The Hornets have outperformed preseason expectations in 2019/20 and played some good basketball in February and March, winning seven of their last 13 games entering the NBA’s hiatus. However, the club still posted an uninspiring 23-42 overall record, ranking 28th in offensive rating and 25th in defensive rating. As such, head coach James Borrego knows that upgrades are necessary heading into next season.
Appearing today on a conference call with multiple reporters, including Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer, Borrego named a few specific areas that the Hornets will look to address in the offseason, including improving their performance on the boards.
“We need defensive rebounding,” Borrego said. “Even in that (effective late-season) stretch, where we were 10th defensively in the league, we were still very low in our defensive-rebounding percentage. That has to get better. That’s an area we will address.”
Borrego noted that the Hornets will need more rim protection, particularly if big men Bismack Biyombo and Willy Hernangomez head elsewhere in free agency. The second-year head coach also wouldn’t mind adding another play-maker to complement guards Devonte’ Graham and Terry Rozier.
“I think Devonte’ made a major step in (creating) for others and create his own shot,” Borrego said, per Bonnell. “We’re looking for that at the wing: A playmaker with size that can see over the defense, that can finish at the rim.”
Finally, while the Hornets placed in the middle of the pack this season in three-point shooting, that’s an area that Borrego essentially views as an evergreen need.
“In my system, we can never have enough shooting,” he said. “That’s something we will continue to address because that makes the game easier for everybody.”
Charlotte will enter the offseason armed with a lottery pick and will also be one of a small handful of teams that actually has cap room, increasing the team’s flexibility in free agency. While he didn’t identify any specific targets, Borrego said today that he’s looking forward to discussing the draft and free agency with president of basketball operations Mitch Kupchak and exploring how certain players will fit into the Hornets’ system, as Bonnell writes.