(Note: This post serves as a counterpoint to the argument in favor of the Charlotte Hornets pushing to acquire Zach LaVine from the Chicago Bulls).
There is about to be a bidding war of sorts for Chicago Bulls star Zach LaVine. The two parties have reportedly agreed to explore potential trade opportunities, according to a report from The Athletic’s Shams Charania (subscription required). A door is being opened for teams to add a star-caliber player to their current roster configuration, and many will jump at that chance. But the Charlotte Hornets should not be one of them.
This is an organization that needs to understand where they are from a competitive standpoint and identify the proper path forward toward improving the roster. Making a big-time move for a player is incredibly appealing as it would help speed up their rebuild process, this much is true. However, a move for LaVine would not fit the template that teams like the Hornets have to follow.
Charlotte, and other teams that have certain constraints, are forced to operate in a certain manner. An approach that can be best described as risk-averse. This means that they must be extremely well-calculated in the way they approach their team-building process and moves for high-profile players like Zach LaVine are more often than not off the table.
What it comes down to is the Hornets operating within their means. There are immediate and long-term ramifications that must be taken into account when it comes to a swing-for-the-fences deal such as this one.
The reality of the situation is the Hornets are not a Zach LaVine away from being a contender at this juncture. Taking the risk of giving up what would be required to acquire LaVine from Chicago is simply too much for the Hornets right now. Staying the course and playing the long game is a better process for this team to follow right now. The possibility of this move not working out and having to completely start over is a risk they should not consider taking.