Player News - Hornets

Date: Team: Pos:

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist said he put in time this offseason working to improve his shooting mechanics.

"I don’t think it’s a secret that I’ve worked a lot on my shooting," said Kidd-Gilchrist. "I’ve been watching a lot of film this offseason of Iggy [Andre Iguodala] and Dwyane Wade. I’ve been doing that pretty much all summer." Shooting has always been one of the weaker points of MKG's game, and while it's nice to know that he's put time in to address the issue this offseason, we're not expecting him to suddenly become a knock down 3-point shooter. MKG's limited contributions of defensive statistics and 3-point shooting make him more of a deep league prospect.
Sep 28 - 10:02 AM

Steve Clifford said that Perry Ellis (hernia) "can't do anything [physical] yet."

"With the sports hernia, it’s about how he feels, making sure it’s healed before he does anything," said Clifford. "He said he feels comfortable running forward, but it’s the lateral stuff where he can feel a little pulling." With 15 guaranteed contracts already on the books in Charlotte, there's really no way Ellis will be able to earn a spot on the regular-season roster as he recovers from surgery.
Sep 27 - 5:44 PM

Cody Zeller (bone bruise in right knee) was withheld from the contact portions of Tuesday's practice.

Zeller suffered the bone bruise back in April during Charlotte's postseason run, but it would be surprising to see this issue linger into the regular season. Zeller will likely be locked into a timeshare at the five-spot with Roy Hibbert, making him an unattractive asset in most formats.
Sep 27 - 5:39 PM

Kemba Walker (knee surgery) was limited to the non-contact portions of Tuesday's practice.

"Kemba and Cody [Zeller] aren’t at a stage yet where they can do anything with contact. Dummy offense and shooting drills," coach Steve Clifford said following Tuesday’s first practice of training camp. Walker was initially expected to resume basketball activities in early July, so the fact that he's still being limited nearly five months removed from the knee procedure is slightly concerning. Until he's fully cleared to play, there will be some added risk in investing an early-round selection on Walker.
Sep 27 - 5:35 PM

Roy Hibbert will battle Cody Zeller for the Hornets' starting center job during training camp.

Steve Clifford said that center is the only unsettled position, adding that both Hibbert and Zeller will play "a lot" this season. They bring two very different skill-sets and it seems likely that Zeller will earn the gig, bringing more speed and athleticism to the starting unit, but it's a situation to monitor in the coming weeks.
Sep 26 - 6:08 PM

Hornets coach Steve Clifford said that his starting lineup is set except for the center position.

Cody Zeller and Roy Hibbert will compete for the starting role, but Clifford simply said that they will both "play a lot." Neither player has much upside and Hibbert has been a ghost for the past two years, so a potential timeshare won't help. This is a situation that most fantasy owners will want to ignore. In case it needs to be said, Kemba Walker, Nicolas Batum, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Marvin Williams are the confirmed starters at 1-4.
Sep 26 - 1:13 PM

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (shoulder) is a "full go" for training camp.

Hornets coach Steve Clifford said that MKG is in great shape and that he won't be limited in camp. Clifford added that there is a noticeable difference in his range shooting, an encouraging sign because his shooting has always been his biggest weakness. It's a small sample size, but MKG looked great in seven games before the injury last season, averaging 12.7 points, 6.4 rebounds and 1.3 assists on 54.1 percent shooting from the field and 42.9 percent from beyond the arc. MKG will be the starting SF next to Nicolas Batum on the wings.
Sep 26 - 1:03 PM

Hornets coach Steve Clifford said he will monitor Kemba Walker's workload early in camp.

He had knee surgery back in May and was declared to be 100 percent in early August, but it makes sense for the Hornets to ease him back into action. The knee concerns are a little worrying, but his fantasy stock is still high after he put up averages of 20.9 points, 5.2 assists, 1.6 steals and 2.2 triples per game on 42.6 percent shooting last season. His offensive role should only grow with Al Jefferson in Indiana.
Sep 26 - 12:57 PM

Coach Steve Clifford wants to play as much one-in, four-out lineups as possible.

