Charlotte Hornets

Charlotte Hornets: A summer of possibilities

The Charlotte Hornets’ off-season could be just as intriguing as the season that preceded it.

Coming off a 43-39 record and an unanticipated playoff appearance, the no-longer Bobcats will have three picks in the June 26 NBA draft, including a lottery pick (ninth overall) and another first-rounder (24th). They will have at least roughly $13 million in room under the salary cap to pursue free agents or trades.

Plus, the Hornets have seemingly improved their profile as a destination for players. They’re a team on the rise with an appealing coach in Steve Clifford. And in center Al Jefferson, they have a proven low-post scorer around whom others would want to play.

With the No. 9 pick, they could add a scorer like Michigan’s Nik Stauskas or Creighton’s Doug McDermott. Or they could consider a big man like Arizona’s Aaron Gordon.

One area player who could be of interest is former North Carolina guard P.J. Hairston. He’s probably not a candidate at No. 9, but could be gone by No. 24. He would offer the shooting range the Hornets desire.

Then free agency opens July 1. The Miami Heat has a trio of stars in LeBron James, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade, each of whom could opt-out of his contract. But they’ll likely stay together or go to larger markets than Charlotte. There are other logical targets, such as Washington’s Trevor Ariza or Utah’s Gordon Hayward, who could fill roster holes.

Plus, the assets the Hornets hold could facilitate impact trades. While acquiring a Kevin Love might be a long shot, adding a wing scorer, like Orlando’s Arron Afflalo, would make a difference.

This all should make for a summer of possibilities.


Kevin Love

Making this sort of trade would be complicated because the Hornets would have to satisfy both the Minnesota Timberwolves and Love, since he’d have to sign an extension to justify the risk. But he’d be terrific as a complementary scorer to Al Jefferson and one of the NBA’s top rebounders.

Height: 6-10. Weight: 260 pounds.

Age: 25

Position: Power forward

2014 Team: Minnesota Timberwolves

What he offers: Love was third in the NBA in rebounding (12.5) and fourth in scoring (26.1). He also had the most assists among power forwards last season at 4.4 per game.

Why he fits: Charlotte was 23rd in three-point shooting last season, and Love was the third-best shooter from beyond the arc who was 6’10” or taller. Since he’s more of a face-up shooter than a low-post scorer like Jefferson, he would complement the Hornets’ center.

Worth mentioning: Love and Jefferson played together in Minnesota for two seasons from 2007-09. The duo averaged a combined 31.8 PPG, 19.8 RPG, and 1.9 blocks per game on 48.1 percent shooting.

Arron Afflalo

The Orlando Magic guard is a proven shooter/scorer (averaged 18.2 points last season on 46 percent from the field and 43 percent from 3-point range). The Bobcats most obvious need is wing scoring, particularly from a player who can stretch the defense from 3-point range. He could be available with the Magic focusing on the development of Victor Oladipo.

Height: 6-5. Weight: 215 pounds.

Age: 28

Position: Shooting guard

2014 Team: Orlando Magic

What he offers: Afflalo was particularly adept at corner threes, where he shot 48.9 percent last year. He also draws a good deal of free throws, where he is an 81.5 percent shooter.

Why he fits: He would immediately become the third scoring threat for Charlotte, providing the offense Gerald Henderson couldn’t always give last season.

Worth mentioning: Afflalo has one season left on his contract at an affordable $7.56 million, then he has a player option the following season at $7.75 million..

Eric Gordon

Yes, this is a long shot, but it might be worth a call. Gordon doesn’t seem particularly happy as a New Orleans Pelican and that franchise has invested heavily in two players (Gordon and Tyreke Evans) who seem somewhat redundant. The question becomes whether Gordon is worth about $15 million each of the next two seasons.

Height: 6-3. Weight: 222 pounds.

Age: 25

Position: Shooting guard

2014 Team: New Orleans Pelicans

What he offers: Over his six-year career, he’s averaged 17.5 points on 36.8 percent shooting from three. He’s also active on the defensive end, averaging 1.2 steals.

Why he fits: Gordon would fit the Hornets’ need for shooting and scoring and add to their trips to the foul line.

Worth mentioning: Health is a concern for Gordon. He has missed an average of 25 games per season over his career.

