Who’s the Charlotte Hornets Most Expendable Player Ahead of the Trade Deadline?

Jan 10, 2017; Houston, TX, USA; Charlotte Hornets center Roy Hibbert (55, right) and Charlotte Hornets forward Marvin Williams (2) speak during a timeout against the Houston Rockets during the first quarter at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Erik Williams-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 10, 2017; Houston, TX, USA; Charlotte Hornets center Roy Hibbert (55, right) and Charlotte Hornets forward Marvin Williams (2) speak during a timeout against the Houston Rockets during the first quarter at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Erik Williams-USA TODAY Sports /

As the trade deadline draws closer, more and more rumors will begin to surface. I decided to rank the Charlotte Hornets’ players based on their trade value.

We all know the Charlotte Hornets need help and trade(s) are likely to happen before the February 23rd NBA trade deadline. General Manager, Rich Cho, is known for wheeling and dealing in recent seasons with his trades for Nicolas Batum, Marco Belinelli, and Courtney Lee. I would bet good money that another deal is in the works for this year as well.

The real question is just exactly who are the Hornets willing to part ways with? With a semi-talent-laden roster, the team’s in need of some added more scoring going forward. They have a number of players who have already been involved in trade rumors in the past and a few players who haven’t quite lived up to expectations this season could be on their way out.

For the sake of argument, I’m going to leave off Christian Wood because he is a young developing player. While players like Brian Roberts and Treveon Graham are fringe players who don’t have much value in the trade market. They will only likely be dealt as salary fillers but even then it’s unlikely.

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Kemba Walker is the only untouchable on the Hornets’ roster. Aside from getting a Stephen Curry or a LeBron James type of player in return, Walker will star in Charlotte. They are definitely not looking to trade their best player and leading scorer.

To a lesser extent, Nicolas Batum is on the list of untouchables for the team. They recently signed him to a long-term contract and as the team’s second best player, he should stick around for years to come. The Hornets seem committed to Nic and Kemba going forward.


Cody Zeller has secured his role as the starting center for Charlotte. They recently signed him to an extension and his game continues to develop each season. It is clear that he is a keeper for the team and the Hornets won’t be looking to move him anytime soon.

The only keeper off the bench is Marco Belinelli. After acquiring the backup shooting guard in a trade this summer, he has been their best and most consistent scorer with the second unit. The Italian is a perfect fit in Steve Clifford’s system and should be the team’s sixth man for the next couple of years.

Guys Who are Probably Available

Two players who have previously been involved in trade rumors this season are Spencer Hawes and Jeremy Lamb. Both of them have been more productive than not for Charlotte but having being previously involved in trade talks, those could revamp as the trade deadline nears. Spencer Hawes was originally involved in a rumored deal around draft time but nothing materialized.

On the other hand, Lamb was a part of a rumored deal with the Milwaukee Bucks earlier this season. He could be the Hornets biggest selling point as Jeremy is a young, athletic shooting guard who can score. Many teams are reaching for players who fit that mold.

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Can Easily be on Their Way Out

Roy Hibbert has not lived up to expectations after signing a one-year deal with the Hornets in the offseason. He is only averaging 5.3 points per game and 3.6 per game so far this year. As the backup center, he has largely disappointed in most of his appearances.

Another player who hasn’t been good enough off the bench this season is Ramon Sessions. Despite averaging 6.6 points per game and 2.8 assists per game, the backup point guard hasn’t quite been the replacement for Jeremy Lin that the team would have hoped for. Although it will be tough to find a player like they had in Lin last year, an improved backup point guard could take this team to the next level.

Sessions and Hibbert are the two most expendable players because of their poor production. They could easily be traded before the deadline but it won’t be easy as there likely aren’t many buyers.

Wild Cards

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist is a wildcard because while the Hornets seem committed to the fifth-year small forward but his shooting still hasn’t developed as the team would have hoped. MKG doesn’t look like he’s ever going to improve his jump shot. He has played well but as a liability on offense, the Hornets may want to get a two-way small forward to replace him. It will all depend on if they can live with his poor outside shooting going forward.

Despite signing Marvin Williams to a long-term contract this summer, he hasn’t been playing as well as he did last season. The 30-year old isn’t getting any younger and with him slumping, it could be a reason to move one of their leaders. I doubt Marvin gets moved because he is the perfect stretch four but anything can happen when presented with the right trade.

Frank Kaminsky is only in his second season but many are beginning to have doubts about his future with the team. Charlotte’s committed to their former first round draft pick but in the right deal, he could be moved. This could just be a sophomore slump but maybe it’s time to move on, especially with young big man Christian Wood waiting in the wings.

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So while Ramon Sessions and Roy Hibbert are the most expendable players, Jeremy Lamb and/or Spencer Hawes will likely have to be involved in a deal to make it work. The Charlotte Hornets need to get better to help out Kemba Walker and Nicolas Batum this season. Wait for the rumors to start rolling in as we near the trade deadline.