The Charlotte Hornets are expected to make a big move this offseason, and they reportedly already have two big free agent names on their wishlist. According to a report from The Charlotte Observer, the Hornets could pursue both Lance Stephenson and Luol Deng this coming offseason. Both players would be nice pickups for Charlotte, and would add much needed skills to the Hornets’ lineup.
This is certainly interesting news coming out of Charlotte, but they both would make a lot of sense for the Hornets. Deng, who will be an unrestricted free agent this summer, would add much needed defense and decent scoring, while Stephenson would bring playmaking ability, scoring, and energy to the lineup. Both players are expected to command a fairly large contract, but the Hornets would be able to afford signing one of them to the deal that they want.
Deng had a very interesting season last year, splitting time between the Chicago Bulls and Cleveland Cavaliers. He averaged 16.0 points, 5.7 rebounds, and 2.9 assists per game, while also playing the excellent brand of defense that he has been known for throughout his whole career. That being said, his numbers dropped in a big way after the Bulls traded him to Cleveland, and he did not play very good basketball during his 40 games with the Cavaliers for the most part.
Stephenson had a big season for the Indiana Pacers this past year, playing in and starting 78 games. He averaged 13.8 points, 7.2 rebounds, and 4.6 assists per game, while also recording an NBA-leading five triple-doubles throughout the year. While he may not be the best defender on the floor, he has shown the ability to play at a high level, but his offense and playmaking ability make up for his defense. There is no doubt that the Hornets would be getting a big piece with the addition of Stephenson.
Overall, both of these players would be good upgrades to the Bobcats’ lineup. They are looking to make some moves that will help them take the next step after being swept by the Miami Heat in the first round of the playoffs.