It certainly seems like at some point during this season, the Charlotte Hornets are going to make at least one trade. There is one player in particular who is constantly mentioned in trade rumors, 33-year-old forward Gordon Hayward. Hayward is entering the final year of his deal and could be of interest to quite a few teams across the league.
One such team, in the eyes of one individual, would be the Portland Trail Blazers. A mock trade proposal has Charlotte sending Hayward and second-round picks in 2024, 2027, and 2028 to Portland while receiving forward Jerami Grant in return.
The main argument for the Hornets being inclined to make the deal, besides unloading Hayward’s expiring deal, is finding a way to acquire a productive player. Charlotte is not a free-agent destination, and it is unlikely that is going to change any time soon. Dealing some of the future second-round picks, which are lottery ticket picks most of the time anyway, in addition to Hayward to land Grant, would be a big win for the Hornets.
"“There’s another factor that impacts how teams view contracts: how easily do they attract talent? That’s something that Charlotte struggles with. Here, they’re willing to take on an undesirable contract because they’ve got more limited means of improving their team than some of the bigger markets. “"
Would this be an intriguing addition for the Hornets? Absolutely. However, a move such as this would require some other moving parts to maximize the value of the trade. This is a Hornets team that has a logjam of players at the forward position, including Miles Bridges, Brandon Miller, and P.J. Washington. The uncertainty of Bridges’ availability is currently an issue, as well as the unknown that is Charlotte’s second-overall second pick. This would provide the Hornets with a different path to take later in the season (more on that in a second) in case things are not working out as they have hoped.
The later part mentioned above is due to the deal that Grant signed with the Trail Blazers. Grant is not able to be traded until near the trade deadline, which could be more than enough time for the Hornets to evaluate the situation properly. Should Charlotte find themselves of a different option at the forward position, bringing in Grant would certainly help their cause.