Player News - Hornets

Date: Team: Pos:

Cody Zeller had successful surgery to repair a tendon and remove a bone spur and scar tissue from his right shoulder.

He's expected to need three months to recover from the surgery. Zeller was plagued by his shoulder injury for most of the second half, missing 19 of the final 20 games of the season. He'll look to improve his range as a shooter next season. Zeller may have some extra competition from Noah Vonleh in training camp.
Apr 22 - 4:15 PM

Hornets GM Rich Cho said Kemba Walker needs to improve his midrange and three-point shooting.

Walker shot a career-wost 30.4 percent from downtown this season, a number that's unacceptable for a point guard who relies on volume shooting in order to get himself going. A surgical procedure on Walker's knee didn't help anything this season, but Kemba needs to show improvement in a big way after inking a lucrative four-year, $48 million extension in 2014.
Apr 20 - 11:26 AM

Hornets GM Rich Cho said Michael Kidd-Gilchrist was "probably" the Hornets most-improved player this season.

That would be a dramatic understatement. Kidd-Gilchrist finished the season averaging 10.9 points and 7.6 boards, but that alone is not an accurate representation of his value. Tasked with defending the opposition's best perimeter player, MKG is growing into his role as a lockdown defender in this league.
Apr 20 - 11:23 AM

Gerald Henderson said he's unsure about whether or not he'll pick up his contract option for next season.

Hendo has a $6 million player option for next season, but he said he hasn't given it much thought just yet. It wouldn't be shocking to see him opt out in search of a multi-year deal, which could lead to his departure in Charlotte.
Apr 20 - 11:22 AM

Al Jefferson said that he intends to remain with the Hornets next season.

Big Al has no desire to opt out, citing "unfinished business" with the Hornets. Jefferson added that he has a desire to lose 20-25 lbs this offseason in order to take some of the pressure off his knees, a move that would benefit both he and his team. Said Jefferson, "I've got to redeem myself."
Apr 20 - 11:20 AM

Hornets General Manager Rich Cho said that Lance Stephenson must improve after his disappointing performance this season.

"Like I told Lance yesterday, I didn’t think he played well," Cho said. "He’s got to improve. In the 2013-14 season he shot 35 percent from [3-point range]. This year it was 17 percent. He’s got to improve that. He knows he had a bad year. I think he’s committed to getting better this summer." There is no denying that Stephenson is loaded with upside, but his stock is going to be really low heading into fantasy drafts next season. The Hornets may also continue to look for trade partners over the summer, so a move away from Charlotte could potentially give him a boost. That being said, It's probably best to let another owner deal with him next season.
Apr 18 - 9:44 AM

Lance Stephenson acknowledged that his 3-point shooting was "terrible" this season, and he will spend the summer trying to regain his confidence after a horrific season with the Hornets.

"My 3-point percentage was the lowest ever in history. That’s terrible," Stephenson said. "I have to come in and figure out how to be a better shooter. Being a good shooter will help my overall game... It’s confidence – just wanting the shot to go in so bad and then you lose your confidence. That plays a major part when you don’t have confidence in your shot. This summer I’m going to find my confidence." Born Ready was not so ready for the move to Charlotte, and his name will likely regularly surface in various trade rumors throughout the year, it's finding a taker that's the tricky part.
Apr 17 - 3:26 PM

Al Jefferson said it's unlikely that he'll exercise the opt out clause in his contract to become a free agent in July.

We'll monitor this situation throughout the summer, but this would be great news for Hornets fan if Big Al sticks to his word and returns. Jefferson also added that he'd like to lose 25 pounds this summer, which would hopefully help him further exacerbate his existing knee injury. Assuming he's fully healthy next fall, the 30-year-old will provide solid early-round value for owners who are willing to accept the fact that he hasn't played more than 78 games since the 2010-11 season.
Apr 16 - 12:49 PM

Cody Zeller (shoulder) said he will undergo a small procedure to repair his rotator cuff.

Zeller's estimated timetable is four-to-six weeks, so he should be healed in plenty of time for training camp. The 22-year-old showed improvement in his second season, but his averages of 7.6 points, 5.8 rebounds, 1.6 assists, 0.5 steals, and 0.8 blocks still leave something to be desired for fantasy owners. While Zeller deserves a look in deeper leagues next season, he shouldn't be more than a late-round flier for owners in standard leagues.
Apr 16 - 12:29 PM

Hornets coach Steve Clifford says Cody Zeller needs to become a 3-point shooter since he's not really much of a threat in post.

"Cody Zeller is ready to start shooting the corner three," Clifford said on Thursday. "If you’re not a post-up threat, you need to be a range-shooting threat." A shoulder injury ended Zeller's season early and he never really became all that effective this season. If he can develop a long-range game he could become another Philadelphia version of Spencer Hawes, who was able to get rebounds, block shots, hit threes and score when he was with the Sixers. Either way, he won't be worth a look in fantasy until late in drafts next season.
Apr 16 - 12:23 PM

Kemba Walker scored 17 points during a 92-87 loss to the Raptors on Wednesday, adding three rebounds, four assists and one 3-pointer.

He had a very disappointing finish to his season. In his previous 19 games since the break, Walker averaged just 14.2 points, 3.1 boards, 4.9 assists, 1.5 steals and 0.9 treys on 34.8 percent from the field. After he looked tremendous the last time Al Jefferson missed games back in January, this awful finish stings even more. He'll be a mid-round player to target next season.
Apr 15 - 10:02 PM

Noah Vonleh scored nine points with 12 boards, two blocks and one 3-pointer in 23 minutes against the Raptors on Wednesday.

The Hornets gave him at least 21 minutes in each of his last five, but Vonleh didn't cash in. He averaged just 7.2 points, 8.6 boards, 0.6 blocks and 0.8 treys on 34.2 percent from the field in those five losses. He's a major project, but the upside is there. We'll be watching him at summer league.
Apr 15 - 9:55 PM

Troy Daniels scored a career-high 24 points against the Raptors on Wednesday, adding two rebounds, one assist and six 3-pointers.

Besides his huge shot in the playoffs last year, this is probably Daniels' best NBA moment. The Hornets gave him some minutes this month to show what he can do and they desperately need a 3-point shooter heading into next season, so maybe they give him a chance for minutes. He's not going to be worth drafting in almost any league for now.
Apr 15 - 9:46 PM

Mo Williams is not expected to play on Wednesday night against the Raptors.

The Hornets will continue to get a look at Troy Daniels. Williams played well, but it still wasn't enough to get the Hornets into the playoffs.
Apr 15 - 7:16 PM

P.J. Hairston (knee) will miss Wednesday's game vs. the Raptors.

Hairston had a pretty rocky rookie season, averaging 5.6 points, 2.0 rebounds and 1.1 3-pointers on 32.3 percent shooting from the field. He probably won't be on the radar in fantasy leagues next season, but a strong showing this summer could change that. Troy Daniels, Jeff Taylor and Brian Roberts should see a lot of action tonight.
Apr 15 - 9:43 AM

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