Harrison Barnes

He seemed to regress between his rookie and second seasons, averaging 9.5 points on 40 percent from the field. Maybe that was a function of the Golden State Warriors adding Andre Iguodala at small forward. The Warriors are taking a hard look at their roster; maybe they wouldn’t ask too much in return for Barnes.

Height: 6-8. Weight: 210 pounds.

Age: 21

Position: Small forward

2014 Team: Golden State Warriors

What he offers: Barnes has always had tantalizing talent and a 39.5-inch vertical jump, but he hasn’t strung that into consistent good play.

Why he fits: Barnes is a better shooter than Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, although he lacks Kidd-Gilchrit’s motor.

Worth mentioning: Charlotte drafted Kidd-Gilchrist instead of Barnes in the 2012 draft, who went five picks later to Golden State.

Jared Dudley

The ex-Charlotte Bobcat didn’t have much of a role with the Los Angeles Clippers last season. He’s under contract the next two seasons at $4.25 million annually. He’s versatile, smart and a career 40 percent 3-point shooter. Seems like the kind of player Hornets coach Steve Clifford could use.

Height: 6-7. Weight: 225 pounds.

Age: 28

Position: Small forward-shooting guard

2014 Team: Los Angeles Clippers

What he offers: Dudley is a quality bench player who specializes in three-point shooting (he shot 42.2 percent from the corner last year) and defense. He’s also adept at drawing fouls, although he’s only a career 73.7 percent free throw shooter.

Why he fits: Dudley could come off the bench and play both small forward and shooting guard, the role Jeff Taylor was supposed to play this season before tearing his Achillies.

Worth mentioning: Charlotte drafted Dudley with the 22nd overall pick in the 2007 draft but traded him to Phoenix after 1 1/2 seasons with Jason Richardson for Boris Diaw and Raja Bell.


Greg Monroe

He’s a restricted free agent, which can be problematic. Also the Hornets already invested a lottery pick in power forward Cody Zeller. But Monroe averages 14 points and nine rebounds for his career. And the Detroit Pistons spent big on Josh Smith, who is somewhat redundant to Monroe.

Height: 6-11. Weight: 253 pounds.

Age: 23

Position: Power forward-center

2014 Team: Detroit Pistons

What he offers: Monroe’s 9.3 rebounds per game was third among players 23 years old or younger last season, and he was also sixth among all players in offensive rebounds.

Why he fits: Monroe has worked well with a true center (Andre Drummond) the past two seasons, portending good potential cohesion with Jefferson.

Worth mentioning: Monroe is nothing like a “stretch four”; he has attempted seven three-pointers in his career, missing all of them.

Luol Deng

The former Duke star and NBA All-Star was traded off the Chicago Bulls to the Cleveland Cavaliers in part because he turned down a contract extension. He wasn’t a good fit in his half-season in Cleveland and it’s hard to tell if that reflects more on him or the Cavaliers. His numbers (14.3 points on 42 percent shooting) were his worst in seven seasons.

Height: 6-8. Weight: 220 pounds.

Age: 29

Position: Small forward

2014 Team: Cleveland Cavaliers

What he offers: Deng is a strong defender and a high character leader. He’s been a secondary scoring option for most of his career but stepped up to lead the Bulls at 19.0 points per game in the 23 games he was in Chicago last season before being traded to Cleveland.

Why he fits: Deng plays the same position as Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, the team’s second overall pick in 2012, but he’s a much more dependable scorer than Kidd-Gilchrist.

Worth mentioning: Deng has not been able to stay consistently healthy throughout his career, missing an average of 11.5 games per season.

Lance Stephenson

He’s obviously a talent at shooting guard, averaging 13.8 points on 49 percent shooting this past season for the Indiana Pacers. The question would be his salary expectations and potential personality issues. He needs to better manage his emotions to be a better teammate.

Height: 6-5. Weight: 210 pounds.

Age: 23

Position: Shooting guard

2014 Team: Indiana Pacers

What he offers: Stephenson is a versatile shooting guard, known for his tough defense. He led all guards in rebounding (7.2) and also added 4.6 assists.

Why he fits: Stephenson thrived on the Pacers without being a primary scorer, averaging 13.8 points per game, which is key since he would be the third leading scorer on the Hornets.

Worth mentioning: Stephenson led the league with five triple-doubles this past regular season.

