Brandon Miller Says The Charlotte Hornets Will Play In The 2024 NBA Finals

There are hot takes. There are bad takes. There are straight-up delusional takes. There's arguing that Paul George is the greatest basketball player of all-time right before you're drafted by a team that was just owned by arguable actual GOAT Michael Jordan.

...Then there's Brandon Miller saying the Charlotte Hornets' 2023-24 season FLOOR will be as Eastern Conference champions. I mean I get that MJ must've inspired you with the draft night call, man...

BUT REALLY? Why even put that out into the universe?  Seriously, Brandon Miller tried to make a case for PG13 as the best to ever do it (as covered by our blistering new blogger Karim), which turned out to do nothing at all to hurt his draft stock. Maybe MJ appreciated the audacity Miller had to come out and say something like that. IDK.

Point is, the Hornets are not going to the NBA Finals. There is a zero point zero percent chance of that happening. Don't get me wrong, I'd love to see it. Charlotte deserves a winner after years of aimless meandering amid MJ's turbulent, unsuccessful ownership tenure. It's not like the team has nothing to work with. LaMelo Ball and Miller are two decent young pieces to build around. 

Beyond LaMelo and Miller, though? Lots of uncertainty. Miles Bridges is suspended for 30 games and missed all of last season in the aftermath of a disturbing domestic violence incident. Gordon Hayward has averaged less than 50 games per season since 2019-20. Oh, and P.J. Washington is a restricted free agent, while Kelly Oubre Jr. is hitting the open market.

Scoring in basketball is pretty important. Charlotte finished last season ranked dead-last in offensive rating. Injuries played a considerable part in that. Nevertheless, doesn't exactly scream "INSTANT TURNAROUND" from the second-worst team in the East to representing the conference in the NBA Finals. No matter how good Miller is out of the gates.

The Hornets' fortunes started to turn once LaMelo arrived, yet even in his first two years, they did well just to scrap their way to the play-in tournament. Unless they unexpectedly splurge for a superstar or two this summer — pretty much impossible, that — I don't see the Horents' ceiling as anything beyond the No. 6 seed. That's assuming they retain their key guys, LaMelo lifts his game to another level or two and Miller immediately becomes a volume-shooting, high-scoring, lockdown-defending two-way dynamo.

Not that I'm doubting the Alabama one-and-done's long-term potential as an NBA player. It's just that…IDK. Maybe Brandon Miller should get a real taste of the NBA before he comes out here writing all these bonkers-take checks he and his new teammates can't cash.

Uhh…try to land the plane on a positive note here. I guess (?) this was better than Miller saying, "Yeah you know, I expect us to tank again, pick high in the lottery, then once we have another young stud on a cost-effective contract, maybe we can make some noise in 2024-25."

Twitter @MattFitz_gerald/TikTok