Charlotte Hornets Should Make a Trade for Wilson Chandler

Feb 3, 2017; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Nuggets forward Wilson Chandler (21) makes a point during the second half against the Milwaukee Bucks at Pepsi Center. The Nuggets won 121-117. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 3, 2017; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Nuggets forward Wilson Chandler (21) makes a point during the second half against the Milwaukee Bucks at Pepsi Center. The Nuggets won 121-117. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports /

With MKG’s offense struggles, the Charlotte Hornets should be looking for an upgrade at small forward and Wilson Chandler could be an option.

The Charlotte Hornets have already shown that they are ready to move underperforming players this season. While Michael Kidd-Gilchrist hasn’t been horrible, the team could clearly use a two-way small forward. MKG’s offensive struggles have not only plagued him but the team as a whole in multiple situations this year.

One viable option for the Hornets would be Wilson Chandler. The veteran swingman has made it clear that he “would like a trade from the Denver Nuggets.” It was also reported that “Chandler’s frustration is reportedly born out of the inconsistency with his role.” ( If the reports are true, the Nuggets will be looking to quickly move the two-way small forward before the February 23rd trade deadline.

Because Chandler is essentially forcing his way out of Denver, the team may be willing to take less in return. Charlotte has the pieces to work out a deal but the biggest question is if getting Wilson would be an upgrade for them over MKG. The offensive upgrade is clear but there are more things to take into consideration.

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Kidd-Gilchrist’s inability to shoot from deep is hindering the Hornets offense and keeping them from reaching their full potential. That was made clear when Courtney Lee started last year while Michael was out injured. Lee gave them a two-way threat and with his ability to spread the floor, their offense was more deadly than ever.

We were promised an improved shot from MKG and got a glimpse of one last season but he just had not been able to continue that upward trend this year. He is shooting a career-low from the field and is only shooting 12.5% from three. (Yes. You read that right. And no. It’s not a typo.) That type of poor shooting just isn’t going to make a team, let alone an individual player, successful in today’s NBA. (Unless, of course, you’re Tony Allen but MKG hasn’t proven that level of defensive ability yet.)

Adding Wilson would give Charlotte another offensive threat to pair with Kemba Walker and Nicolas Batum. It would give them another shooter and a pretty good defender. While Chandler isn’t necessarily on MKG’s level of individual defense, he isn’t a scrub. He can hold his own with some of the best in the league so the Hornets wouldn’t be losing much on that end of the floor.

Let’s compare their numbers so far this season:

Chandler – 30.4 MPG, 15.5 PPG, 6.7 RPG, 2.1 APG, 44.7% FG/ 34.2% 3P/ 73.8% FT

MKG – 29.5 MPG, 9.1 PPG, 7.4 RPG, 1.3 APG, 45.3% FG/ 12.5% 3P/ 75.8% FT

With the Nuggets in a position to move Chandler before the deadline, a straight up swap could be in the works for both sides. Each player is signed long-term and Wilson is only making slightly less than MKG is. It might be tough to convince Denver to take Kidd-Gilchrist with his offensive limitations but their young, rebuilding core could use an elite defender. That might also make them okay with taking on an offensive (shooting) project still in the works.

Charlotte doesn’t necessarily need to give up a pick to make this trade work either. Chandler wants out so a straight-up swap would seem ideal. The main issue with the deal would be the age difference. The Hornets would have to admit defeat on their project with MKG.

They would be unloading a 23-year old with some potential for a 29-year old that is already established himself in the NBA. Wilson might not have much upside but Steve Clifford’s side would already know what they would get from him. And that is a solid defender who could immediately have a positive impact on a squad with playoff aspirations.

Chandler’s 6’8, 225-pound frame makes him an ideal fit for the Hornets’ small forward spot. He could slide right into the starting lineup and fill MKG’s role as the primary defender on the oppositions’ best player while also offering more on the offensive side of the ball. He can catch and shoot from three, attack off the dribble, and he can rebound at almost the same clip as Kidd-Gilchrist.

Next: Beat: Most Surprising Player, Review of Recent Trades

It may be hard for fans and the Charlotte Hornets to move on from MKG but it may be the best thing for the team going forward. His limited offensive game is holding the team back. Steve Clifford implemented a system where they want to run and shoot more three’s last year. That push for more offensive has been slowed this season with Michael in the starting lineup. Wilson Chandler would be an ideal fit. Rich Cho is surely looking to make some more moves this season.