Charlotte Hornets: Draft Day Trading?


The Charlotte Hornets are just a day away from the NBA Draft. So far it seems like it will be a rather straightforward affair for the Hornets. They have the ninth pick and are likely to stay there and draft a player in that spot. However there are other options that the Hornets could be exploring behind the scenes. These would involve trading the pick in so way. The Hornets could trade up, trade down, trade in, or trade out.

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Trade Up –

Trading up would involve finding the right partner. The Hornets do not have a lot of assets to play with other than draft picks from future years. If they attempted to package the ninth pick with a player, they would need a team with the cap room to eat the extra salary or they would be taking a player back in return.

The teams in front of the Hornets rumored to be interested in making moves down to accumulate assets would the 76ers, the Knicks, and the Nuggets. The Kings are also in a bit of turmoil as well. Of these teams, the 76ers have the most to offer because guard D’Angelo Russell will be available at their pick.

The Knicks are known to have some interest in Frank Kaminsky who would be a stretch at the fourth pick but make more sense at the ninth pick if the Knicks were to swap picks with the Hornets.

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  • Trade Down –

    Most mock drafts have guard Devin Booker going to the Hornets at nine. One other team interested in Booker is the Heat, who pick at ten. That means that the Hornets lack flexibility if Booker is their man. If he is not, then trading down becomes possible. The only team actively searching for a partner to move up in the draft is the Boston Celtics.

    The Celtics have the 16th and 28th picks. The Hornets could target Georgia State guard RJ Hunter at one of those later spots and grab another player. The difficulty is that the Hornets are starting to develop a logjam as it is.

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    Trade In –

    The Golden State Warriors are willing to package David Lee and the thirtieth pick in order to get Lee off their books. The problem is that the Hornets really do not have a spot for Lee or his contract.

    Trade Out –

    It is also possible that the Hornets could trade out of the first round altogether. This would require finding a veteran shooter worthy of shipping the ninth pick for. Charlotte has done this before when they sent Brandan Wright to Golden State for Jason Richardson. Other than Monta Ellis of the Mavericks, I am not sure of any teams looking to save money in such a trade. Teams usually want to keep their good shooters around.

    Most likely though the Hornets will stand pat. We get to find out tomorrow night.

    Next: Charlotte Hornets Draft Series: Mario Hezonja