The Charlotte Hornets disappointed their fans last year, missing the NBA Playoffs for the second season in a row. They finished 10th in the Eastern Conference and third in the Southeast Division with a 36-46 record (21-20 at home, 15-26 on the road).
After making some changes in their roster during the summer, and also hiring a new head coach James Borrego, the Hornets are entering the 2018-19 NBA season as a -125 favorites to make it to the post-season, and +50000 underdogs to win the title, according to BetDSI Sportsbook. The future odds and season props for the Hornets are already available, so let’s take a closer look at what can the bettors expect Charlotte in the upcoming season.
Charlotte Hornets Futures Odds
Win Total Over/Under at 35.5: Over -105; Under -115
To Win the Southeast Division at +1500
To Win the Eastern Conference at +7500
To Win the NBA Championship at +50000
To Make NBA Playoffs: YES -125, NO -110 (Bet365 Sportsbook)
Charlotte Hornets Player Movement
Draft: Miles Bridges (No. 12 Pick), Devonte’ Graham (No. 34 Pick), Arnoldas Kubolka (No. 55 Pick)
Added: Bismack Biyombo (trade with Orlando Magic), Tony Parker (free agency, San Antonio Spurs)
Lost: Michael Carter-Williams (signed with Houston Rockets), Dwight Howard (traded to Brooklyn Nets), Timofey Mozgov (traded to Orlando Magic), Julyan Stone (traded to Chicago Bulls)
Unrestricted Free Agent: Marcus Paige
The Hornets were quite busy during the 2018 NBA Draft, selecting the guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander with the 11th overall pick and immediately trading him to the Los Angeles Clippers in exchange for the 12th overall pick Miles Bridges who played two years at Michigan State, averaging 17.0 points, 7.6 rebounds, and 2.4 assists per game for the Spartans. Bridges is a 6’7” tall wing who’s capable of doing all important things on both ends of the court and possesses great physical abilities which should easier his way into the league. Has excellent defensive skills, but will need to work on his off-ball defending. On the other side, Devonte’ Graham was selected by Atlanta Hawks as the 34th overall pick and traded to the Charlotte Hornets where he will be the third option at the point guard. Graham played four years at the University of Kansas, recording 17.3 points, 4.0 rebounds, and 7.2 assists in his final season, while he’s well known as a great defensive stopper.
After failing to reach the playoff spot last year, the Hornets decided to split ways with the eight-time All-Star center Dwight Howard, trading him to the Brooklyn Nets and acquiring Bismack Biyombo from the Orlando Magic as a new starting center. Howard averaged 16.6 points, 12.5 rebounds, and 1.6 blocks per game in one year with the Charlotte Hornets, while Bismack Biyombo had 5.7 points and 5.7 rebounds in 18.2 minutes per game, playing all 82 games for the Magic. The Hornets also signed the veteran point guard Tony Parker who spent 17 years in the Spurs uniform, averaging 15.8 points and 5.7 points and winning four NBA championships. The 36-year old Frenchman played 55 games last season, starting in just 22 and recording 7.7 points and 3.5 assists in 19.5 minutes per game.
Charlotte Hornets 2018-19 Roster
Kemba Walker is the Hornets franchise playmaker, but in his seven years in the league, Walker managed to lead his teammates to the NBA Playoffs just twice, and on both occasions, Charlotte was beaten by the Miami Heat in the first round. Walker is an exceptional outside scorer, although playing as a point guard, and needs better players around him to fulfill his enormous potential. Last year, Kemba’s numbers were slightly worse in regard to the 2016-17 season, but Walker was still on the All-Star level averaging 22.1 points, 3.1 rebounds, and 5.6 assists, shooting 43.1% from the field and 38.4% from beyond the arc. With Tony Parker on the team, Kemba Walker could get more minutes at the shooting guard, and it will be interesting to see how will James Borrego combine these two guys, as we know that Borrego was the assistant coach in the San Antonio Spurs.
Nicolas Batum is another Frenchman who will play a big role for the Hornets next season, while the 29-year old guard had a poor 2017-18 campaign, recording the worst numbers since he arrived in Charlotte in 2015 – 11.6 points, 4.8 rebounds, and 5.5 assists. The fans expect to see a much better performance this year, as Batum is an excellent offensive player who likes to attack the rim and has a solid jump shot. Jeremy Lamb will be Batum’s backup just like he was last year when Lamb averaged 12.9 points, 4.1 rebounds, and 2.3 assists while hitting 37.0% from downtown. Lamb is a good spot-up shooter and will continue to contribute for the Hornets who desperately need a guy who can nail 3-pointers.
The 24-year old Michael Kidd-Gilchrist should be a starting small forward, and he’s another guy whose numbers slumped last year (9.2 points, 4.1 rebounds, and 1.0 assists). Kidd-Gilchrist is a valuable defensive player who almost always finishes in the top ten in defensive rating, but he needs to improve his offensive skills as Hornets sometimes look handicapped with him on the floor. Interestingly, Kidd-Gilchrist didn’t take a single 3-point shot during the previous season. The power forward Marvin Williams started 78 games last year, averaging 9.5 points, 4.7 rebounds, and 1.2 assists, shooting 45.8% from the field and 41.3% from beyond the arc, while his backup Frank Kaminsky had a decent season with 11.1 points and 3.6 rebounds per game while hitting 38.0% of his 3-pointers.
With the rookie Miles Bridges and the new big man Bismack Biyombo, the Hornets should have a respectable team with some good options off the bench. The 4th overall pick from the 2013 NBA Draft Cody Zeller will be a backup center after playing just 33 games last season, averaging 7.1 points and 5.4 rebounds, whilst the 23-year old Willy Hernangomez should get his chance after arriving from the New York Knicks last February. Hernangomez played 22 games in the Hornets jersey, recording 6.1 points and 5.3 rebounds in 11.9 minutes per game.
Players Under Contract:
Kemba Walker (PG), Tony Parker (PG), Devonte Graham (PG)
Jeremy Lamb (SG), Nicolas Batum (SG), Malik Monk (SG)
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (SF), Miles Bridges (SF), Dwayne Bacon (SF)
Marvin Williams (PF), Frank Kaminsky (PF)
Bismack Biyombo (C), Cody Zeller (C), Willy Hernangomez (C)
Win Total Prediction and Betting Picks
The Charlotte Hornets are a big mystery, especially because they changed the head coach, bringing the 41-year old James Borrego who spent the previous three years as the assistant coach for Gregg Popovich in the San Antonio Spurs. In the 2014-15 season, Borrego was the assistant in the Orlando Magic, and after the head coach Jacque Vaughn has been fired, Borrego led the team until the end of the regular season, recording 10 wins and 20 losses. Borrego should quicken the Hornets’ play and everyone in Charlotte hopes he can improve Kemba Walker’s game, but it is still tough to say can he lead the Hornets to the NBA Playoffs. The bookies set the odds at -125 and it’s a tricky wager as the battle for the eighth spot in the East should be really tight.
The Hornets are +1500 underdogs to win the Southeast Division, according to 5Dimes Sportsbook, and it would be a massive upset if we see them on the top at the end of the regular season. The Washington Wizards seem like a stronger team than the Hornets who should battle with the Miami Heat for the second spot. Interestingly, the bookies favor the Orlando Magic over the Hornets to win the Eastern Conference, but if they stay healthy throughout the 2018-19 NBA season, the Charlotte Hornets should at least replicate the record from the previous year and surpass the lines for the win total at 35.5 games.
The Pick: Over 35.5 (-105)
Prediction: Battle for the eighth spot in the East