The Charlotte Hornets may need to make a trade in order to keep their playoff position.
The Charlotte Hornets have been playing with fire all season. Whether it was having to adjust to injuries or depending on new players, the Hornets have dealt with it. Their reward so far is the eighth spot in the Eastern Conference playoffs. It is not the best position they have had all season, but it is not the worst either.
The last game that the Hornets played illustrated how fragile the season was. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist had miraculously come back from his torn labrum two months ahead of schedule. He was thrown into big action and played well. Then he reinjured his shoulder against the Pacers. No miracles are likely this time. The question is how much did the Hornets need someone like him on the perimeter? Is a return to
P.J. Hairston good enough? If not the Hornets will have to hit the trade market and see what they can get.
The Hornets do have one thing that teams looking to trade need, expiring deals. The problem is the players with the expiring deals are playing the best right now. Do the Hornets really want to shake things up by dealing them away. Let’s look at the expirings and see.
1. Al Jefferson – $13.7 million
Jefferson has been injured and drug suspended so far this year. The offense used to run through him, but now it doesn’t. He is currently resting and his value is hard to determine. A healthy Jefferson would bring rebounding and an inside threat to the team, but the team has shown it can play without him.
More from Charlotte Hornets
- Charlotte Hornets: Return would have provided valuable experience
- Charlotte Hornets: Regrading the 2010 NBA Draft
- Charlotte Hornets win what could be final game of the season
- Charlotte Hornets: Tank now or buzz towards the playoffs?
- Charlotte Hornets travel to face Pistons with focus on the future
2. Nicolas Batum – $13.1 million
Batum, on the other hand, is virtually untradeable. He has become so integrated in what the Hornets do on offense that trading him would be hugely disruptive to the team.
3. Marvin Williams – $7.0 million
Williams has been a steady contributor all year, but his expiring deal makes him more attractive to potential trade partners than other pieces on the Hornets roster (Spencer Hawes). Williams definitely fits in that ‘I don’t want to trade him, but I’d definitely do it for the right offer.’ Williams is playing the best basketball of the four posts, but his skills are found in their games too. You would think that his position would become Cody Zeller’s or Frank Kaminsky’s, a trade would make this sooner rather than later.
More from Old North Banter
- Carolina Panthers: Secondary battles to watch in training camp 2020
- Carolina Panthers: 2020 training camp kicks off on Tuesday
- NC Colleges Provide Coronavirus Results from Athletic Departments
- Court alleges Zion’s Stepfather received $400k
- UNC Football gets Commitment from Top Cornerback
4. Brian Roberts – $2.8 million
Roberts has seen a decline in his role with the arrival of Jeremy Lin. Although the team has found minutes for him here and there, his contract would not be hard to justify as a trade throw in to make numbers work. I should note that I will not cover Lin himself here since he has an opt out clause. Lin probably should be considered an expiring deal also.
Hansbrough and Daniels would likely only appear in a trade scenario to make the salaries work. I would miss Daniels, but his role is not critical to team success right now.
So that is the salary makeup. Next thing to do is to go shopping. Let’s see what teams might have something the Hornets could use and actually acquire.