With the NBA Playoffs getting underway, the Charlotte Hornets again find themselves out of the running for the seventh straight season, good for the longest current playoff drought in the NBA.
The team expects a healthy LaMelo Ball to return next season, and with an early draft pick and the potential return of Miles Bridges (delicate due to his domestic abuse legal situation), there are legitimate reasons to expect the Hornets odds should improve next season across North Carolina sportsbooks.
So, can the Hornets make the NBA Playoffs in 2024? Of course.
Will they? The numbers say no.
Despite the uncertainty, remember that there could soon be North Carolina sports betting promos that could make betting on the Hornets even more enticing.
What's the Recipe for Success?
The Hornets won 27 games this season and will likely need to win at least 45-47 to avoid the play-in next year. In favor of such a turnaround, the Hornets won 43 games in the 2021-2022 season, with Ball and Bridges playing 75 and 80 games, respectively. With those two players back at 100% – mentally and physically – Charlotte will definitely be a better bet on North Carolina betting apps. (Bridges will miss the first 10 games of the season following his suspension from the NBA league office on April 14).
The Hornets have decisions to make on five free agents – P.J. Washington, Kelly Oubre, Dennis Smith Jr., Svi Mykhailiuk, and Theo Maledon – and GM Mitch Kupchak has already said the Hornets won’t be big spenders in free agency, whether or not owner Michael Jordan sells the team.
Not sure how Kupchak knows a new owner wouldn’t want to make it rain, but we’ll accept his pessimism and move on.
That means the only way the Hornets can get appreciably better is through the draft. As of now, the ping pong ball percentages say the Hornets will pick 4th, but we’ll find out on May 16 if they move up or down. Where they stand now, their projected pick is likely to be one of the 6-7 Thompson twins from the Overtime Elite League, and not the 1980s British pop trio famous for “Hold Me Now.”
Amen Thompson is considered a slightly more finished player, but he’s a point guard. Do you draft a PG if LaMelo is healthy? Amen's brother, Ausar, is more of a shooting guard and the Hornets need offense. Well, and defense. The problem is that the brothers are young and it’s hard to gauge the quality of the competition they’ve faced.
No matter how high their ceilings, each may need a year or two to get acclimated to the NBA and improve the Hornets odds over at BetMGM North Carolina when it launches.
But it’s hard to see a plug-and-play game-changer coming out of any spot in this year’s draft. Even the superstar potential of projected No. 1, 7-3 Victor Wembanyama, might be a season or two away as the 19-year-old fills out his frame.
Will Michael Jordan Sell?
As to whether Jordan will sell his club, talks have been ongoing, but no deal is imminent. And it’s not like Jordan needs the money. He did sell a small stake in the team in 2020 and now minority owner Gabe Plotkin and Atlanta Hawks minority owner Rick Schnall are buzzing around the Hornets, looking to become majority owners of the franchise. Jordan paid $275 million for his stake in 2010. Last year, Forbes valued the Hornets at $1.7 billion.
It’s gotta be the shoes.
Keep it here at BetCarolina for more Hornets updates, plus North Carolina sports betting news ahead of the mobile sports betting legislation.