The Charlotte Hornets are entering a pivotal year for the future of their franchise. This comes after an injury-plagued and overall disappointing season for Charlotte with the team looking for answers. While the front office has made decisions that should help in the long and short term while also carrying over some roster stability, there is a way for their team-building process to be sped up more than a little bit.
A mock trade proposal from James Piercey appearing on NBA Analysis Network has the Hornets agreeing to a massive deal that could take the Hornets from bottom-dweller to a team genuinely competing for postseason play. The deal would have Charlotte sending Terry Rozier, Cody Martin, James Bouknight, and first-round draft selections in 2026, 2028, and 2030 to New Orleans in exchange for Brandon Ingram.
This would be a big-time trade for the Hornets. Landing someone as skilled as Ingram for players who may not be the right fit with the current construction and focus of the roster would transform this team almost instantly. While the concern about adding another wing player into the mix after drafting Brandon Miller is noted, it is not a concern in the eyes of Piercey.
"“Well, that wing is Brandon Ingram. He’s a dynamic shot-creator who can set up his teammates as well. Ingram also has some defensive value. He’s one of the most well-rounded wings in the NBA, and he’s young enough to grow alongside LaMelo Ball. This would be a coup for a small market team like the Hornets.”"
The haul required to acquire Ingram is quite large from a draft capital standpoint. Sending away three first-round picks for a team that could use them to build their team is not necessarily considered ideal. But looking at it from the perspective of taking the guesswork and uncertainty from the draft process out of the equation for a known commodity is too good to pass up.
Charlotte’s top priority must be finding and acquiring top-tier players to put around LaMelo Ball. The draft process is such a gamble, and it cannot be counted on as the primary mode of adding to their team if the Hornets are going to escape the basement of the Eastern Conference.