This trade requires the assumption that the Clippers are basically just done with Hyland and ready to move on from him without having to pay him next year. If they are looking for an asset, then this is probably not a deal worth pursuing.
But if they just want to dump him, then the Hornets need to step in and become that dumping ground. Sending back Ish Smith would be perfect here, as it would prevent Steve Clifford from playing him, and Hornets fans from being forced to watch him play.
Smith may well be a better NBA player than Hyland right now, and could possibly provide more utility to a Clippers team contending for a title. If Harden or Westbrook were to miss time, they could trust the veteran Smith to slot in and provide reliable play off the bench.
That’s really not something the Hornets need right now, and his minutes would be better served going to a young player’s development, much like the 23-year-old Bones Hyland. Even if Smith is useless to the Clips, he expires at the end of the season.
That alone may be enough to get the Clippers to the negotiating table. For the Hornets, it’s a cheap stab at a spark plug, microwave scoring type player, who could optimally become an elite NBA sixth man for the Hornets someday.