Editor Note: This article was written before news of LaMelo Ball’s season-ending wrist injury.
The March 25 NBA trade deadline is fastly approaching and the Charlotte Hornets will need to make a decision on whether they will standpat for the remainder of the year or make a move to acquire a player to upgrade the center position and/or add depth to the bench.
The Hornets are a surprise team this season. Charlotte is currently 20-21 and seventh in the Eastern Conference. If the season ended today, the Hornets would participate in the play-in tournament that will determine the seventh and eighth seeds in the playoffs.
The Hornets are in the middle of a tough six-game road trip that has seen the team lose the first three games to the Denver Nuggets, Los Angeles Lakers, and Los Angeles Clippers. These games have proven the Charlotte is far from a finished product and there are glaring holes that need to be addressed so that this team can consistently contend for a playoff spot and eventually an NBA Championship.
Last week, the Athletic’s Sam Amick reported that teams believe that Devonte’ Graham is available in trade talks. It is well-known around the league that the Hornets are interested in Indiana Pacers’ center Myles Turner. Now, Michael Scotto of HoopsHype is reporting that the Pacers are open to moving guard Aaron Holiday.
Chris Crouse of FortyEightMinutes adds that the Pacers are looking for a first-round pick in exchange for Holiday. That’s highly unlikely to happen. The Pacers would need to give up more than just Holiday to acquire a first-round pick from a team.
Holiday’s availability could open a door for the Hornets in their attempt to acquire Turner.
The Hornets and Pacers could essentially do a center/guard swamp and Charlotte could include their first-round in next season’s draft to sweeten the deal for the Pacers.
By acquiring Turner, the Hornets will get the upgrade at the center position that they’ve long coveted who will immediately improve their interior and perimeter defense, rebounding and rim protection issues. Turner is under contract for the next two seasons at $17.5 million each year.
Holiday would immediately step into the role of Charlotte’s backup point guard. Another positive, he’s under contract next season at $3.9 million. Adding Holiday would mean the Hornets would not be moving on from Graham and leaving another big hole at the point guard position.