Could the Charlotte Hornets have a midseason fire sale?

Terry Rozier, Charlotte Hornets, (Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images)
Terry Rozier, Charlotte Hornets, (Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images) /

Is a midseason fire sale on the table for the Charlotte Hornets? It could be, according to Bleacher Report’s Greg Swartz. Swartz, in his 10 Trade Predictions for 2023-24 NBA Season article, predicted the Hornets, Wizards, and Trail Blazers to have a fire sale at some point this season. While noting that Charlotte may not be an obvious choice from the start, it is the act of pulling in two different directions that could lead to the team trading away some of their veteran players.

"“The Charlotte Hornets will begin the season with intentions of trying to compete with a healthy LaMelo Ball and the return of Miles Bridges, but this team still has a lot of holes and is trying to balance two timelines. The Hornets owe their 2024 lottery-protected first-round pick to the San Antonio Spurs, so they’ll have an incentive to tank if they’re outside of the playoff picture late in the season.Look for the Hornets to eventually trade away veterans like Gordon Hayward, Terry Rozier and possibly even Bridges (an unrestricted free agent in 2024) while leaning heavily on Ball, Brandon Miller and Mark Williams.”"

While this does seem to be full of doom and gloom, it is far from it. Taking a decisive step in either direction is a must for the Hornets in their rebuild process. The worst thing a team can do is try to be competitive with a roster that is not built for it. The half-in half-out approach never works as intended, and in the leaves the organization worse off than they were before.

It is also about taking stock of what the franchise has currently. There is a known commodity in LaMelo Ball, and that is about it. Mark Williams showed flashes at the end of last season, but whether that was an outlier performance or his true talent level remains to be seen. Brandon Miller is someone they are counting on to be a key part of their rotation moving forward, but it is not known whether his skill set can translate to the NBA and be a big-time contributor for this team.

Charlotte must recognize what the best-case scenario for their roster is as currently constructed. At best, it is a spot in the Play-In Tournament, and at worst, it is another season that sees losses pile up and ending up in the NBA Draft Lottery yet again. This is not the type of team that should be counted on to make any sort of noise in the Eastern Conference.

If the evaluation process results in a midseason fire sale, the team may be better off in the short and long term because of it. Being able to distribute minutes to the young players who need them while at the same time acquiring some assets to improve the team down the line may be the best path forward for this organization at the present time.