draft details now but if Charlotte were to use both of its picks it will have six players on the roster that have been drafted in the past four years. Getting rookie production is a valuable commodity but none have been significant game changers and as was shown in the playoffs, this team lacks the veteran presence needed to sustain a deep push in the postseason. Therefore, it wouldn’t be all that surprising if the team signs a veteran that could take minutes away from guys like Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Bismack Biyombo or Cody Zeller.