Target #3: Bones Hyland, Los Angeles Clippers
Hyland was a promising rookie for the Nuggets in the 2021-22 season, but quickly fell out of favor before being dumped to the Clippers, where he’s gotten buried on the bench yet again. Hyland is an electric microwave scorer, but the 6’2” guard has been a liability on defense and hasn’t been able to run an efficient offense as a point guard.
Those are major issues for teams vying for a title, like the Nuggets and Clippers. But the Hornets are already terrible on defense and could afford to give an extended look to a player who showed the potential to be an elite scorer at times as a rookie.
Hyland could likely be added for basically nothing at this point, and the Clippers would probably be happy to part with his (small) salary for a late, protected pick that will never convey, or a similar expiring contract.
He may never blossom into a star, or even a starting-caliber player, but could he become a very good 6th man who can take over a game? Absolutely. There is a world where Bones can carve out a career like that of Lou Williams or Jamaal Crawford back in the day, or something like what Cam Thomas is doing for the Nets right now.
This is exactly the type of upside swing the Hornets should be taking, and if it doesn’t work out, they’ll be no worse for trying.