Carmelo Anthony

He has an early termination option that could make him unrestricted this summer. The questions abound: Would he want to be in Charlotte, particularly considering he’d take a significant pay cut by not re-signing with the New York Knicks? And Cllifford’s occasional concerns that the ball “sticks” (doesn’t move quickly enough) could only multiply with Melo around.

Height: 6-8. Weight: 230 pounds.

Age: 29

Position: Small forward

2014 Team: New York Knicks

What he offers: Anthony is one of the best scorers in the league, finishing in the top three in points per game in four of the past five seasons. He was also the top rebounder among small forwards last season (8.1) and an excellent three-point shooter (40.2 percent).

Why he fits: Anthony supplies shooting the Hornets need and also supplies offense that the Hornets haven’t seen at small forward. He, Walker, and Jefferson all need the ball a lot, so it would be interesting to see how that trio would split touches.

Worth mentioning: Anthony has had a shoe deal with Jordan Brand for over 10 years now. His Air Melo Line has 10 different shoes out.

Gordon Hayward

A big (6-foot-8), athletic small forward who averaged 16.2 points per game last season, he’d offer something very different from the defense-centric performance the Hornets get from Kidd-Gilchrist. The problem is he’s a restricted free agent. Seldom do teams choose not to match offer sheets for quality restricteds.

Height: 6-8. Weight: 207 pounds.

Age: 24

Position: Small forward-Shooting guard

2014 Team: Utah Jazz

What he offers: Hayward has been a good shooter, although his struggles last season dropped his career three-point percentage from 40.1 percent to 36.5 percent.

Why he fits: Hayward has flipped between small forward and shooting guard for the Jazz. He has great size for a guard and any defensive deficiencies would be tempered by Kidd-Gilchrist on the wing.

Worth mentioning: Hayward was top 20 in the NBA for both steals and turnovers.

Trevor Ariza

He’s solid as both a scorer and defender at small forward. He’s coming off his best of 10 seasons as a pro, having averaged 14.6 points on 46 percent shooting on a Washington team that won a playoff round. If the Hornets go after him, they’ll have competition; the Wizards want to retain him for sure.

Height: 6-8. Weight: 200 pounds.

Age: 29

Position: Small forward-shooting guard

2014 Team: Washington Wizards

What he offers: Ariza has always been known as a defensive stopper (1.6 steals per game), but he took his offensive game to the next level, shooting a career-high 40.7 percent from three.

Why he fits: Ariza mostly plays small forward, although he can also play shooting guard. Assuming he keeps up his shooting from last season and doesn’t revert to his 34.7 percent career three-point percentage, he would be a valuable asset as another shooter.

Worth mentioning: Ariza has played in 52 playoff games, more than anyone on the Hornets’ roster.

Ramon Sessions

Sessions did good work in his 1 1/2 seasons as a Bobcat and was highly respected among teammates and coaches. The trade to Milwaukee was nothing like giving up on Sessions. He said after the trade he’d be receptive to signing again in Charlotte.

Height: 6-3. Weight: 190 pounds.

Age: 28

Position: Point guard

2014 Team: Milwaukee Bucks

What he offers: Sessions is a quality backup point guard who can score at a good clip – his 13.2 points per game trailed only Tony Wroten Jr. among point guards with fewer than 20 starts.

Why he fits: Charlotte has had a hole at backup point guard since they traded Sessions to acquire Gary Neal. Also Sessions can play some shooting guard alongside Walker.

Worth mentioning: Sessions grew up in Myrtle Beach and loved playing so close to home.

Shaun Livingston

The Hornets need a backup point guard and ex-Bobcat Livingston had a terrific season with the Brooklyn Nets. It could be appealing to have a bigger option at the point who can also defend shooting guards, as Livingston frequently did last season.

Height: 6-7. Weight: 182 pounds.

Age: 28

Position: Point guard

2014 Team: Brooklyn Nets

What he offers: He’s a good change-of-pace scorer, thanks to the mismatches he creates with his size. He’s a good rebounder and has above-average court vision (2.3 assists per game).

Why he fits: Livingston isn’t a threat from three – he only has 49 career attempts at a 20.4 percent rate – but his size and style would complement Walker well.

Worth mentioning: Livingston signed a two-year deal with Charlotte in 2010, although he was traded after one year on a draft-night deal that added Bismack Biyombo.

