Could the Charlotte Hornets trade Terry Rozier to a Western Conference contender? That is what has been proposed in a recent article appearing on NBA Analysis Network.
The hypothetical deal has the Hornets agreeing to terms on a deal that would send Rozier to the LA Clippers. Charlotte would receive Marcus Morris Sr., Brandon Boston Jr., Jason Preston, and the Clippers first-round draft pick in 2029 with Top 5 protection. This deal is made with the main acquisition being the first-round draft selection in the eyes of the author.
"“By contrast, Boston Jr. is more of a traditional off-guard. His opportunities have been limited on the contending Clippers, but he’s flashed some upside. Still, the main benefit of this deal for the Hornets isn’t losing Rozier, and it isn’t gaining Boston Jr., either. The Hornets do this deal to shed Rozier’s contract and pick up a protected first-round pick.”"
While it would be preferable that the draft pick coming back to Charlotte does not come with any sort of protection, it is understandable why the Clippers would want that in the deal. There is the possibility that by the time the 2029 NBA Draft comes around, that Los Angeles is no longer a good team, meaning that the pick could be in play for them and not the Hornets. It is unlikely that Kawhi Leonard (32), Paul George (33), and Russell Westbrook (34) are still on the roster that far down the road, or if they are, they are less impactful than they are in their current state.
This would be a massive but ultimately necessary gamble for the Hornets. Rozier’s fit alongside LaMelo Ball is questionable, and it may be best to find a more compatible player to insert into their starting lineup. Additionally, this is a team that has their best days far ahead of them. Allowing the young players on this team to gel early on could pay massive dividends down the line.
Charlotte would also have the option to hang on to the draft pick from the Clippers or trade it away in order to acquire a known commodity when the roster is a little more stable. For a team like Charlotte, it is about exploring any and all avenues to improve their team and that includes a deal such as the one proposed here.