The NBA’s trade season is in full swing, as the deadline is just five days away. Rumors are everywhere, but it’s getting to be “put up or shut up” time, very quickly. Competing teams across the league are looking to add talent, and they are rapidly running out of dance partners.
This is good for the Hornets, who are actively engaging with teams, and looking to facilitate as many deals as possible. There was a report by Matt Moore of the Action Network on Saturday that the Hornets and Magic have been engaged in trade talks regarding Kyle Lowry, and there were some rumblings related to Miles Bridges within that article as well.
Moore affirmed previous reporting by Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports that said the Suns are the leaders in the clubhouse to land Bridges at the moment, which I’ve touched on plenty. But Moore also mentioned that the Dallas Mavericks have “shown significant interest” in Bridges as well.
The more teams that are interested, the better for the Hornets, and this is especially true due to the depleted assets and underwhelming package Phoenix can put together. Dallas doesn’t exactly have a treasure chest of assets themselves, but they could make a far more compelling offer than the Suns.
What the Mavericks can offer
For one, the Mavericks can actually offer a first-round pick, something the Suns cannot. Whether the Mavs would actually be willing to put a first-rounder on the table is another matter, but you’d have to think it’s something they would at least consider.
If Dallas puts a 2026 or 2027 first-round pick on the table, even if it’s lottery-protected, the Hornets should be thrilled. Even a late future first would be a great asset to add to the bank in Charlotte. Dallas is low on second-rounders, but they do have a couple they could toss into a deal for Bridges.
The Mavericks also have more promising young players to trade than the Suns. While Dereck Lively II would almost certainly be off-limits, Josh Green, Jaden Hardy, and Olivier-Maxence Prosper could be on the table if they want Bridges badly enough.
Green is least likely to be had, as he’s already an established part of the Mavericks’ rotation and has fit well as a role player. But the 21-year-old sophomore, Hardy and the 20-year-old rookie, Prosper aren’t consistent contributors.
Either player could immediately get a shot for the Hornets while rebuilding, and it’s not at all unreasonable to think both players could carve out a meaningful role. If the Hornets can get any of the three young players and a first-round pick they should take it. If it’s one of those players and second-round picks then they should at least think about it - I still prefer that deal to anything Phoenix can offer.
But if they aren’t willing to put any of those three players, nor a first-round pick in the deal, then the Hornets would be better off just keeping Miles. Hopefully, more teams will show interest and drive up the price as we get closer to the deadline and the market continues to dry up.