NBA Power Rankings: Will any team dethrone the Celtics or Nuggets in NBA Playoffs?

As we close the regular season, the Denver Nuggets and Boston Celtics appear on a collision course for the NBA Finals.
Boston Celtics v Denver Nuggets
Boston Celtics v Denver Nuggets / Brendall O'Banon/Clarkson Creative/GettyImages
3 of 30

28. Charlotte Hornets

The Charlotte Hornets decided to quit middling between a potential playoff contender and a rebuilding team. Throughout the course of this regular season, the Hornets decided to trade away their veteran pieces. In different deals, the Hornets traded away Gordon, Hayward, Terry Rozier, and PJ Washington before the NBA Trade Deadline. Even though Charlotte elected to move off some of the better players on their roster, this is a team that has an established young core in place that will keep the team on the precipice of competitiveness.

As the team prepares to enter phase two of the rebuild, the question is how close this young core is to consistently competing with the rest of the tier 3 teams in the Eastern Conference. The Hornets' answer to that question will be the key to how the team approaches the offseason. We'll know pretty quickly, with their offseason moves, how strongly this team believes in their young core.

With the way some of their young players closed the season, particularly Brandon Miller, the Hornets should be encouraged heading into the future. And with another top pick on the way, this is a team that could emerge as one of the more intriguing young teams in the East sooner rather than later.