5 Hornets trades to watch for ahead of NBA trade deadline

Charlotte Hornets v Miami Heat
Charlotte Hornets v Miami Heat / Megan Briggs/GettyImages
4 of 5

Trade 4: Richards Joins Pelicans

Hornets Receive:

Larry Nance Jr. (2yrs/$21 Million)

2025 First-Round Pick (via Milwaukee, Protected 5-30, Becomes Second-Round Picks in 2026 and 2027 if not conveyed.)

Pelicans Receive:

Nick Richards (3yrs/$15 Million)

Ish Smith (1yr/$2 Million)

According to Jake Fischer, Nick Richards is a hot name on the market right now as a reserve big on a good value contract. One such team that may be interested in his services is New Orleans, who are currently either playing Cody Zeller as their backup big or are experimenting with the 6'6" Zion Williamson at the five. Either way you cut it, neither is going to work in a playoff scenario, and the Pelicans will likely want to improve the situation given their current seeding (fifth).

They also get off the large contract of Larry Nance Jr, which gives them nearly $30 million in cap space this off-season. I have no doubt they could tempt some veterans to join a young core of Williamson, Ingram, Murphy, Jones, and Daniels. They could also target a star via trade when one inevitably becomes available, with nine tradable first-round picks. Ish Smith is simply salary filler to make the math work.

The Hornets take in Larry Nance Jr, who could offer some veteran leadership. Most importantly, though, is obviously the first-rounder. The pick almost definitely won't convey, but two seconds for the services of Nick Richards is a deal the Hornets have to be interested in.