Fans and reporters have been discussing this topic for weeks now, should the Charlotte Hornets tank the rest of this season? In my opinion, they should. Charlotte has lost two straight games and is 6-12 since the beginning of February. The Hornets are as of right now in the 11 spot in the Eastern Conference standings and are four games behind the Milwaukee Bucks for the 8th and final playoff spot. In front of the Hornets in the standings are 9 seed Chicago (who won the season series against the Hornets last night) and 10 seed Miami. Per ESPN BPI playoff chance as of today, Hornets have a 5.8% chance of making the playoffs after losing to the Chicago Bulls last night. And if they do somehow make the playoffs, more likely they will be the 8th seed and will face the Cavs in the first round. Charlotte Hornets have 18 games left with ten of those against the playoff bound teams.
The advantages for the Hornets if they tank are, they will get a top-10 pick in this year draft. Unlike last year draft, this draft class might possibly be the best and deepest draft in recent memory, crop of the talent has both star power and depth particularly at the point guard and forward positions, while the Hornets own their first-round pick. Also with a deep free-agency the Hornets can go out and sign some players this summer, re-build their bench like it was a few years ago, when Lin and Al was coming off the bench. With Brain Roberts being the only player entering free-agency this summer for the Hornets, Charlotte can also make a few trades to acquire some better players. Another reason the Hornets should tank is allowing some of the players able to rest without having to worry about making it before the playoffs start. Backup point guard Ramon Sessions being out since February 3rd with knee surgery and backup center Miles Plumlee being out since February 13 with a calf strain. But, most Hornets fans know that that the team won’t go down without a fight, their goal is making the playoffs. Another playoff appearance would help continue to build the winning culture that Charlotte Hornets is trying to develop. If they do make the playoffs and lose in the first round, they will still get a pretty decent mid-first round draft pick and still make some moves in free-agency.