Tom Sorensen

Here’s where the Hornets’ path to contender begins, with or without Rich Cho

If Charlotte does divest itself of general manager Rich Cho, the Hornets needs to make the move count.
If Charlotte does divest itself of general manager Rich Cho, the Hornets needs to make the move count. dtfoster@charlotteobserver.com

The Charlotte Hornets have underachieved, and when teams underachieve somebody is forced to pay, and that payment could be general manager Rich Cho. If Charlotte does divest itself of Cho, it needs to make the move count.

There can be no Cho must go to appease the masses. The Hornets next general manager needs to have authority and even autonomy. Personnel decisions must be his.

The Hornets have too many major-league contracts but not enough major-league players. How far are they from contending not for a place in the playoffs but for home-court advantage?

They’re so far that you can’t even visualize it.

The Hornets won three in a row and matched the Denver Nuggets basket for flashy basket on the road off and on Monday. But ultimately they were unable to keep up. The Nuggets, a good team, had too much offense and too many options.

Charlotte the city really wants Charlotte the team to win. Fans have not abandoned the Hornets. They crave a team that doesn’t slide into the playoffs as the eighth seed but can do something when it gets there.

This was going to be the season that happened. And then it wasn’t.

Because Charlotte is not a destination for famous free agents, the Hornets have to get the draft right, and they haven’t. Who do you blame? I don’t even know.

I know that they overpaid guard Nic Batum, who is a good but not great player, and are handcuffed by his maximum contract.

If they hire a new general manager after the season, he needs to be the decision maker. And just like their next draft pick, the Hornets have to get this decision right.

Tom Sorensen is a retired Charlotte Observer columnist. Sign up for his newsletter, and follow him on Twitter: @tomsorensen

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