Hornets have "strong interest" in Zach LaVine

Orlando Magic v Chicago Bulls
Orlando Magic v Chicago Bulls / Jamie Sabau/GettyImages

Get ready to fire up those trade machines. The Hornets are reportedly interested in making a move that was recently suggested, a trade that would see Zach LaVine making his way to Charlotte.

According to a report from Hoops Wire's Sam Amico, the Hornets are one of two named teams with noted interest, while the existence of other known teams is acknowledged. The fact that Charlotte would look to make an aggressive move of this magnitude is incredibly bold. This would be an acquisition that would give the Hornets a star-caliber guard combo with LaMelo Ball that can be built around. 

As exciting as this proposition would be, it may be best to curb any excitement for a trade for LaVine for the time being. It is noted that the current state of LaVine's contract may be a source of hesitation for the Hornets. LaVine has cap hits of $43 and $45 million in the next two seasons. This is in addition to $40 million for this season, and another $48 million for 2026-27 should LaVine exercise his player option.

It is certainly understandable why the Hornets may have some reservations about LaVine with his deal, considering the five-year $205 million contract extension they signed LaMelo Ball to begins next year. Having this much money allocated to just two players on their roster when they are not all that close to being competitive at this particular moment.

With the Hornets residing in their current position in the standings and in the team-building cycle, this may not be the right time for the Hornets to acquire someone of LaVine's caliber. The roster construction process needs to be handled incredibly carefully, and attempting to fast forward at the wrong time can lead to having to start over completely, a scenario which often sees a regime change come with it.

However, that does not mean that they should not pursue the chance to land a player like LaVine. This is an opportunity that does not come around all that much and one that should be given serious consideration if the Hornets' interest is indeed genuine.