Making sense of the Hornets' decision to trade Terry Rozier

Philadelphia 76ers v Charlotte Hornets
Philadelphia 76ers v Charlotte Hornets / Jacob Kupferman/GettyImages

Terry Rozier's time with the Charlotte Hornets has come to an end. Charlotte has agreed to a deal that will send Rozier to the Miami Heat in exchange for veteran guard Kyle Lowry and a future first-round draft selection. While this trade has not resonated all that positively among the most devoted Hornets fans, this was a deal that had to be done. 

Rozier is putting up career-highs in points (23.2), assists (6.6), and field goal percentage (45. (%) on 18.8 attempts per game (the highest of his career). This is all coming on a 27.2% usage rate, mostly a product of the Hornets being without LaMelo Ball for an extended period. Rozier being able to overperform during this period resulted in a market developing for his services and Charlotte being able to cash in ahead of the February 8th deadline.

While there has been a sizable amount of people who disliked the trade, that thought process is incredibly shortsighted. What must be understood is the alternative path the Hornets could have taken rather than the one they chose. Getting a first-round pick in return for Rozier is a huge win, even if it is a few years down the road. It is not often that a good, not great, player can garner a first-round draft selection via trade. But the market having few sellers combined with his current inflated value led to the Hornets being able to acquire a tool to help build the team one way or the other.

There is one very important thing to understand. The acquisition of Lowry is not one of genuine interest in seeing him put on a Hornets uniform. Charlotte is looking to flip Lowry before the deadline, and there is a possibility the Hornets get something worthwhile for him.

What all of this comes down to is finally understanding that the Hornets are not going to be competitive for anything of note this season. The expectation that they could was a bit farfetched, to begin with, and those hopes were dashed almost immediately. This roster was not built properly or on a timeline that made much sense from a competitive standpoint. Moving Rozier now allows the organization to get everything aligned in a proper manner rather than the multiple directions they are currently being pulled in.

This Hornets season is ultimately going to end up with a (predictably) disappointing record, but they are going to be in a good spot moving forward in terms of getting back to being competitive. Acquiring draft picks and players to flip for more draft capital is exactly how a team like Charlotte needs to operate at this time. It is going to take a little bit of time, but if done properly, the Hornets will be in a state of competitiveness in a couple of years rather than continuing to navigate the waters of non-competitive basketball.