Hornets Rumors

2019/20 Over/Unders: Southeast Division

The 2019/20 NBA regular season will get underway in just six days, which means it’s time to get serious about predictions for the upcoming campaign.

With the help of the lines from a handful of sports betting sites, including Bovada and BetOnline, we’re running through the predicted win totals for each of the NBA’s 30 teams, by division. In a series of team-by-team polls, you’ll get the chance to weigh in on whether you think those forecasts are too optimistic or too pessimistic.

Having already looked at the Atlantic, Northwest, Central, and Pacific, we’re moving onto the Southeast today…

Miami Heat

Trade Rumors app users, click here for Heat poll.

Orlando Magic

Trade Rumors app users, click here for Magic poll.

Atlanta Hawks

Trade Rumors app users, click here for Hawks poll.

Washington Wizards

Trade Rumors app users, click here for Wizards poll.

Charlotte Hornets

Trade Rumors app users, click here for Hornets poll.

Previous voting results:


  • Philadelphia 76ers (54.5 wins): Over (54.9%)
  • Boston Celtics (49.5 wins): Under (57.0%)
  • Toronto Raptors (46.5 wins): Under (59.1%)
  • Brooklyn Nets (43.5 wins): Over (58.3%)
  • New York Knicks (27.5 wins): Under (54.9%)


  • Denver Nuggets (53.5 wins): Over (51.8%)
  • Utah Jazz (53.5 wins): Under (50.8%)
  • Portland Trail Blazers (46.5 wins): Over (78.7%)
  • Minnesota Timberwolves (35.5 wins): Under (57.5%)
  • Oklahoma City Thunder (32.5 wins): Under (55.1%)


  • Milwaukee Bucks (57.5 wins): Over (63.5%)
  • Indiana Pacers (46.5 wins): Over (56.6%)
  • Detroit Pistons (37.5 wins): Over (69.8%)
  • Chicago Bulls (33.5 wins): Under (56.2%)
  • Cleveland Cavaliers (24.5 wins): Under (70.0%)


  • Los Angeles Clippers (54.5 wins): Over (53.9%)
  • Los Angeles Lakers (51.5 wins): Over (50.3%)
  • Golden State Warriors (48.5 wins): Over (54.3%)
  • Sacramento Kings (38.5 wins): Over (66.2%)
  • Phoenix Suns (29.5 wins): Under (61.8%)

Joe Chealey, Josh Perkins Waived By Hornets

The Hornets have waived Joe Chealey and Josh Perkins, tweets Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer.

A 23-year-old point guard, Chealey spent all of last season on a two-way contract with Charlotte. He got into just one NBA game, but was a starter for the organization’s G League affiliate in Greensboro, where he posted a 16.3/3.7/5.3 line in 43 games before a torn left meniscus ended his season in March.

Perkins, a rookie point guard out of Gonzaga, signed an Exhibit 10 deal in August. He was a 38.6% shooter from 3-point range in college. Both players have a good chance to start the season in Greensboro, Bonnell adds (Twitter link).

The moves trim the Hornets’ roster to 18 players ahead of next Monday’s final cutdown date. Charlotte has 13 guaranteed contracts, with both two-way slots already filled.

Celtics, Nets, Hornets Considered Three-Way Trade

In the early hours of free agency, the Celtics discussed a three-way sign-and-trade that would have brought Kemba Walker to Boston while sending Kyrie Irving to the Nets and Terry Rozier to the Hornets, according to Steve Bulpett of The Boston Herald.

The Celtics were hoping to pull off the deal and still have enough resources left to keep Al Horford, but the trade got scrapped when Horford elected to accept a four-year, $109MM contract from the Sixers.

The proposed transaction wouldn’t have been as difficult to execute as some in the media have claimed, Bulpett adds. The Nets had the cap space to sign Irving outright and would have sought some compensation to participate, but all three teams had interest. Bulpett states that while the deal never got close to completion, Brooklyn officials were clear about what they wanted and their price could have been met.

In an interview this week, Horford suggested that he might have given stronger consideration to staying in Boston if he had known Walker was joining the team.

“I don’t want to get caught up in the past,” Horford said, “but, yeah, that would have been totally different.”

The Celtics were willing to give the 33-year-old a four-year-deal, according to Bulpett, but he landed in a good situation in Philadelphia, where he is surrounded by enough talent to compete for a title and won’t be asked to play center as often because of Joel Embiid.

2019 Offseason In Review: Charlotte Hornets

Hoops Rumors is breaking down the 2019 offseason for all 30 NBA teams, revisiting the summer’s free agent signings, trades, draft picks, departures, and more. We’ll evaluate each team’s moves from the last several months and look ahead to what the 2019/20 season holds for all 30 franchises. Today, we’re focusing on the Charlotte Hornets.



