Hornets Notes: Free Agency, Draft, Bacon

Hornets president of basketball operations Mitch Kupchak made it clear earlier in the 2019/20 league year that he doesn’t expect his team to be a major player in free agency during the 2020 offseason, despite projecting to be one of the few clubs with real cap room. However, that doesn’t mean that Charlotte will ignore the free agent market entirely.

We’ll look to acquire talent via trades and depending on the circumstances, we will look at the potential of a strategic free-agent signing,” the Hornets’ executive said, per Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer (Twitter link).

As Bonnell notes in a separate tweet, a “strategic” signing for the Hornets could be a smaller deal that focuses on a specific area of need, such as rim protection or more offensive versatility on the wing.

Here’s more on the Hornets:

  • Appearing on WFNZ in Charlotte, Kupchak admitted that the Hornets aren’t in position to focus on positional need in the draft rather than opting for the best player available (Twitter links via Bonnell). We’re just not good enough to do that right now — to bypass maybe a more talented player because we think we need help at a certain position,” Kupchak said.
  • Speaking of the draft, Kupchak recently said that the Hornets have interviewed approximately 25 players who could be picked in the late first or early second round (Twitter link via Bonnell). Charlotte doesn’t have its own second-round pick, but has Cleveland’s, which will be No. 32. The Hornets are focusing on meeting with candidates for that pick rather than their lottery selection because top prospects generally haven’t been participating in many video calls yet (Twitter link via Bonnell).
  • Hornets guard Dwayne Bacon is eligible for restricted free agency this offseason and appears unlikely to return to Charlotte. Bacon said last week that his best option would be to “go somewhere else” as a free agent, according to Bonnell (Twitter link).
  • In a mailbag for The Charlotte Observer, Bonnell discussed Nicolas Batum‘s future, how a lower-than-expected salary cap would affect the Hornets in 2020/21, and a handful of other topics.
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