Ranking Hornets from Best to Worst

Gordon Hayward
Terry Rozier
Devonte Graham
Miles Bridges
Lonzo Ball
Malik Monk
Biz (Catching balls?)
Cody Zeller (Really has regressed)
Jalen McDaniels
The Twins (We won’t be good until they don’t play)

Based on today’s game alone Monk and Richards would be bottom two.

If we’re only going by what we have been able to see these two games; Miles, Jalen and PJ are the top tier. I can’t imagine that Devonte’, Cody, Gordon, and Terry are going full speed yet. There way too little data on the rookies for me to think anything of them yet, including LaMelo.

But that Zeller 3 though…

I’ll just say that Center is a big position of weakness for the team.

  • Cody and Biz have huge limitations
  • Vernon & Nick still don’t look ready yet
  • PJ is too small to play against anything other than another small ball lineup
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Id love to acquire John Collins from Atlanta

I think the value is the trade off. As much as he can’t bang with a full-sized big, that same big can’t stay with him on the perimeter. I like his potential to close games at the 5.

What’s funny n to think about is rolling out a five of Melo, Jalen, Gordon, Miles, and PJ at some point this year. Just the idea of a CLT team that can play a straight 6’7" lineup amuses me.

Until Jalen and Melo grow to 6’11 and become the twin tower unicorns.

Speaking of Jalen, anyone think he could be one of those Pascal Siakam type of discoveries? Maybe its a matter of Jalen never having to be gameplanned against yet, but the physical tools/coordination/athleticism/shooting/defensive potential are pretty similar, and he seems like an unopened Pillsbury biscuit can ready to burst open at any second*. Siakam didn’t burst out until his third year.

*For the young guns who’ve never opened a can of biscuits.

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  1. They are worse than lamelo’s shot mechanics
  2. No self respecting southerner calls those biscuits. They may eat them, but they are NOT biscuits
  3. I do a ton of cooking and that may be the scariest thing you can do. I always feel like will farrell testing out the jack in the boxes in elf opening those things

The very same lineup occurred to me. Talk about positionless!

What interests me is the logjam at the wing positions, especially SG. The top 8 players (all getting at least 24 mins), as I see it are Devonte, Terry, Haywood, PJ, Zeller, Miles, Ball & McDaniels. That leaves Monk & both Martin twins currently on the outside looking in (with Biz ready on the bench if we need his size).

*Side note (echoing the point made by @Vanderbilt_Grad): just picture the roster with a high-quality centre! Oh how I hope Vernon develops at a good rate.

Devonte & Ball are certain to get their minutes while Terry deserves his too, even though he’s likely just keeping that starting position warm for when Lamelo’s ready. We all know Monk has talent but I still think the roster doesn’t need both him and Terry. They’re ideal for the 6th/7th man, first backcourt player off the bench role.

What do we think is the reason they’re both still here? Waiting for Monk to show if he’s extension worthy? Simply not had an acceptable offer for either yet? Is Terry a longer-term piece than we initially thought? Do you expect it to all play out nearer the deadline?

Aside from the obvious dearth of quality at the 5 the Monk/Terry thing is the only real question I have about the makeup of the roster.

Monk does seem to be be on the fringe of the rotation and, at least at this very moment, might be one more incident away from functionally being salary-matching filler at the deadline. He’s talented enough to play his way back into the picture this year, but at this moment I just can’t see committing a long-term extension to him. Maybe he’s on the Denzel Valentine track and winds up signing his one-year qualifying offer to set up a “prove it” season, but I’m kind of down on his future in Charlotte.

Disclaimer: 2 preseason games

I don’t see ball being ready until at least midway through next season. I really like some aspects of his game and how he approaches basketball but he has a ton of work to do in the majority of the whole thing.
I think one of the worst things the hornets could do is push him into a starters role too early. For skills reasons as well as mentality/maturity reasons as well.

You may well be right @Chef and I do think if that’s also the assessment of our coaching staff I can see Terry’s experience keeping him ahead of Monk’s unrealised potential in the rotation.

On the subject of not rushing Ball, I love his answers about playing time & starting & pressure & expectation … ‘it’s all basketball and I wanna get out there play, compete and have fun’ is the gist of his replies.

I agree with all of this @Bogg.

While his positive COVID test has unquestionably held him back some, I certainly haven’t seen Monk show, nor do I suspect he has it in his personality to show the type of spirit that Miles is displaying out there. The way Bridges has reacted to being moved to a 6th/7th man role is exactly what you want to see. Maybe Monk comes out and proves me completely wrong, I’d love it if he does, but I have my doubts.

Yeah, considering that he’s hitting the end of his rookie deal and looks like he may be the odd man out in the youth movement, and considering that his $5 million salary is the obvious choice to aggregate with either of Zeller or Rozier if the team wants to chase a veteran making $20-odd million at the deadline, I’d say it’s slightly more likely than not that Monk is somewhere else at the end of the season.