The Hornets are currently 8th in the East right now, and while that may not hold up, I do expect them to be at around the 9 or 10 seed by the end of the season. I do believe they will make the play in tournament. Quick disclaimer, I'm not a hornets fan, however I do have faith in this team. They are 13th in defensive rating which is pretty impressive for a team that doesn't have really any notable defensive stars. Let's look at the roster.
Starting off Gordon Hayward. Hayward is averaging 23 pts, 5 reb, 4 ast, and 1 stl a game while shooting 43% from 3. Hayward has come back from his injuries with the celtics pretty well and is turning into a great leader for this Hornets team. He is being given the oppotunity he deserves and is striving in it. His scoring is great as it always has and he is an overall pretty good all around player. His presence will be important later in the season, when they have a chance to make the playoffs. Don't think they will but it is a possibility.
Next I want to talk about Terry Rozier. Rozier is pretty underrated in my opinion. Rozier is currently averaging 19 pts, 3 ast, 4 reb, and 1 stl a game shooting 43% from 3. Rpzier is a crafty player who can score at all 3 levels. He moves well off ball and can be a momentum changing player at times. He is a pretty well balanced offensive player. He is also an effective perimeter defender using his quickness to fight for steals which definitely helps. While Rozier is overpaid, he still brings lots of value to the Hornets.
Now let's talk about Lamelo Ball. Lamelo in my opinion is the front runner for ROTY averaging 12 pts, 6 reb, 6 ast, 1 stl a game. His passing has looked incredible so far. It will be a big key for this team right now and the future of this team. He should be starting for this team in my opinion. Lamelo has a great one handed pass off the dribble he uses effectively and quite often. It's quick and unpredictable which makes it that much more effective. He is also gifted with be hind the back passes, which are more used for effectiveness than flashiness, and he can make long and accurate passes down the court. He will be one of the top playmakers in the NBA in his prime. He is also a great defensive player who has great hands. He is good at getting steals and he is a pretty good overall defender both on and off ball.
Moving on to Devonte Graham. Graham is slightly overrated but he is still an important player averaging 14 pts, 6 ast, 3 reb, and 1 stl a game shooting 35% from 3. He is a slightly below average shooter percentage wise but he is 9th in the league in 3 pointers attempted and is very capable from beyond the arc. His playmaking is solid and he is a great off ball player as well. Graham is not on the level he was last season however a big reason for that is due to them having more talent this season.
Some other notable players include: Miles Bridges, Malik Monk, PJ Washington, Cody Zeller, Caleb Martin, and Bismack Biyombo. This team has surprisingly good depth.
Now we know what the roster looks like, but what can they do? Well I see them coming in at about the 10 seed. And I don't see them making the playoffs this season. It's gonna be tough because they are competing with teams like the Raptors, Knicks, and Cavs. However, if they keep a similar roster, and add maybe one other valuable piece, they could make a reach for an 8th seed in the next couple seasons. They do still have some young talent in Lamelo, Bridges, and Monk. This team isn't the most relevant team, however they are very underrated. Many people believe they are among the worst teams in the league but that is simply not true in my opinion. They are more of a mediocre team which isn't a problem. This team can do more damage than most people think and I believe this team can surprise us.