  • Acquired Terry Rozier (sign-and-trade) and the Celtics’ 2020 second-round pick (top-53 protected) from the Celtics in exchange for Kemba Walker (sign-and-trade) and either the Nets’ or Knicks’ 2020 second-round pick (whichever is less favorable).

Draft picks:

  • 1-12: PJ Washington — Signed to rookie contract.
  • 2-36: Cody Martin — Signed to three-year, $4.47MM contract. Third year non-guaranteed. Signed using mid-level exception.
  • 2-52: Jalen McDaniels — Signed to one-year, minimum-salary contract. Non-guaranteed. Exhibit 10.

Departing players:

Other offseason news:

Salary cap situation:

  • Remained over the cap.
  • Hard-capped.
  • Carrying approximately $122.44MM in guaranteed salary.
  • $8.08MM of mid-level exception still available (used $1.17MM on Cody Martin).
  • Full bi-annual exception ($3.62MM) still available.

Story of the summer:

The Hornets entered the 2019 offseason in a no-win situation, forced to decide between two unfavorable paths.

Re-signing franchise player Kemba Walker would have meant investing between $30-40MM per year in a long-term contract for a point guard who turns 30 years old in the spring. It would have meant either pushing team salary into tax territory for the 2019/20 season or sneaking below the tax line by attaching assets to unwanted contracts in trades. And it would have meant essentially doubling down on a core that had missed the playoffs for three consecutive seasons.

On the other hand, letting Walker go would mean losing the only All-Star on the roster and not getting anything back for him or gaining the cap flexibility necessary to replace him in any meaningful way. The team’s cap would still be overloaded with lucrative contracts for unspectacular veterans with no real way to get out from under those contracts for another year or two.

Once it became clear that Walker wasn’t interested in sticking around for the terms the Hornets were offering (reportedly about $160MM for five years), president of basketball operations Mitch Kupchak attempted to thread the needle between those two unfavorable outcomes by working out a sign-and-trade with the Celtics to get something back for his All-NBA point guard. The result was a three-year, $56MM+ investment in Terry Rozier, who has started 30 career games and has never made more than 39.5% of his field goal attempts in a single season.

An optimist might argue that the Hornets were at least able to get something back for Walker, pointing to Rozier’s impressive 2018 playoff run as proof that he’s capable of more than he showed during a mediocre 2018/19 season. The glass-half-empty argument would be that Rozier wasn’t worth a $56MM investment and will simply become the latest overpaid Hornet, hampering the team’s ability to clear its cap sheet in 2020 and/or 2021.

No matter how the Hornets’ commitment to Rozier plays out, it’s clear that the franchise is entering a new era, one that might get worse before it gets better. Walker’s departure this summer signaled that a full-scale rebuild is on the way.

Read more

McDaniels' Contract Is Non-Guaranteed

Rookie forward Jalen McDaniels‘ contract with the Hornets is a non-guaranteed one-year contract with an Exhibit 10 provision, John Hollinger of The Athletic reports. McDaniels, a second-round selection, didn’t come to an agreement with Charlotte until Thursday.

While McDaniels could make the opening-night roster, it’s quite possible he’ll be waived and end up in the G League via the Exhibit 10, according to Hollinger. If so, the Hornets will lose their NBA rights to him and another team could sign him at any time, though no one besides Charlotte can sign McDaniels to a two-way contract this season.

Hornets Sign Jalen McDaniels

The Hornets have officially signed second-round pick to Jalen McDaniels to a contract, the team announced today in a press release. Charlotte waived Thomas Welsh earlier this afternoon, opening up a spot on the 20-man roster.

McDaniels, who declared for the draft this spring after spending two seasons at San Diego State, averaging 15.9 PPG, 8.3 RPG, and 2.1 APG in 34 games (31.0 MPG) in 2018/19. The 6’10” forward was selected with the 52nd overall pick in the 2019 draft.

The Hornets faced some criticism in some circles for selecting McDaniels, who has been sued by two former female high school classmates who claim that he recorded them without their consent while they were performing sexual acts.

McDaniels had been the last 2019 draft pick whose status remained up in the air. As our tracker shows, 54 of this year’s draftees had previously signed NBA contracts, while three will spend the 2019/20 season overseas and two are signing G League deals.

The terms of McDaniels’ first NBA contract aren’t clear, but the Hornets are only carrying 13 players with fully guaranteed salaries, so there’s room on the roster for him to become one of the 14 or 15 players that starts the regular season with the club.

Hornets Release Thomas Welsh

The Hornets have waived big man Thomas Welsh, according to Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer (Twitter link). The club’s preseason roster now stands at 19 players.

Welsh, the 58th overall pick in the 2018 draft, spent his rookie season on a two-way contract with the Nuggets, but was waived by Denver in July. After catching on with the Hornets in August, the 23-year-old saw very little action in the team’s first two preseason games, logging just six total minutes.