Kirk Hinrich

While he’s different from Livingston, he’d offer some of the same qualities as a backup to Kemba Walker – a veteran who can also play shooting guard, both offensively and defensively. Hinrich’s experience would be a good fit with a Hornets team looking to win a round of the playoffs.

Height: 6-3. Weight: 190 pounds.

Age: 33

Position: Point guard

2014 Team: Chicago Bulls

What he offers: Hinrich is a solid three point shooter (career 37.7 percent) and rarely turns over the ball, two good qualities for a backup point guard.

Why he fits: Hinrich has had plenty of experience playing alongside another point guard, a style Charlotte has used.

Worth mentioning: Hinrich has made the playoffs in nine of his 11 seasons, only missing in his rookie year and the 2007-08 season that netted Chicago Derrick Rose in the draft.

LeBron James/Chris Bosh/Dwyane Wade

Speaking of long shots, all three Miami stars can terminate their deals to become unrestricted this summer. More than likely they’ll be back with the Heat. James would be great in Charlotte (or anywhere). Bosh probably doesn’t make sense with Al Jefferson here. Wade is wearing down.

What each offers: James is the best player in the NBA, maybe an all-timer at small forward. Bosh is a big man with extraordinary shooting range for his size. Wade, when healthy, is a physically dominant shooting guard.

How each might fit: James fits anywhere. Bosh would have to play power forward alongside Jefferson. Wade probably wouldn’t fit because of his injury issues.

Worth mentioning: Since James, Bosh and Wade teamed up, Miami has never lost to the Charlotte NBA franchise.


No. 9 pick

Tyler Ennis

Ennis showed great court vision in his one season of college basketball. He’s not a great shooter, but he makes big shots, as in the buzzer-beater against Pittsburgh. He’s not really strong enough for the NBA yet, but that’s not uncommon among rookies.

Height: 6-3. Weight: 182 pounds.

Age: 19

Position: Point guard

College: Syracuse

What he offers: Ennis averaged 3.2 assists per turnover in his one college season.

Why he fits: Charlotte needs a backup point guard, and Ennis could be a good complement to Walker.

Worth mentioning: Ennis had a propensity for making big shots late in games for Syracuse.

Aaron Gordon

He’s a very good athlete at power forward – explosive and, to use one of Hornets coach Steve Clifford’s favorite expressions, a “multiple-effort” per play guy. Gordon needs to become more skilled offensively to round out his natural gifts.

Height: 6-9. Weight: 220 pounds.

Age: 18

Position: Power forward-small forward

College: Arizona

What he offers: His high basketball IQ and excellent fundamentals allow him to guard multiple positions, although his lack of weight can make it tough for him to guard big men in the post.

Why he fits: Charlotte struggled on the offensive glass last year, finishing 25th in offensive rebounding. With a quick second jump, that is one of Gordon’s major strengths, pulling in 2.9 offensive rebounds per game.

Worth mentioning: Gordon made only 42 percent of his free throws, by far the lowest among top prospects.

Doug McDermott

The Hornets need more scoring and long-range shooting from the wing positions. McDermott would help address that. But he figures to struggle defensively at small forward, where many of the NBA’s best athletes play.

Height: 6-8. Weight: 218 pounds.

Age: 22

Position: Small forward-power forward

College: Creighton

What he offers: McDermott is an elite scorer with great range and a variety of moves, despite having trouble creating his own shots

Why he fits: Charlotte was ranked 24th in free throw shooting and 23rd in three-point shooting, where McDermott shot 86.4 percent and 44.9 percent, respectively. Although McDermott plays the same position as Kidd-Gilchrist, their offensive skillsets are different enough that they wouldn’t be redundant on the floor at the same time.

Worth mentioning: McDermott’s 0.4 steals and blocks per game was the lowest among all top 100 prospects, according to DraftExpress.

Adreian Payne

A versatile power forward with shooting range out to the college 3-point line, Payne could be a good complement to Jefferson. His shooting range figures to make him a good “pick-and-pop” option. He also has a 7’4” wingspan and is a generally solid defender.

Height: 6-10. Weight: 239 pounds.

Age: 23

Position: Power forward

College: Michigan State

What he offers: Payne has great length and explosive athleticism. His quickness and lack of strength led him to score most of his points along the perimeter, where he shot 42.3 percent from three last year.

Why he fits: Even with Cody Zeller on the roster, Payne could serve as a hedge against Josh McRoberts potentially leaving should he opt out of his contract.

