Svi Mykhailiuk: the unexpected Charlotte Hornets trade bonus

Mitch Kupchak, Charlotte Hornets. Mandatory Credit: Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports
Mitch Kupchak, Charlotte Hornets. Mandatory Credit: Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports /

Svi Mykhailiuk came to the Charlotte Hornets as a part of the multi-team trade that sent Jalen McDaniels to the Philadelphia 76ers in February. That trade was viewed through the lens of losing a prospect, McDaniels, that was drafted by the Hornets and had turned into a coveted player. McDaniels was a second-round pick with upside and the organization had turned him into…another future second-round pick. Oh, and Mykhailiuk.

And that was supposed to be that. Mykhailiuk, in the last year of his deal, will become an unrestricted free agent. The Hornets, a team building for the future after a slew of injuries and losses, would allow him to leave and attempt to add talent in the offseason. But a funny thing happened as the Hornets waived goodbye to a former second-round pick headed to Philadelphia. They got another second-round pick that was eager to show he belonged in the NBA, and in a rotation.

Who is Svi Mykhailiuk?

Mykhailiuk has had a bundle of basketball experiences already. The Ukrainian 6’7 wing spent four years in Kansas developing his game. The sharpshooter set the record for threes made in a season in his final year in Lawrence, Kansas. The 47th overall pick in the 2018 NBA draft was selected by the Los Angeles Lakers. He hadn’t played there for a year before he was traded to the Detroit Pistons. Since then, he has spent time with Oklahoma City Thunder, Toronto Raptors, and New York Knicks. At 25 years old, he’s been quite the globe trotter (one of the few teams he surprisingly hasn’t played for).

Since he became a Hornet, Mykhailiuk has continued his prolific distance shooting. He’s shooting 44.2% from behind the arc on more than three attempts per game. It’s impressive stuff for a reserve averaging less than 19 minutes per game. His best game came against one of his former teams, the Thunder. He poured in 18 points in his 36 minutes. But what was truly eye-opening was the career-high 8 assists he dished to his new teammates. Adding that wrinkle to an already impressive arsenal is enough to get noticed, and maybe get an extension.

Despite his age, Mykhailiuk has seen a lot of the NBA. And in truth, had it not been for the circumstances surrounding the season, the Hornets likely wouldn’t have played him as much. But with the Hornets looking to add shooting to the second-least accurate 3-point shooting team in the league, it may finally be time for the young journeyman to unpack his bags.

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