The group of players that make up the Hornets’ roster is very different than the group of players that will be in Charlotte when the season ends. Keeping that in mind, it is wise to explore possible trade options the Hornets could make before the season starts.
One such trade suggestion comes from Bleacher Report’s Zach Buckley in the newly published Trade Ideas for Every NBA Team 1 Week Before 2023-24 Season article. Charlotte’s entry into the list features the Hornets trading veteran guard Terry Rozier west to the LA Clippers. In exchange, Nic Batum, Robert Covington, Brandon Boston Jr., and a top-five protected first-round draft selection in 2028.
Buckley would note that the Hornets do have a bright future, and they should work to give their young group of players the opportunity to grow together. Additionally, the Clippers may not be able to agree to a deal that nets them James Harden, which is why it could be wise for the Hornets to be a little aggressive on the trade market.
"“That’s why, if we’re the Hornets, we’d be looking to ship out veterans for future-focused assets. Rozier could perhaps emerge as a more cost-effective alternative than James Harden for the Clippers, and if he does, Charlotte might want to pounce.”"
The potential of Boston Jr. and the future first-round draft selection are obviously the long-term highlights of the deal, but it would be unwise to discount Batum and Covington. Adding two veterans into the mix of their bench rotation could help raise the floor in Charlotte, something that is desperately needed.
Would this trade make the Hornets significantly better this season? Probably not. But this is still a path that the decision-makers in Charlotte would be wise to pursue. It is about finding a way to stabilize the foundation of the organization so that when it is time to actually contend, they will be more than ready to do so.