Worth mentioning: At 23, Payne is more than four years older than some top prospects.

Nik Stauskas

A fine long-range shooter (44 percent from the college 3-point line and a quick release), Stauskas is somewhat reminiscent of Dell Curry. But he’s also adept at driving to the rim. He could help the Hornets right away.

Height: 6-7. Weight: 207 pounds.

Age: 20

Position: Shooting guard

College: Michigan

What he offers: Stauskas’ handle is good enough to play point guard in short stretches, although he’s not particularly quick and needs to add strength to help on the defensive end.

Why he fits: Stauskas would help the Hornets lack of shooting, and his size would be an added bonus.

Worth mentioning: Stauskas had the fourth-highest body fat percentage recorded at this year’s draft combine. His 12.1 percent is on par with Shaquille O’Neal in 1992.

No. 24 pick

P.J. Hairston

He used his time well in the D-League, showing he can be a productive scorer against older, more physically developed players. He’s also a pretty good defender. The issues that cost him his college eligibility will surely come up in job interviews.

Height: 6-5. Weight: 229 pounds.

Age: 21

Position: Shooting guard

College: North Carolina

What he offers: Hairston is a volume shooter with fairly good accuracy. He’s a big, physical player with an impressive 6’9” wingspan that allows him to drive and finish well.

Why he fits: Hairston would address the Hornets’ need for long-range shooting. Hairston would play a similar role to Neal, although he would be more of a long-term solution.

Worth mentioning: There is precedent for the path Hairston took; Glen Rice Jr. left Georgia Tech and averaged 25 points for the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, after which he was drafted 35th overall by the Washington Wizards.

Vasilije Micic

At 6-foot-5, Micic would offer a contrast in size at point guard with Walker. He doesn’t have Walker’s explosiveness, but his height and strength come in handy defensively. His downside is he’s not particularly quick or athletic.

Height: 6-5. Weight: 188 pounds.

Age: 20

Position: Point guard

Country: Serbia

What he offers: Micic uses his good court vision, big hands, and creative passing to open opportunities for teammates – his 5.8 assists per game were second in the Adriatic League. His shooting is just average, but his height allows him to drive to the rim and finish.

Why he fits: Micic could be a cheap alternative to a free agent acquisition as a backup point guard.

Worth mentioning: Micic is not a lock to come over immediately and play in the NBA. Whichever team drafts him could stash him in Europe for a few years.

Shabazz Napier

He led the Huskies to the national championship in his final college season, just the way Hornets point guard Kemba Walker did. They have similarly explosive scoring ability in the pick-and-roll.

Height: 6-1. Weight: 175 pounds.

Age: 22

Position: Point guard

College: Connecticut

What he offers: A score-first point guard, Napier is a great shooter (40.5 percent from three) who has a quick first step. He’s a crafty guard and creates a lot of space, although he can be careless with the ball (2.9 turnovers per game).

Why he fits: Napier has the same frame as former UConn teammate Kemba Walker, which likely isn’t the ideal fit for Charlotte’s backup point guard. However, since the two played together, Charlotte may be more willing to match up the two small point guards.

Worth mentioning: Napier and Walker played together for one season when the Huskies won the National Championship in 2011. Walker led the team with 23.5 points and 4.5 assists, while Napier was second on the team with 3.0 assists, adding 7.8 points per game.

Glenn Robinson III

A particularly athletic small forward (his father and namesake was an NBA All-Star), Robinson will be the target of a lot of NBA lob passes. But he was sometimes passive offensively, coming in generally as the Wolverines’ third option.

Height: 6-7. Weight: 200 pounds.

Age: 20

Position: Small forward

College: Michigan

What he offers: Robinson is an elite athlete (41.5 inch vertical jump) with great length (6’10” wingspan) and a high basketball IQ. He’s not yet a great shooter (31.3 percent career from three), but he’s very good in transition and finishes well above the rim.

Why he fits: Charlotte is looking for another wing scorer, and Robinson is another bet on upside.

Worth mentioning: Robinson has good instincts on the offensive glass, pulling down 1.8 offensive rebounds per game over his college career.

T.J. Warren

He demonstrated last season that he can score at the top level of college basketball. There is a question what position he’s suited to play in the NBA. At just under 6-foot-9 he’s a bit short to be a post player, but that’s more his skill set.

