Steve Clifford Rumors
Rich Cho on the winning culture the Hornets have created and if players want to come back because of that: “I think it’s a positive just that guys want to come back. Coach Clifford has really helped build a culture here; a culture of work and also having fun the way we play. I think Charlotte is really an underrated place to play. We’ve had the opportunity to add free agents over the past few years, starting with Al Jefferson. We were able to attract him. The following year, even though the signing didn’t work out, Lance Stephenson signed here. Gordon Hayward signed an offer sheet here when he had some other opportunities. And then last summer we were able to sign Jeremy Lin. So I think Charlotte’s become a nice free-agent destination that players around the league are noticing. A lot of it is, like you said, the culture and it’s a great city, a great place to play.”
Coach Steve Clifford said Monday he’d prefer to coach the same group again, but acknowledged it might be difficult to re-sign everyone given the NBA salary cap. Much of the Hornets future could be predicated on what happens with unrestricted free agent Nicolas Batum, whom Clifford acknowledged will be the team’s No. 1 priority in free agency. Batum averaged a career-high 14.9 points along with 6.1 rebounds and 5.8 assists per game for the Hornets during the regular season, although his production was limited in the postseason due to a foot injury. The Hornets lost in seven games to the Miami Heat on Sunday.