Hornets Rumors: 3 Trade packages to land struggling Team USA star

Brandon Ingram could be a trade target for the Charlotte Hornets. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
Brandon Ingram could be a trade target for the Charlotte Hornets. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images) /
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In a recent article by Bleacher Reports Zach Buckley, Brandon Ingram is floated as a potential trade target for the Charlotte Hornets. The versatile scoring wing is currently at the FIBA World Cup, where he’s struggling to adapt to his role under Steve Kerr, and has recently spoken of his frustration.

"“Charlotte needs to expand its talent base, and it has two options to do that. Either fork over the assets needed to acquire a star or play the long game by converting some of its established veterans into prospects and picks.” Buckley wrote. “Ingram, who had the Hornets’ attention this summer, is an ambitious target, but if things again go awry for the New Orleans Pelicans, he could be the primary piece moved in a significant trade, since his upside can’t match that of a healthy Zion Williamson.”"

When playing in the NBA, Ingram has proven capable of shouldering a heavy offensive load while also flashing improvements on the defensive end. Last season, Ingram played in 45 regular-season games for the New Orleans Pelicans, averaging 24.7 points, 5.5 rebounds, and 5.8 assists per game, shooting 39% from 3-point range and 48.4% from the field.

Having a young forward who can score across all three levels, help out on the glass, and work as a secondary initiator is what Charlotte hoped they were getting in Gordon Hayward. However, injury issues have stopped the former All-Star from reaching those heights. As such, Ingram makes a lot of sense for how the Hornets want to play, while he also fits within their contention timeline.

A starting five of LaMelo Ball, Brandon Miller, Brandon Ingram, Miles Bridges, and Mark Williams would have the size, versatility, and scoring punch to push the Hornets onto the next level and potentially take them into the postseason. However, finding a way to acquire Ingram without giving up any of the five players mentioned will be challenging.

Here are three trade packages the Hornets could put together to bring Ingram to the Spectrum Center.

#1 The Hornets give the Pelicans some much-needed ball-handling

The Devonte Graham experiment didn’t work for the New Orleans Pelicans. Entering the new season, the Western Conference team appears to be short on high-level ball handling, putting pressure on C.J. McCollum to work as both a play initiator and primary scorer. Finding a high-level guard is likely high up on the team’s to-do list. That’s where the Hornets come in.

The Hornets can offer Terry Rozier — who is under contract for another three more seasons (including the upcoming one) — and former lottery pick James Bouknight to help solve the Pelicans issues at the guard position. Rozier has proven capable of being an on-ball guard as well as an off-ball guard. Bouknight needs a change of scenery.

If the Pelicans are willing to part ways with Ingram, doing so to improve their guard rotation makes sense. Last season, the Los Angeles Lakers were rumored to hold interest in Rozier, as his improvements and on-court impact make him one of the better non-star guards in the NBA. Rozier would quickly improve the Pelican’s overall offensive flow while also getting the opportunity to operate with the ball in his hands more frequently.

The deal makes sense for both sides but may not be enough to get the Pelicans’ blood pumping.