News: Roberts, in his third NBA season, posted career-low averages of 6.7 points and 2.3 assists while playing in 72 games for Charlotte in 2014-15.
Impact: Roberts was never a strong contributor for the Hornets this season, but he was reliable enough to the point where he could be trusted running the point for the team. It appeared as if Roberts was due for an increase in minutes and production once Kemba Walker went down with a knee injury in late-January, and for a small stretch, he did. In eight games following Walker's injury Roberts played an average of 33 minutes per game and posted averages of 10.4 points and 4.1 assists over that time. Unfortunately for Roberts, Charlotte then traded for Timberwolves point guard Mo Williams, and Williams took over the starting point guard role. This pushed Roberts back into fantasy irrelevancy for pretty much the remainder of the regular season. As for next season, Roberts still has one year left on his contract, but with Walker set to return and the chance that Williams is re-signed, Roberts will remain in a backup role for Charlotte.
News: Maxiell played in 61 games this season, but played just 14 minutes per game and averaged 5.6 points and 4.2 rebounds in that time.
Impact: Maxiell signed a non-guaranteed contract with the Hornets for 2014-15 and the team decided to fully guarantee his contract in January. The only time Maxiell was on the court playing valuable minutes was when Al Jefferson was out of the rotation with an injury. With that said, when Maxiell was on the court, he was a fairly effective rebounder and interior defender despite his lack of height and length. Regardless, Maxiell will now enter the offseason as a free agent, and while he still, at age 32, should have a few good years left in him after 10 NBA seasons, it is entirely up in the air as to whether a team will need what Maxiell has to offer or not.
News: Jefferson (knee) dealt with groin and knee injuries throughout the 2014-15 season, but still managed to play 65 games. His numbers, however, did take a dip as a result, as his average of 16.6 points per game is his lowest since the 2006-07 season, while he failed to average at least nine rebounds per game (8.4) for the first time since the 2005-06 season.
Impact: Between the injuries and drop in production, it was a disappointing season for Jefferson to say the least, especially after he played like the best big man in the league in the second half of last season. Instead, this year, Jefferson had an up-and-down season following a strong start and finished as the 25th ranked center fantasy-wise. Jefferson posted 21 double-doubles on the season, but there were far too many times where he failed to reach double figures in both points and rebounds. Furthermore, Jefferson ended the season by missing the final seven games with a knee injury, but is expected to make a full recovery. Now, Jefferson will have the opportunity to exercise a $13.5 million player option for next season or choose to opt out of his contract, and given his decline in production, Jefferson says he does not anticipate that he will opt out. Assuming Jefferson does return to Charlotte next season, he will be looked at once again as a key contributor if the Hornets wish to make a return to the playoffs. The team, at this point, does not have many reliable options on offense, and if Jefferson can return to being a big man who can consistently put up at least 20 points and 10 rebounds, it will make Charlotte's offense run much more fluidly.
News: Henderson's production dropped off a bit this season, as he posted averages of 12.1 points, 3.4 rebounds and 2.6 assists over 29 minutes per game. This was, however, Henderson's healthiest season of his career, playing in a career-high 80 games and starting in 72 for the Hornets.
Impact: The statistical drop-off was expected for Henderson with the arrival of free agent Lance Stephenson this season. And while Stephenson dominated the court time to start the year, as his production declined, so did his minutes. This allowed Henderson to step into a more prominent role for Charlotte, one that he had been used to having in years prior. Near the end of the year, Henderson was dominating most of the minutes as a shooting guard and a small forward and producing his best numbers of the year. His most productive month was March, where is scored in double-figures in 15 of 17 games and recorded 20-plus points in five of those. He also posted two double-doubles and finished the month with averages of 15.4 points, 4.4 rebounds and 2.8 assists. Henderson had fairly consistent fantasy value because of his ability to contribute in multiple categories. He did not always post a high volume of rebounds or assists, but he always sure to contribute at least something on top of scoring every night. If Henderson at least gets minutes like he did after the All-Star break (32 per game) next season, he will look to be a strong contributor once again. The only question for Henderson is where he will be next season, as while he does have a $6 million player option he can execute for next season, he is unsure of what he wants to do. Henderson has stated that while he would like to stay in Charlotte, he is seeking a longer-term deal if possible.
News: Hairston played in 45 games over the course of his rookie season, finding himself going in and out of the rotation throughout the year. At times, Hairston proved he could score in a pretty high volume, but he showed himself to be a fairly inefficient shooter, as he shot just 32 percent form the field and 30 percent from behind the arc. He finished the regular season with averages of 5.6 points and 2.0 rebounds over 15 minutes per game.
