2 Trade deadline moves that would boost Hornets, 2 they must avoid

Charlotte Hornets general manager Mitch Kupchak answers media
Charlotte Hornets general manager Mitch Kupchak answers media / Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports
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Boost: Take on other teams’ bad contracts

This is what smart teams do while they are rebuilding. Look at promising upstart teams like the Jazz and Thunder. They bottomed out in small markets, but avoided long term rebuilds, in part, by doing everything in their power to collect as many draft picks and assets as possible.

Yes, those teams had more to work with than the Hornets, but you’ve got to start somewhere. There are always teams looking to get off of bad long term contracts and will pay to do so. The Hornets won’t have to worry about paying big money for a competitive roster any time soon, so in the meantime they should be willing to overpay players they may not want nor need as a means to accumulate assets.

This is a no-brainer for a team in the position of the Hornets, and perhaps their easiest way to bring in draft picks. Would D’Angelo Russell be a good fit in Charlotte? Not particularly, but it doesn’t matter.

They can easily afford his $17.3 million contract this season and then he’s a very tradable expiring contract next year. If they can get a first round pick swap or multiple second round picks from the Lakers for Russell that’s a move they should make. Especially because they can likely flip Russell for even more pick equity later.