NOTE: We’ve been paying a lot of well deserved attention to this years draft, but now it’s time to take an in depth look at potential free agent targets for the Hornets. This is of many free agent articles. Please keep in mind our extensive draft preview will continue up until draft night. After draft night we will analyze the picks and then turn our full attention to free agency. Thanks for keeping up with us and we hope you enjoy.
This is our third free agency preview of the off-season. All three of our previewed players have something in common: they are wing players who can shoot the basketball. Those are without a doubt the two biggest needs for the Hornets this off-season.
Hayward is a guy I really like. The Butler product is a career 44% shooter. Hayward can also shoot the three effectively, as his 37% proves. What’s somewhat alarming is he only shot 30% from three this past season. That’s interesting considering it was on a potential contract season. While his three point percentage may have dropped, he was able to put up 16.2 PPG. When Hayward hits the open market he will be a restricted free agent, meaning the Jazz can match any contract offer he receives. This in a way will make it more difficult for the Hornets to sign him, but there is a solid chance Utah will let him walk. Reports are Hayward and the Jazz still aren't close to reaching an agreement.
Based off what I’ve seen from him in his first four seasons as a pro, Charlotte should definitely look into Hayward this July. This is a guy who could come in and space the floor at a cheaper price than someone like Lance Stephenson. However, what should make upgrade process more difficult is Gerald Henderson, who is under contract for the next two season. If the Hornets plan on adding a wing, they will have to get rid of some of their players. This makes me believe there will have to be some sort of trade involving Henderson for an upgrade to occur. It just wouldn’t make sense any other way, considering Neal should be the sixth man next season. Henderson has just become ineffective offensively. I've come to the conclusion that Henderson and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist just don't belong in the same starting five.
Lead Hornets Writer: Jonathon Hoppe