Impact: Hairston provides great size, strength and versatility for someone playing the shooting guard position, but unfortunately for him, he is a part of a crowded shooting guard position on Charlotte consisting of Lance Stephenson, Gerald Henderson and Troy Daniels. However, given Hairston's physical traits and scoring ability, he does show some promise for the Hornets going forward. Should Hairston improve on his accuracy and efficiency on the offensive end, he could look to provide a spark off the bench for Charlotte as early as next season. It is just a matter of him getting on the floor to prove his worth. In the 10 outings in which he played 20-plus minutes, Hairston averaged 10.4 points per game, so he has showed that he is capable of offensive production, and it is now just a matter of consistency and efficiency. Hairston is only guaranteed to be under contract through the 2015-16 season with a two-year team option available after that.
News: Biyombo was limited in his appearances on the floor in his fourth NBA season, but showed signs of promise when opportunities presented themselves. Despite playing the majority of the season as Al Jefferson's backup, Biyombo put together averages of 4.8 points, 6.4 rebounds and 1.5 blocks in 64 games played. A variety of injuries left Biyombo out of 18 games this season, but none were ever serious enough to keep him out for an extended amount of time or have lasting impacts on his future.
Impact: Biyombo is still working to refine his offensive game, which is hardly existent at this point, but defensively, Biyombo is proving to be one of the better shot blockers in the league. While his season average of 1.5 blocks per game may not jump off the paper, he did manage to record three-plus blocks in 12 games this year with a season-high of six back in November. Biyombo also proved to be an effective rebounder, posting 10-plus rebounds in 14 games this season. Biyombo was at his most effective when Jefferson was out of the lineup. In the 21 games where Jefferson was either out or coming off the bench because of injuries, Biyombo was in the starting lineup and put together averages of 6.8 points, 8.4 rebounds and 1.8 blocks over 27 minutes. For Biyombo, unless the Hornets decided to extend him his qualifying offer of roughly $5.5 million, he will enter this offseason as a restricted free agent. Should Charlotte take him back, he will likely serve yet again as Jefferson's backup, as he still has not proven himself to be consistent enough to be a starting center in this league. If he wishes to prove that, a more refined offensive game must be had.
News: Daniels found himself all over the NBA during the 2014-15 season, as after signing a two-year deal with the Rockets, he was traded to the Timberwolves in December and then traded once again in to the Hornets in February. In all, Daniels played in just 11 games for Charlotte and 47 total. In his 11 games with the Hornets, Daniels didn't make too significant of an impact, but proved his effectiveness as an outside shooter, shooting nearly 46 percent from behind the arc.
Impact: Daniels' effectiveness in the NBA does not go far beyond his three-point shooting. He is a specialist in that area and doesn't have much to offer inside the arc. He didn't play much throughout his second NBA season until the very end when, with the Hornets completely out of the playoff picture, Daniels got more run on the court. In the final four games of the season, Daniels played an average of 26 minutes, and in that time, averaged 14.0 points, including a career-high 24 points in the regular-season finale, on 19-of-44 shooting (43 percent) from the field and 12-of-26 shooting (46 percent) from behind the arc. For Daniels, the 2015-16 season will be his final season under contract and he will need to impress the league that he is worth another contract while he still has the opportunity. That, however, will not be easy, as Daniels will be fighting for minutes at a shooting guard position that includes Lance Stephenson, Gerald Henderson and P.J. Hairston.
News: Walker fell slightly short of expectations in his fourth NBA season, averaging 17.3 points, 3.5 rebounds and 5.1 assists in his fourth, all of which are the lowest totals since his rookie year. He also played in a career-low 62 regular season games after undergoing surgery to repair a torn meniscus.
Impact: For Walker, he had a very up-and-down, and somewhat disappointing, fourth season, especially given that many saw this as an opportunity for him to have a breakout year. Despite running as the team's starting point guard for majority of the season, he was only able to record double-digit assists four times in the regular season, showing that he plays like a scoring point guard more than anything. But, even so, Walker still needs to work on his efficiency on the offensive end. Walker shot just just 38.5 percent from the field and 30.4 percent from behind the arc, and Charlotte's General Manager Rich Cho has spoken out on his shooting, saying that Walker needs to improve his mid-range game as well as his three-point shooting. For Walker, the 2015-16 season will be the first year of his new four-year, $48 million contract, and in order for him to play up to his worth, he will need to expand his offensive efficiency from behind the arc, as expanding his game would likely open lanes for him and give him an easier time scoring at the rim. This will be important for Walker, as he will likely once again be the focal point of this Hornet team, especially if they lose Al Jefferson, who has a 2015-16 player option, to free agency, although he is not expected to opt out of his contact. Regardless, Walker will be looked at to score and create for others next season, as he and Charlotte will look to make a return to the playoffs.