Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sport
Aminu has been consistent, but the Hornets need an upgrade.
While New Orleans has a ton of young talent around the roster, the small forward position is in dire need of an upgrade.
With Al-Farouq Aminu set to become a free agent, the Hornets could lose a player who started 71 games this season.
Opponents have had a field day against the small forwards of the Hornets this season. It’s where some of the game's best scorers play.
LeBron James scorched them for 36 points, Kevin Durant for 35 and even Paul George scored 37 on them this season.
The offensive production from the Hornets' small forwards has been virtually non-existent. The trio of Aminu, Darius Miller and Lance Thomas average about 12 points a game. Aminu alone averages 7.5.
The Hornets utilize other positions to find their offense, despite the fact that small forward is a premier position in the NBA.
There are several ways to upgrade here. With the cap room they currently possess, free agency could be a route they take. Josh Smith would be an immediate upgrade. Smith averaged 17.9 points this past season, adding 8.4 boards per game.
Andre Iguodala is another intriguing option. Potentially becoming an unrestricted free agent, Iguodala is a dynamic player on both ends of the court. He would provide veteran leadership, and he has a knack for the rim. With a career average of 15.1 points per game, his durability and veteran presence would change the entire scope of the team.
If the Hornets decide to upgrade via the draft, there are a number of small forwards to choose from. Owning another lottery pick, like Georgetown’s Otto Porter or UCLA’s Shabazz Muhammad, makes the most sense.
Regardless of how the Hornets' management decides to address this situation, upgrading the small forward position is a must this offseason.