Wild four-team trade proposal sees Hornets land former top-3 pick

Terry Rozier, Charlotte Hornets. Mandatory Credit: Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports
Terry Rozier, Charlotte Hornets. Mandatory Credit: Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports /

If the Charlotte Hornets are truly set on building a contending roster around LaMelo Ball, now would be the time to start shedding some dead wood and moving on from some of the team’s elder statesmen.

Finding impactful players who fit LaMelo’s timeline has to be the remit for any trades the Hornets make this summer – unless it’s a salary dump that sees Mitch Kupchak add additional assets to Charlotte’s war chest. 

With that in mind, Chase Whitney of At The Hive has come up with a four-team trade proposal that would land RJ Barrett and TJ McConnell in Charlotte while sending out Terry Rozier, James Bouknight, and a string of draft assets. The full trade looks like this:

Charlotte Hornets get: RJ Barrett, TJ McConnell

New York Knicks Knicks get: Tobias Harris, 2026 first-round pick (Hornets)

Philadelphia 76ers get: Terry Rozier, 2027 second-round pick (Pacers)

Indiana Pacers get: Evan Fournier, James Bouknight, 2024 second-round pick (Hornets via Boston), and 2028 second-round pick (Hornets via Clippers.)

"“In essence, the Hornets trade Terry Rozier, James Bouknight, an unprotected 2026 first and three seconds for RJ Barrett and TJ McConnell,” Whitney reasoned in his article. “The Knicks front office has done a solid job of roster-building in recent years but moving Barrett’s long-term money for an expiring but talented Harris ahead of a quality 2024 free-agent class might be worth it when coupled with a first-rounder in the Cooper Flagg/Cameron Boozer draft.For Philadelphia, the motive is simple; try to replicate James Harden’s scoring with playoff-caliber guards. No matter the return for Harden, Rozier is a great fit with Embiid, and they get a second for taking on three years of salary. Indiana is a salary-dumping grounds here but they get a rotation-level vet, a reclamation project and two seconds.”"

With LaMelo and Brandon Miller already in the rotation, adding a genuine talent such as Barrett could be the ideal way of forming a future big three that can continue to develop and grow together. While McConnell would provide veteran leadership off the bench and provide competition for Nick Smith Jr.

Of course, McConnell could also be re-routed in another trade as the Hornets continue to reshape their roster. If Charlotte is serious about changing the way the franchise is viewed, a deal such as Whitney’s proposal is the perfect way to start adjusting those opinions.

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