Charlotte Hornets 2022/23 Season Review
It has been exactly one (real life) year since GM ozymandias took over Charlotte Hornets and even though the team isn’t quite there yet, it seems like the future is bright in the Buzz City. But what exactly did the Hornets achieve in 2022/23 CSL season? Can they label the season as success? With the record of 29-53, probably not but some important moves have been made and some are yet to come if the Hornets want to end their postseason drought. Let’s take a closer look at it all.
GM ozymandias pulled the trigger on a few big deals in during the season and entering the 2023 offseason, the roster looks a bit different from what it was a year ago (in-game). Vonleh, Beal and Kanter we’re all shipped away in separate trades but Hornets managed to acquire Poltl, who they’ve been after for a while, Barnes, Youssou, Petteway and a 24 1st round pick from the Pistons. Plus, they’ve managed to free up a lot of cap space and will enter the offseason with a predicted cap space of about $26 million as a result of these trades. The moves Hornets made during the season allowed them to retain financial flexibility and they’ve added assets for the future, which are all the moves rebuilding teams are supposed to make as you’ve probably already seen in the Rebuilding for Dummies
guide by Myles.
As mentioned above, Hornets finished the season with the record of 29-53, which isn’t much but is still better than they did in the previous year (20-62). What’s more important is that Hornets were a more exciting team to watch than a year ago, mostly because of the rookie sensation – Trae Young. Three point shot is one of the most important parts of the modern basketball and you’ll hardly find a better gunner in the CSL than him. His three-point shot and an almost perfect pairing with Kris Dunn led to some thrilling games, including the W over Hawks
when Charlotte went off for 142 points. Fans in Charlotte are hoping the coach Thibodeau will help the youngster improve during the summer and that they’ll get to watch even more exciting basketball next season.
Although Trae Young was an exciting player to watch during the season, it’s Kris Dunn who once again emerged as the best player in the team. Former Providence guard led the team in scoring and has shown some improvement in almost every aspect of his game. It’s worth nothing that ended the season as one of the top ball thieves in the CSL. There’s no need to say that Young had a fantastic rookie season and everyone in Charlotte hopes he’ll do even better next year. Poltl has proven to be exactly what Hornets needed and his shooting saw a huge increase ever since he was traded to Charlotte as he’s now shooting 53.9% from the floor. Korkmaz had a down year after he suffered a broken wrist at the beginning of the season. Coach Thibodeau increased his minutes this year but it seems he preferred the smaller role he played last season. Barnes was acquired to add some veteran leadership to the team and did exactly what he was asked. When it comes to the bench, players who stood out the most were MCW whose defensive game helped mask his bad shooting year and Youssou who seems to be a nice bench piece.
2023 CSL Draft
Hornets have the eight pick in this year’s CSL draft and are looking to add another young player into their team. The class may not look as strong as the last year’s but there are some intriguing players who could fit into the current Hornets lineup perfectly. Will Hornets choose any of Mikal Bridges, Miles Bridges, Kaiser Gates or Dzanan Musa to share the court with Korkmaz who might look be looking at a decreased role next season? Or they’ll introduce another young player into their starting five in Michael Porter or John Collins? No final decisions have been made yet but the front office is looking into every option available. Hornets also have the 41st pick in the draft.
With about 26 million in cap, Hornets should be one of the most active teams during the offseason. In fact, according to Flaming Homer’s articles, only Lakers and Pelicans are projected to have more. But just like in real life (sorry Kyrus), Hornets aren’t necessarily going to be the first option for some of the most sought-after free agents this year. However, with the new free agency system being introduced, it might be worth presenting some of the biggest names in free agency with an offer. The front office is keeping a close eye on every free agent available and will be looking to make the most off their cap as it’s next year when they’re supposed to re-sign both Poltl and Korkmaz who might be looking at big contracts as well.