Height: 6-8. Weight: 220 pounds.

Age: 20

Position: Small forward-power forward

College: N.C. State

What he offers: The ACC Player of the Year, Warren can absolutely score, finding gaps in the defense and penetrating from the perimeter. He doesn’t have much range currently, but he’s excellent in transition.

Why he fits: Warren is a wing scorer, but he doesn’t have the range the Hornets would prefer.

Worth mentioning: Warren’s 1.1 assists per game was the second-lowest among top 100 small forward draft prospects, according to DraftExpress.

No. 45 pick

Spencer Dinwiddie

He’s a combo guard who can push the ball to the rim with great quickness. Has late-first round talent, but some teams might be hesitant to take him earlier while he recovers from a torn ACL. His very slim body needs additional strength and bulk.

Height: 6-6. Weight: 200 pounds.

Age: 21

Position: Point guard-shooting guard

College: Colorado

What he offers: Dinwiddie has the ability to play either guard position, displaying a nice handle and excellent shooting (41.3 percent three point shooting).

Why he fits: Dinwiddie’s size size would be attractive as a complement to Walker.

Worth mentioning: Dinwiddie had a knee injury last season, limiting him to 17 games for the Buffaloes. He did average 14.7 points and a career-high 3.8 assists per game during that stretch.

C.J. Fair

Fair is a versatile scorer, although at 6-8 he might not be as effective offensively scoring in the lane against NBA size and athleticism.

Height: 6-8. Weight: 218 pounds.

Age: 22

Position: Small forward-power forward

College: Syracuse

What he offers: The senior forward is very athletic with a strong motor and impressive hops that help him attack the basket. He has a strong mid-range game, although he could be more consistent from three-point range (34.3 percent).

Why he fits: Fair rebounds well for a small forward (6.4) and would bring depth and another scoring option to the perimeter. He may also have to play some power forward, although he would really have to add more weight.

Worth mentioning: Fair had an ugly 0.51 assist-to-turnover ratio and is not a particularly good ball-handler.

James Michael McAdoo

McAdoo didn’t improve much season-to-season at North Carolina. He has promoted himself to NBA teams as a top-flight defender. He needs a better mid-range jump shot, but he benefits from a 7’2” wingspan.

Height: 6-9. Weight: 228 pounds.

Age: 21

Position: Power forward

College: North Carolina

What he offers: McAdoo overcomes his slightly undersized frame with excellent length and above-average athleticism. His main calling card is a knack for rebounding, although his face-to-the-basket offensive game is improving

Why he fits: The Hornets could use depth in the frontcourt, and McAdoo would provide a quality rebounder and defensive player as a late selection.

Worth mentioning: McAdoo’s field-goal percentage has gone up each year from .434 in 2011-12 to .466 last season, while his free throw percentage has dropped each year from .638 in 2011-12 to .537 last season.

Mitch McGary

Think of McGary as a bit like ex-Hornet Brad Miller: Not an explosive athlete, but a savvy center with good hands who knows how to score in traffic and pass out to open teammates. He could be long gone before pick No. 45, but you never know.

Height: 6-11. Weight: 263 pounds.

Age: 21

Position: Center

College: Michigan

What he offers: McGary is a big body who is an excellent rebounder.

Why he fits: McGary has the potential to be a solid backup big man. He probably would have been rated higher this year if he hadn’t missed most of the 2013-14 season with back surgery.

Worth mentioning: McGary shot an impressive 59.8 percent from the field his freshman year but also shot 44.2 percent from the free throw line.

Jarnell Stokes

He’s a physical, if somewhat undersized, power forward who measured out around 6-foot-8, but has a 7-foot-1 wingspan. Averaged over 10 rebounds per game last season and has good scoring touch around the basket.

Height: 6-9. Weight: 263 pounds.

Age: 20

Position: Power forward

College: Tennessee

What he offers: Stokes is long with very large hands, helping him rebound at a high rate. He’s a true low post scorer who can carve out space with his strong frame.

Why he fits: Stokes complements Cody Zeller down low as a post scorer and would add depth in the front court for the time being. His 6.2 free throw attempts and 4.2 offensive rebounds per game would also be welcomed, as Charlotte struggled in those areas last year.

Worth mentioning: Although he’s a junior by grade, Stokes won’t turn 21 until January because he enrolled early at Tennessee midway through his senior year of high school.