5 Hornets trades to watch for ahead of NBA trade deadline

Charlotte Hornets v Miami Heat
Charlotte Hornets v Miami Heat / Megan Briggs/GettyImages
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Trade 3: Hayward Heads to Western Conference Contender

Hornets Receive:

Davis Bertans (2yrs/$34 Million)

Vasiliji Micic (3yrs/$23.1 Million)

2024 First-Round Pick (Worst of LAC, Houston, Utah, Unprotected)

Thunder Receive:

Gordon Hayward (1yr/$31.5 Million)

The Thunder are going to get very expensive and fast. In two years, they are going to have to start paying their young core, many of whom will demand maximum deals. They don't have long left under the cap, and they need to capitalize while they can by locking in elite talent. They can go over the cap to re-sign their players but not to sign other players, which leaves a window of just one offseason to set their permanent plan in motion.

This deal opens up a max spot this offseason for the Thunder. They obviously have the assets to target a superstar with their plethora of first-round picks, but if they don't do it this offseason, the deal will HAVE to include one of their foundational pieces. Should they make said move this offseason, though, they will be able to give up purely draft capital and retain their immense depth.

Don't be fooled by the whole Gordon Hayward for a first-round pick side of it. If you look at the details of the pick, it's likely to fall in the late 20's. The Thunder also don't need to worry about picks; they currently have 36 tradeable first and second-round picks.

For the Hornets, they add an elite shooter in Davis Bertans, helping them space the floor and further aid the development of LaMelo Ball, Brandon Miller, Nick Smith Jr, and Mark Williams. They also receive another first-round pick, further bolstering their growing cabinet of future draft assets.