Hornets Free Agency Target: Naji Marshall (UFA)

UFA Naji Marshall could be a priority FA for Charlotte to pursue this summer
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Age: 26, Height: 6'7, Position: SG/SF, Prev Annual Salary: $1.9 Million

Scouting Report

After going undrafted in 2020, Marshall caught on with the New Orleans Pelicans and after two seasons emerged as a nightly rotation player averaging 21.3mpg in 143 games.

At 6'7 with a 7'1 wingspan, he has great size on the wing which he uses to great effect defensively. His effort and physicality make his presence felt every night even if the scoring isn't there, which can come and go.

Perhaps the most underrated part of Marshall's game is his passing, where he boasts a 2:1 assist to turnover ratio. In terms of scoring, Marshall likes to get to the mid-range, over his career he has managed to gradually improve to be a league average three point shooter.

How 2023/24 Went...

This past season was Naji Marshall's best of his career, averaging 19 mpg 7.1 pts 3.6 reb 1.9 ast 0.7 stl 0.2 blk 1.0 to on 46% from the field and 39% from three. Marshall cemented a place in the Pelicans playoff rotation, beating out lottery picks Dyson Daniels and Jordan Hawkins.

While his minutes and total scoring dipped slightly from the year before, his effective field goal percentage increased from 49% to 54%. This was boosted by shooting a career best 39% from three, the three years prior he shot a combined 29%.

Fit With the Charlotte Hornets - Back-up SG/SF

Melton is a traditional "Glue Guy", he helps everyone else on the floor play better and buys into his defensive role well. The Pelicans might be forced to move on due to tax concerns, and also having two lottery players who play the same position waiting for an opportunity.

Marshall ranks in the 96th (Defensive) and 83rd (Offensive) percentiles for rebounding, giving Charlotte some much needed physicality. With the second unit, Marshall would also have more playmaking responsibilities which he has shown he has the ability to do. Overall, adding a versatile, playoff proven back-up wing would significantly improve Charlotte's depth.

Projected Salary - $8-12 Million Per Year

The Hornets would likely have to use close to their full mid-level exception to lure Marshall to Charlotte, with no shortage of contenders likely vying for his services. With Marshall entering his peak age 26 season and looking to have made a breakthrough with his three point shooting, his next contract could be a steal.


Published
James Plowright

JAMES PLOWRIGHT

Twitter: @British_Buzz Linked In: James Plowright Muck Rack: James Plowright About Me Bylines for: Sports Illustrated, Sky Sports NBA, SB Nation, Queen City Hoops Based in Manchester in the United Kingdom, I have covered the Charlotte Hornets since 2008. When I was 16 years old I won a blogging competition on Bobcats.com, this ignited my passion for journalism and since then I went on to write for a variety of blogs; Hornets Planet, Queen City Hoops and At The Hive. In 2022 I took on the role as site content manager for the Charlotte Hornets Fannation site (AllHornets.com).  I am also the founder of the All Hornets Podcast Network, having recorded over 350+ Hornets related podcasts.  Awards - The All Hornets podcast was nominated for "Best Team Podcast" in the 2022 Sports Podcast Awards.  - I was nominated for "Sports Writer of the Year" in 2013 for LSU Media while studying my B.A in History and International Relations at Loughborough University.