As Bonnell notes, Welsh always looked more likely to end up with the Greensboro Swarm, Charlotte’s G League affiliate, than the Hornets themselves. That remains a possibility if he doesn’t land with another team in the NBA or overseas.

Welsh will become an unrestricted free agent on Saturday if he goes unclaimed on waivers.

Kemba Walker Discusses Decision To Leave Charlotte

Kemba Walker says he understands the Hornets‘ decision to offer him a contract worth less than he was eligible for, relays Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer. That move led Walker to leave the franchise where he spent the first eight years of his career and sign with the Celtics, even though Boston’s max offer of $141MM over four years was about $19MM less than he could have made on his five-year offer from Charlotte. The Hornets elected not to extend a super-max offer that would have paid him $221MM.

“They offered, but it just wasn’t an offer I could accept. I guess that’s the (most) money that they had,” Walker said. “I know they didn’t want to go over the (luxury) tax. Which I completely understand. It’s a business at the end of the day, and I respect the decision that they made. No hard feelings at all. I still love that organization and everything around it. It was tough for me (to leave), and I know it was tough for them; for MJ (owner Michael Jordan) and (general manager) Mitch (Kupchak) to let me go. But at the end of the day you have to do tough things in life. It just happens.”

During his time in Charlotte, Walker was committed not just to the team, but to the city. He said he remains grateful for the opportunity that Jordan provided when he took Walker with the ninth pick in the 2011 draft. Walker recalls the struggles of a 7-59 record in his first season and said the community remained supportive as the franchise improved. He said he felt obligated to give back to the city and try to inspire young people.

However, Charlotte made the playoffs just twice while Walker was there and got bounced in the first round both times. He immediately noticed a different atmosphere in Boston.

“Here, these guys are about winning — everything is about winning,” Walker said. “About getting to the playoffs every single year. You can feel that culture, that vibe, that environment each and every day. You walk into (the Celtics’) practice facility and they have all the (championship) banners up. The arena has all the banners up. It is such a legendary organization. That’s all they know is win! It’s a very high expectation. And that can be tough, too, to come into a situation like that, but that’s what I want. I want to have that expectation and to compete at the highest level. I think I have a real shot at doing that here with the Celtics.”

Hornets Notes: Rotation, Williams, Friedman, Rozier

With Kemba Walker no longer on the roster, the Hornets are entering rebuilding mode, and head coach James Borrego has made it clear he’ll prioritize developing the team’s young prospects during the 2019/20 season. Still, as Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer details, that doesn’t mean that the Hornets’ veteran players won’t have opportunities to play regular roles.

“If I’m going to be a coach who says, ‘Competition is the No. 1 thing on my board,’ then I have to give (veterans) the ability to compete for minutes,” Borrego said. “I’m not strictly handing minutes to young guys. The young guys have to go earn this.”

Nicolas Batum, Marvin Williams, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, and Bismack Biyombo are among the high-priced veterans on the Hornets’ roster who could be competing with younger players like Malik Monk, PJ Washington, Miles Bridges, Willy Hernangomez, and Dwayne Bacon for minutes during the 2019/20 season. It’s possible the situation could lead to some frustration over the course of the year, but for now Williams had nothing but praise for the way Borrego is handling things.

“J.B. has been amazing for us older guys. He’s been straightforward with us, he told us the direction he’s going in, and what he wants from us. That’s all you can ask,” Williams said. “We understand the situation. When we get our opportunities, we’ll make the most of it.”

Here’s more on the Hornets:

  • The losses of Walker and veteran guard Tony Parker created something of a leadership void in the Hornets’ locker room, but Borrego believes that Williams is capable of setting an example for his younger teammates, per Bonnell. “One of the biggest things for our young guys is (to think), ‘Look at Marvin, he’s a true pro.’ Marvin checks those boxes every single day. He takes this as his job, as his profession, and there is a pride about his work every single day,” Borrego said. “I’m going to expect him to lead us in that area. He understands that.”
  • In a mailbag for The Charlotte Observer, Bonnell suggests that the Hornets probably shouldn’t expect to net more than a second-round pick if they try to trade a veteran on a pricey expiring contract this season. Biyombo, Williams, and Kidd-Gilchrist are all on expiring deals worth between $13-17MM.
  • The Hornets issued a press release today announcing a series of changes and additions to their basketball operations staff, including Nick Friedman being named a player development coach. Friedman will bounce back and forth between the Hornets and the Greensboro Swarm, accompanying players on G League assignments.
  • Ben Nadeau of Basketball Insiders explores whether a breakout season is around the corner for new Hornets starting point guard Terry Rozier.

Zeller: "Something Is Missing" Without Kemba In Camp

  • Hornets big man Cody Zeller said on the first day of camp that it felt like “something is missing” in Charlotte without Kemba Walker in the locker room, writes Steve Reed of The Associated Press. Zeller added that it was especially tough to lose Walker because he felt like the Hornets were “close” to breaking through and becoming a playoff team.