Thanks to their recent signing of Lance Stephenson, the Charlotte Hornets have potential to become a sleeper team in the East.
Expect the Hornets to sting their way up the Eastern Conference ladder. The Hornets—formerly known as the Bobcats—made the playoffs last season and got swept in the first round by the Miami Heat, 4-0. Despite the dis-heartening sweep at the hands of Miami, Charlotte showed that the franchise is far from being the laughingstock of the NBA.
During the 2013 free agency period, the Bobcats signed Al Jefferson, who broughtsize, toughness, rebounding as well as a great mentor for the young talent already on the roster.
Jefferson has playoff experience, which was a definitive need.
In 2014 so far in free agency Charlotte has signed Stephenson to a three-year, $27 million deal to play alongside Kemba Walker to form one of the more dynamic back courts in the East. He is the player a young Hornets squad needed to take that next jump in the East as he brings both toughness and great defense.
In landing Stephenson and pairing him alongside Walker and Jefferson, the Hornets now have quietly assembled their own version of the “big three” a core of promising young talented players to build the franchise around.
Here’s the reason the team has become a sleepers in the East?
Charlotte plays in a suddenly wide-open–and up-for-grabs–Eastern conference, suddenly teams such as the Chicago Bulls, Indiana Pacers, Miami Heat and Cleveland Cavaliers are going to have to bring their “A” game as the team is no longer a pushover.
With a reborn—and new again—name, logo and new young talent, expect the Hornets to bring plenty of buzz to the Queen City and sneak their way into a top-five seed in the East.
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