Charlotte Hornets: A Disappointing Veteran Trade Idea

Charlotte Hornets James Borrego. (Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Charlotte Hornets James Borrego. (Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) /

The Charlotte Hornets have not been too surprising this season, maybe a trade or roster move can turn things around?

In the NBA, teams are competitive as they come. Battling teams night after night, looking for an edge or trend that will give each other the upper hand against their opponent. However, throughout the NBA, teams are also widely known for scouring the free agent market or engaging teams for unwanted, disappointing, or disgruntled players. The Charlotte Hornets are no exception.

This season, the Charlotte Hornets have experienced relatively the same results. With some tremendous wins over quality teams, tough defeats over teams deemed as easy wins, and a combination of the two, the Hornets are sitting at the lower end of the playoff seeding. Though better than they have been in previous years, the Hornets are still considered to be on the borderline of mediocre and disappointing.

After many tough losses, General Manager Mitch Kupchak has seemed to have had enough of mediocrity. As the team progresses through the season, the Hornets have looked to improve the team as well as get rid of the big underachieving contracts of Nicolas Batum, Bismack Biyombo, and Marvin Williams. Hindering the team from making any moves due to the financial burden of dishing out $55.08 million for this season and $57.57 million next season for a trio of players who have seemingly played themselves out of a quality position on the team.

Realistically, only Williams has constantly played to a level decent enough to warrant either a contract reconstruction or mentorship role. But with him getting older and being less of an advantage on offense most nights, though scoring 10.1 PPG this year (slightly better than last year but less than his career average of 10.5 PPG), Williams doesn’t reliably give the team the extra push needed on a night-by-night basis.

Batum has consistently been rather a disappointment since signing his free agent/extension with the team in 2016. The often labeled glue man of the starting five has the ability to fill a stat sheet when he’s on, but he has so few games when he’s playing great that the longer he continues to gain minutes over the improving rookie Miles Bridges, the more the team can’t reasonably justify cutting bait and looking for daylight.

Batum is a great NBA player who can excel in being a distributor on a balanced team. But the Hornets (who are very unbalanced) are not one of those teams. The Hornets have needed more scoring next to Walker and haven’t found much outside of Jeremy Lamb.

Charlotte Hornets
Charlotte Hornets Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Washington Wizards Bradley Beal (Photo by Ned Dishman/NBAE via Getty Images) /

Through the first half of the season, many news outlets have reported an interest in two big-name players that would instantly make any team better. Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal, Cleveland Cavaliers Forward Kevin Love, San Antonio Spurs forward LaMarcus Aldridge and Miami Heat center Hassan Whiteside have all been reported as targets for Kupchak and the Charlotte Hornets.

As stated, each of these players would instantly make any team (especially the Hornets) better with the talent that each possesses. Not since the Hornets of the early ’90s has the city of Charlotte possessed two All-Star caliber players, and if Kupchak has the tools and ability to make a move on one of the players, then expect the Hornets to pull the trigger in an effort to make postseason play as well as build a quality supporting roster in hopes to retain All-Star guard and current face of the Franchise Kemba Walker.

In order to attain one of the NBA stars, the Hornets would ideally have to part with at least one young player (i.e. Malik Monk, Miles Bridges, or Dwayne Bacon), and an expiring contract, and possibly one or multiple picks. And if the team were to trade for Beal and keep Lamb, then all the progress and work that Lamb worked for would be for naught as he would be relegated back the bench. A spot in which he doesn’t deserve for all the success he’s had this season.

For the Hornets, a team that has very little valuable pieces, mortgaging the future for a win-now mentally can and will be a hard pill to swallow. A possibly necessary move to build a team in a market that doesn’t attract many quality, free agents. A team that has struggled in recent years to team build through the draft while under the former front office team.

But what if the Hornets could trade for a player who is both disgruntled and having a disappointing season for his current team? A player who also has not played to the immense contract that they signed in hopes of elevating a middling team.

Chandler Parsons of the Memphis Grizzlies is as disgruntled as they come at the current moment. Presently, Parsons and the Grizzlies are at odds as the forward has stepped away from the team until a next move can be made. The 6’10 forward who has a career average of 13 PPG is currently averaging 5.7 PPG, 1.3 TRB, and 0.7 REB for the 2018-19 season in which he only managed to play a total of three games.

After five great NBA seasons spent between the Houston Rockets and Dallas Mavericks, Parsons averaged at least 14 points in every season after his rookie campaign before arriving in Memphis. Considered a top free agent upon leaving Dallas, Parsons agreed to a massive four-year $94.4 million contract with Memphis.

However, that’s where the problems would start. Injury after injury would derail his next two seasons, playing in a total of 39 out of a possible 164 games. Parsons would heal, train, and work hard just to get knocked down once again by the injury bug. Leaving Memphis with a $94 million hole to fill. Insert Charlotte, the smaller market team across the state line with its own $120 million problem.

Charlotte Hornets
Charlotte Hornets Nicolas Batum (Photo by Will Newton/Getty Images) /

Nicolas Batum has been a talented player for the length of his NBA career. Able to shoot out to the three-point line, rebound, pass, and defend at a decent level, Batum is the aforementioned glue guy that the Hornets currently employ. A smart, crafty, do-it-all player who can help a playoff team contend, Batum could be a dangerous piece in the right situation. But with the Hornets, Batum doesn’t seem like the right piece for this particular situation. The Hornets sorely lack reliable shooting around Walker. Besides Lamb, the team doesn’t have a go-to player who can score next to walker on a constant basis. A frustrating thing to watch for Hornets fans.

But what if the Hornets could trade a bad contract for another and employ a player better equipped to help a team lacking a scorer? Parsons, by all means, doesn’t answer all of Charlotte’s prayers, and his injury history arguably challenges Kevin Love’s history, but he is a gifted scorer who can add needed points to a lineup that thrives on space.

Batum disappointed a fan base as well as Parson, but if the Hornets can endure two-years of subpar play on a player that played 105 of 164 games, then they can invest time in an injured former star. After all, the team is interested in the often injured Love who has a drastically higher ceiling than Batum. Additionally, acquiring Parsons would save the team $462,706 for the 2019-2020 season and $27,000,000 million for the 2020-2021 season.

This by no means is no declaration to trade for Parsons, but one of many ideas or options that the team can pursue if given the opportunity. The Hornets obviously need help and need to go the trade route in order to better the team and be long shot contenders in the NBA, and gaining one or multiple players would stand to improve the declining team.

Next. Predicting Charlotte Hornets second half of season record. dark

Currently sitting at 20-23 after a win against the Spurs, the Hornets are nearing the trade deadline and close to being a team on the outside looking in yet again.

Article based off of a Dan Favale article and trade idea for Bleacher report