New Charlotte Hornets executive offers honest answer when asked about team’s playoff timeline

Peter Dewey
3 Min Read
Sam Sharpe-USA TODAY Sports

Charlotte Hornets head of basketball operations Jeff Peterson gave an honest answer when discussing the franchise’s playoff timeline.

Charlotte has not made the playoffs since the 2015-16 season when it lost in the first round. The team had a 48-34 record that season. Charlotte has gone over .500 just one time (the 2021-22 season) since then.

Peterson, who comes to Charlotte after spending more than four seasons as the assistant general manager for the Brooklyn Nets, said that he wants to build the team into the “premier franchise” in the NBA.

The Hornets are struggling in the 2023-24 season, winning just 15 of their first 62 games. After going 27-55 last season, the Hornets are in danger of finishing with a worse record in the 2023-24 campaign.

Charlotte brought back Steve Clifford as its head coach ahead of the 2022-23 campaign, but the team has not played well under his watch. It may not all be Clifford’s fault, as one-time All-Star LaMelo Ball has been injured in two straight seasons.

Ball was limited to just 36 games in the 2022-23 season, and so far, he’s played in just 22 of the first 62 games for Charlotte this season. It’s certainly hard for any team to win without arguably its best player, and the Hornets don’t have the pieces necessary on the team to make up for Ball’s absence.

The Hornets also moved on from players like Terry Rozier in a trade with the Miami Heat and P.J. Washington in a deal with the Dallas Mavericks ahead of the trade deadline, a sign that the team was acknowledging that this was more of a rebuilding campaign.

Charlotte does have a couple nice young pieces in Ball and Brandon Miller, who was the No. 2 overall pick in the 2023 NBA Draft, but it’s certainly not enough for the team to compete for a playoff spot right now.

Peterson and the Hornets will likely have a top pick in the draft this coming offseason with the team destined to end up in the lottery.

If the Hornets can land another impact player in the near future, it may help the team begin the process of getting back into contention in the Eastern Conference.

Share This Article
Peter is a graduate of Quinnipiac University where he covered the MAAC and college basketball for three years. He has worked for NBC Sports, the Connecticut Sun and the Meriden Record-Journal covering basketball, football and other major sports. Follow him on Twitter @peterdewey2.