The Charlotte Hornets haven’t been on the map in free agency for quite some time, but they made a huge splash with the signing of Al Jefferson last offseason. They were able to make a good run this past season, but were knocked out of the playoffs by the Miami Heat in four games. There have already been reports coming out that the Hornets are going to look to make some moves in free agency, and there is belief that power forward Zach Randolph could be one of their targets.
“The offseason may not see too many high-level free agents willing to change teams, which could lead Randolph to opt out of the final year of his contract at $17 million. The Bobcats have not been an NBA destination throughout most of their existence, but the landing of Al Jefferson along with Coach Steve Clifford, has changed the perception of the soon-to-be-Hornets. Charlotte may have up to $19.5 million in cap space this summer. Would a $47-64 million contract with the Bobcats (over three or four years), starting at roughly $15 million, do the trick?” - Eric Pincus, Basketball Insiders
Adding Zach Randolph would be a huge move for the Hornets, and could take them to the next step of their journey to competing in the Eastern Conference. They have a very solid all-around roster with Jefferson in the front-court and Kemba Walker running the point, but don’t have enough legitimate scorers with experience at this point in time. Randolph could fix those issues, and add more rebounding to the Hornets as well.
Randolph played in and started 79 games this season with the Memphis Grizzlies, averaging 17.4 points and 10.1 rebounds, and was a big reason that the Grizzlies were able to give the Thunder a scare in the first round of the Western Conference playoffs. He has played in 14 NBA seasons, and would bring an excellent veteran presence to a young Hornets team as well.
Overall, he would be a very nice pickup for the Hornets if they decide to make a run at him. There is no denying that he would take some money to sign, but if Charlotte has it they should look to sign him. Adding Randolph to the front-court along with Jefferson would make the Hornets a very interesting team to keep an eye on in the Eastern Conference.
Evan Massey is a Staff Writer for Hoops-Nation.com. Follow Evan on Twitter at @Massey_Evan.