In other words, he wants one big man and shooters on the outside. Reading between the lines here, that sounds really good for Marvin Williams, who just cashed in on a four-year, $54.5 million deal. Last year, Williams was one of the biggest surprises of the NBA, turning in a career-high 58.5 true shooting percentage over 81 games. Fantasy owners seem to perpetually doubt him after disappointing for so long, so he's a really nice value pick in the late rounds.
Sep 24 - 10:53 PM

Coach Steve Clifford considers Roy Hibbert's offense underrated.

Maybe it is underrated, but it's still rated very, very low. Hibbert's 12.9 usage rate last season shattered his previous career low (19.4) and he's still only managed a 51.1 true shooting percentage in his career. On top of that, the seven-footer ranked just 20th percentile in post-up plays among all players (per Synergy). All that said, if Hibbert can protect the rim like he did in his Indiana days, he'll get playing time. Fantasy owners can take a wait-and-see approach.
Sep 24 - 10:46 PM

Perry Ellis has signed a training camp deal with the Hornets.

Ellis averaged 16.9 points, 5.8 rebounds and 1.3 assists in 30.3 minutes per game during his senior season at Kansas. He's the 19th player on the training camp roster, so he will likely end up with the Hornets new D-League team unless he has an unbelievable camp.
Sep 24 - 11:23 AM

Hornets coach Steve Clifford feels Roy Hibbert could add a "dimension" to the team that they have not had prior.

"He’s a basket-protector, but he can also play offense. If he gets anywhere near what he was at Indiana, he gives us a dimension we haven’t had," Clifford said. The head coach also believes that Hibbert is a better offensive player than he gets credit for, and he's landed in the right spot for an opportunity to revive his career given he's got just Cody Zeller ahead of him on the depth chart. Having said that, Hibbert looked awful during his one-and-done Lakers tenure last season, but perhaps another fresh start with a coaching staff that includes both Clifford and Patrick Ewing will be just what the big man needs to find his confidence again. We wouldn't bet on it, though.
Sep 17 - 3:36 PM

Steve Clifford said that Frank Kaminsky is working on his defensive game.

"He’s really working at his defensive technique, and that will ultimately determine how good he is," Clifford said. "He can score in a lot of different ways. But there are very few guys who are such good scorers that they can play no defense and still become a star." The Hornets re-signed Marvin Williams this summer, so Kaminsky's fantasy value will be limited unless he spends some time at the four and the five. For that to happen, Kaminsky's defense will obviously need to improve. His outlook isn't great.
Sep 13 - 7:53 PM

Hornets coach Steve Clifford spoke highly of Roy Hibbert.

"He’s a natural worker and team-first. He needs a very defined plan: ‘This is what we’ll do with you on offense and this is what we’ll do with you on defense.’ " Clifford said. "One thing I didn’t realize is he’s very good offensive player. He’s not going to be [Al Jefferson], but he can really pass and make good decisions." Hibbert will be turning 30 years old in December and is coming off two brutal seasons, so we're not expecting much. He's currently projected to come off the bench behind Cody Zeller and is only worth looking at in deeper leagues. Hibbert averaged just 5.9 points, 4.9 boards and 1.4 blocks as the full-time starting center in LA last season.
Sep 13 - 7:48 PM

Steve Clifford was pleased with the Hornets acquisition of Marco Belinelli this offseason.

"Trading the 22nd pick for Belinelli set up the whole thing in my mind. He’s a legitimate rotation player who can play right now," Clifford said. "You’re just not going to get [a rookie] at 22 who can do that." The Hornets don't have a ton of depth at the two-guard spot, so Belinelli should be able to see around 25 minutes a night. He's not much more than a 3-point specialist in really deep leagues.
Sep 13 - 6:27 PM

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