Scott Fowler

Bests and worsts: fans weigh in on Charlotte Hornets’ offseason moves

The Charlotte Hornets’ Nicolas Batum (left) answers a question as Jeremy Lamb listens during a new conference in Charlotte in June. Batum is penciled in to start at shooting guard for the Hornets in 2015-16, according to coach Steve Clifford.
The Charlotte Hornets’ Nicolas Batum (left) answers a question as Jeremy Lamb listens during a new conference in Charlotte in June. Batum is penciled in to start at shooting guard for the Hornets in 2015-16, according to coach Steve Clifford. AP

Say this for the Charlotte Hornets’ offseason – it has been eventful.

The team has traded Gerald Henderson, Lance Stephenson and Noah Vonleh, drafted Frank Kaminsky, signed Jeremy Lin and undrafted rookie Aaron Harrison, parted ways with Bismack Biyombo and traded for Jeremy Lamb, Spencer Hawes and Nicolas Batum. To get Kaminsky, they decided not to draft Duke’s Justise Winslow or take a package of six draft picks from Boston to move down. They are obviously trying to win right now.

I asked Hornets’ fans last week in this space and via Twitter to tell me what they thought were the best and worst moves the team has made. Here’s a sampling of the many responses, edited for brevity and clarity.

Chuck from Indian Land wrote: “Best: Traded away several players. Why? They symbolized the Hornets’ mediocrity. Worst: Kept P.J. on the team (for now). Why? He has issues on and off the court that are counterproductive to the team.”

@Ben_Harmon tweeted: “Best: passing on that draft night trade offer from Boston. You need players to win, not a bunch of future picks.”

Jim wrote: “Best off-season move: Dumping Lance Stephenson, addition by subtraction. ... Worst off-season move: Tie: Keeping Brian Roberts and P.J. Hairston. Roberts, nice guy, too small, unreliable shooter, poor defense. Got pushed around a lot last year. Hairston, a train wreck. ... Don’t see him as ever being a starter, star or significant factor.”

@RodBroddick tweeted: “Worst: letting Vonleh go. Best: picking up an undrafted Aaron Harrison on the cheap.”

Allan from Wilkesboro wrote: “The best move of the Hornets this offseason was to bring in the new talent and getting rid of a lot of the old. Batum should be a real up-grade. He is longer and shoots a lot better than Henderson and is a better defender. ... Getting rid of Stephenson was a must.”

@MrFrontPage tweeted: “Best: signing Jeremy Lin to a very affordable contract. Worst: letting Biz walk for nothing. TBD: Batum/Vonleh trade”

Carl from Charlotte wrote: “It’s nice to see the Hornets willing to part ways with players who needed to move on. I like the acquisition of Batum and Lamb. But to be honest, I’m not sure how strong they will be on the defensive side of the ball, or if there is any CONSISTENT rim protection. To get to the next level of the playoffs in the Eastern Conference they need that ‘tough’ guy in there who also rebounds the ball well on both ends.”

W. Randall from Charlotte wrote: “Rich Cho and Michael Jordan have impressed me with the new acquisitions of Frank Kaminsky, Jeremy Lin and Nicolas Batum. All are extremely talented players and the best offseason move. ... But Justise Winslow was a better athlete than anyone on the Hornets’ roster and that was the team’s worst offseason move. This team is still short one prolific scorer.”

@BBallcoachNY tweeted: “Best move: Getting rid of the cancer named Stephenson. Best move ... picking up Harrison. I like his talent & toughness”

@KalebCombs tweeted: “Best: getting the all star game in Charlotte. Worst: keeping Rich Cho as GM”

@TJWickey tweeted: “Best: finding a team to take Lance. Worst: Passing on Winslow for Kaminsky”

@SamuelTyson tweeted: “Best: realizing this franchise runs on MJs yearly hunches and whims. Worst: living with it.”

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