How Charlotte improves next season

Considering that Charlotte won just 7 games two years ago and 21 last year, nobody around the franchise can feel too bad about being swept out of the first round by Miami after a 43-39 regular season.

Now the big question, which ESPN's Marc Stein writes about today, is how the Bobcats can take the next step. Getting more out of former lottery picks Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Cody Zeller next season would certainly help, as would bringing back Josh McRoberts, who likely will turn down his $2.77 million player option in 2014-15 and become an unrestricted free agent.

The other key to watch is what happens in the draft lottery, which will be held May 20. The Bobcats (soon to be Hornets) lose their 2014 first-round pick to Chicago this year, but can obtain Detroit's lottery pick if the Pistons end up outside the top 8.