Charlotte Hornets: Could a Terry Rozier trade with New York Knicks be coming?

Charlotte Hornets Terry Rozier. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
Charlotte Hornets Terry Rozier. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images) /

Could a swap between the Charlotte Hornets and the New York Knicks involving Terry Rozier and Julius Randle from the trade deadline reemerge this Summer?

Previous tweets from SNY TV reporter Ian Begley have revealed trade talks between the Charlotte Hornets and the New York Knicks.

"Some names that came up in recent talks concerning the Hornets and Knicks included Julius Randle, Dennis Smith Jr., Terry Rozier and Malik Monk, per SNY sources. Ringer first reported that Knicks and Hornets had recently discussed Julius Randle."

This was tweeted on February 3rd, three days before the trade deadline. Of course, negotiations between the Hornets and Knicks have since ceased as no trade was made at the deadline. Begley later clarified that.

"Terry Rozier is one name that came up in recent talks between Knicks and Hornets. At the moment, NYK doesn’t have strong interest in acquiring Rozier via trade, sources say."

However, the tweets came with days of the Knicks letting long-time president Steve Mills go. Could this management change-up restart trade discussions this Summer? New president, Leon Rose, might be more open to discussion with the Charlotte Hornets.

More. Charlotte Hornets: Rumors confirmed Knicks wanted Terry Rozier. light

Rumors from before the deadline described swapping Terry Rozier and Malik Monk for a package including Julius Randle, Dennis Smith Jr., and a first-round pick. One would guess that the pick detailed in this transaction would not be the Knicks own, considering its value.

The Knicks currently possess the Dallas Mavericks’ unprotected first-round pick in the 2021 draft. The late first-rounder would be highly valuable in the deep draft. 2021 is shaping up to be the most loaded draft in years sans 2018.

While potential stars like Cade Cunningham and Jalen Green headline the players, the draft pool should be deep enough that the Hornets should be able to find their guy even in the mid-to-late first round.

Another asset the Knicks could potentially elect to send would be the Clipper’s 2020 pick. Currently, it is projected to fall to the 27th spot. Not as enticing as Dallas’s pick, but maybe more realistic and in line with the value being traded.

In this position, the Hornets could take a true shooting guard like Aaron Nesmith of Vanderbilt to play next to Devonte’ Graham and replace Rozier and Monk, or Udoka Azubuike from Kansas who could contribute right away and give the team much-needed production at the five.

More from Hornets News

It is unclear if James Borrego has the intention of theoretically fitting Julius Randle into the center spot as a stretch five, or trying to fit him into the team’s power forward rotation. Charlotte is in dire need of a center, the team’s rotation of Cody Zeller, Bismack Biyombo, and Willy Hernangomez leave a lot to be desired.

Julius Randle stands at only 6-feet-8-inches, making him much smaller than a traditional center, but the player has shown some flashes of being a devastating small-ball anchor. Still, it is unclear how many minutes Randle would be able to soak up in that position.

However, Charlotte already has Miles Bridges and PJ Washington at the 4. Two young and talented players who need developmental minutes and have awkward fits at positions other than power forward.

Forcing Randle into the stacked rotation might not be the best use for him. If the Hornets do acquire Randle, it will leave the team with more questions than answers, but there is potential for some really fun lineups.

The other Knicks player mentioned, Dennis Smith Jr., is a little more worrying. Smith Jr. grew up in Fayetteville, NC, and attended North Carolina State University. The point guard would instantly be a fan favorite returning home to the Carolinas. But Smith Jr. is a project, and maybe a failed one at that.

After being taken in the lottery by the Mavericks in 2017, Smith, failing to perform, was traded to New York in the middle of the 2018-2019 season. Since then, Smith Jr.’s minutes and production have steadily declined. If he is to be included in a potential trade, it should just be as a filler and not as an over-valued piece romanticized by his hometown.

On Charlotte’s end, the potential package being sent out doesn’t look like an overpay, to long-time fans’ relief. Rozier is finishing his first year of a three-year, 56.7 million dollar contract signed by the Charlotte Hornets this past Summer. A deal that was rightfully criticized as being an overpay at the time has since looked slightly better.

Related Story. 3 reasons why the Charlotte Hornets should stick with Terry Rozier. light

Rozier has produced more than expected, but make no mistake; this contract is still inflated. If Devonte’ Graham had not emerged to take on the “floor general” responsibilities of the point guard position, the signing would look a lot worse right now.

Charlotte should not look at this as a happy outcome, but instead, breathe a sigh of relief and try to move Rozier while his value is inflated in a deal like this one. Getting that contract off the books would be a big move towards gaining front-office flexibility.

The more questionable asset would be a young shooting guard Malik Monk. Monk is a polarizing figure to the fan-base. Taken by the Charlotte Hornets, a few picks later in the lottery than Smith, Monk has followed a similar career arc, albeit with more upside.

Overall, Monk has had disappointing production; not being nearly the shooter, he was lauded as coming out of college. However, Monk has shown glimpses of a higher ceiling with several stretches averaging 20 points when given proper minutes.

Monk is also an elite athlete. While Monk certainly has more upside than Smith, would the team be right to cut their losses now and trade him before his value dropped lower? Or have the guards’ value hit rock bottom, and the team should keep Monk instead of settling for the scraps he will command on the current market?

Depending on what assets would be included in the final deal, a Rozier to New York trade like this could be beneficial to the Hornets this Summer. It’s important to remember no one knows when the offseason will even be, and this deal never went through after being discussed prior to the trade deadline.

Three Undervalued Trade Targets to Pursue. dark. Next

It is unclear if Leon Rose wants to continue taking the Knicks in the direction of acquiring contributors like Rozier, but a deal like this would make sense for both sides and should be something Mitch Kupchak pursues further when the time comes.