Southeast Notes: Hornets, Winslow, Carter, Herro

At the midpoint of the Hornets‘ 2019/20 NBA season, the team has shown growth under second-year head coach James Borrego, Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer notes.

Bonnell goes on to report that the Hornets are the only team with a losing record that is still among the top-10 in the league in net rating in clutch time, thanks mostly to the clutch play of promising youngsters Devonte’ Graham, PJ Washington and even the 25-year-old Terry Rozier. Bonnell cautions optimistic fans that just two of the team’s 15 victories came against teams with winning records, and notes that the 15-26 team is still firmly in rebuild mode.

Rozier, an expensive free-agent gamble inked this summer to a three-year, $57MM contract to be the team’s starting point guard, has become effective as the team’s starting shooting guard after the ascendant Graham emerged as the best option to run the point for the Hornets.

Bonnell wonders if the 6’1″ Rozier can be a long-term fit as the team’s shooting guard, and whether forwards PJ Washington and Miles Bridges, similarly built at 6’7″, can truly coexist starting alongside each other in the frontcourt long term. Bonnell feels that shooting guard and center should be the Hornets’ next big positional targets in the 2020 NBA draft.

There’s more out of the Southeast Division:

  • Heat guard Justise Winslow, in the first season of a three-year, $39MM contract extension, has been saddled with several maladies this season. He has appeared in just 11 of a possible 38 games for Miami. Ira Winderman of the Florida Sun-Sentinel opines that Winslow has an incentive to return to the court quickly and be effective for the Heat, as the third season of his extension during 2021/22 is a team option.
  • Evergreen Hawks veteran swingman Vince Carter, the 42-year-old surefire Hall of Famer who will retire this spring after spending parts of four decades in the NBA, isn’t letting his age detract from his effort on defense. Mike DePrisco of NBC Sports Washington observes that Carter tried to draw a charge call at half-court against a charging Ish Smith, 31. “Trust me, I’ve been run over by Shaq,” Carter said. “So as he long as he doesn’t hit me in my knees I’m good.”
  • Heat rookie wing Tyler Herro is confident of his standing among his fellow NBA freshmen, according to the Miami Herald’s Barry Jackson. “I just know what me and [fellow Heat rookie] Kendrick Nunn got going on,” Herro said. “I think I’m one of the best rookies in this class for sure. Obviously there’s a lot of great rookies with Ja Morant and RJ [Barrett]… But I feel we have two of the best rookies.”
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4 thoughts on “Southeast Notes: Hornets, Winslow, Carter, Herro

  1. hiflew

    I have never understood knocking teams for beating bad teams. It’s not like college football or basketball where they make their own schedule. Every win counts exactly the same.

    The Hornets are not title contenders obviously, based on their record, but beating sub .500 teams is far better than losing to them. Beat enough of them and you have a chance to win a title, even if it is just a small one. If the choice is slim and none, I’ll take slim every time.

  2. Tazza

    Hornets should trade Zeller and Kidd-Gilchrist for Whiteside and a pair of seconds.

    Hornets get a solid centre to finish out the year and could possibly resign him on a cheaper deal next year. They also get 2 picks for 2 dubs.
    Blazers get in some back up for a last second playoff push. Zeller replaces Whiteside at centre and gives you similar production less defensively but is better at picks for Dame and CJ. Zeller is actually averaging almost a double double in only 23 minutes while hitting 3’s at almost 30% so that’s something Whiteside doesn’t do.
    They also pick up MKG who isn’t flash but can play 3/4 and is a solid defender.

    Then when Nurkic and Collins return both these guys can take up bench roles and still be decent contributors. Blazers are currently 1 win out of the 8th seed but that 8th seed is very contested

  3. x%sure

    I predicted Bridges and Washington would be a good duo but I thought Washington was taller. As is stands, they are both considered 4s in modern BB, but neither can be called a force inside. This is why the physical Biyombo is said to be havng a good year: he probably complEments the forwards like Zeller does not.

    This is a better year for Charlotte than expected do to Graham & PJ being better in the clutch than expected.

    Tazza’s trade looks good, Whiteside for Zeller+Gilcrist. But maybe the Hornets can draft now!

    • Tazza

      Miles Bridges is listed as a SF and at 6’6 that sounds about right. I thought Bridges and Washington would also be good together and that’s why I think getting in a centre like Whiteside would be better for this team. Whiteside at 7’0 would make up the size lost and be that beast in the paint which the Hornets need.

      Think the trade I suggested even without picks would make the Hornets a better team, helps them clear salary this year, and gives these young guys a better chance to showcase their skills.
      Portland should do it because it gives them some valuable depth and helps them with a playoff push. Zeller has actually been pretty useful in less minutes which kinda suits the Blazers with Nurkic to return. MKG at 6’6 can play either forward spot and is a good defender. Plus he’s on an expiring deal and you could resign him for cheaply next year

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