Wish #3: Understand value and urgency
This is my biggest wish of them all, that the Hornets' plans and visions are aligned with mine. It is paramount that the team understands the worth of their players and their value in the market. And also that the team understands the urgency around each player and each move. If those opinions are wrong, the rest almost doesn’t matter.
Kupchak and company need to realize that Hayward and Lowry should be sold to any team that is offering any shred of an asset. Lowry will be gone for nothing - likely on a buyout - and Hayward is expiring as well. They could re-sign him but it’s not the most inspiring path. If Charlotte can get a second-round pick or any half-decent players, they should pounce.
It’s also vital to properly judge the current and future values of guys like Washington, Bridges, and Richards. Washington is a solid player on a good contract, but for that reason, his value may never be higher than it is right now. If a team will give up a combination of first-round draft picks and/or young players, the team shouldn’t hesitate to get it done.
The same goes for Bridges, but his contract is expiring. If a first-round pick is on the table, take it, but if not they have Bridges’ Bird Rights and could sign him to extend the asset and trade him down the road. They do not need to sacrifice Miles to the highest bidder if they don’t like the best offer.
Richards is in a similar boat to Washington, he’s just not as highly sought after. But there’s a good chance his value is at its apex and the Hornets should sell high if a good offer emerges - a first-round pick or young players(s). Strike while the iron is hot.
Take on bad deals to acquire assets. The Hornets should be trying to help facilitate as many deals as possible. If they can jump in as a third team in deals, and get paid in picks to take on contracts, they should absolutely do it. It’s a great way to accumulate picks, and if that means taking on guys like Andrew Wiggins, D’Angelo Russell, or even Ben Simmons they need to jump at the chance.
The short-term plan should not be to win games, so overpaying players won’t matter. Also, it won’t be bad to have some true professionals around some of the younger players. A little bit of leadership could go a long way.
Furthermore, in low-stakes games with large roles, there’s a chance these players could do well and revive their value. They could become re-trade candidates down the road, allowing the Hornets to grab even more assets, or possibly even stay with the Hornets and become veteran leaders and impact role players when the team is ready to start their ascent.
Let’s hope that the Hornets' visions and plans are in line with my wishes and that we see eye to eye. Despite the rough season, there are some big opportunities for the team to vastly improve and accelerate their rebuild. With the right moves, this can end up being a day we look back on fondly, as a day that helped fuel the turnaround.