Proposed trade with Spurs would ruin Hornets' chemistry

This imagined deal with San Antonio would set Charlotte back in the locker room.
Grant Williams, Charlotte Hornets
Grant Williams, Charlotte Hornets / David Jensen/GettyImages

Only a few days remain until the NBA Draft Lottery in Chicago. On Sunday, the Charlotte Hornets along with the other 13 teams that did not qualify for the playoffs will gather their representatives and wait to find out where they will be picking in this year's draft. Of course, this will cause a ripple effect that will set up each team's offseason moves from there.

The Hornets' new management has shown themselves to be decisive and unafraid of making bold moves in their short tenure as team owners thus far. So they are undoubtedly already planning out the various scenarios that can unfold in the lottery and working to make sure they capitalize on whatever circumstances they end up in.

Charlotte just traded away several big pieces at the deadline in February, and they will be keeping a sharp eye out for any moves that could improve this team in the coming weeks. Recently, Bleacher Report crafted a trade proposal between the Hornets and Spurs that would see Charlotte acquire their old friend Devonte' Graham along with a first-round pick, sending San Antonio Grant Williams in the process.

It is rather unclear what exactly the Hornets would accomplish by agreeing to this imagined trade. Of course Graham would be welcome back in the city that he played for the first three seasons of his career, but it is hard to see this move as anything other than a downgrade for Charlotte.

CHA/SAS Grant Williams trade

Losing Grant Williams would hurt the Hornets' team culture

The biggest reason why this trade should elicit an instant rejection from the Hornets' front office is the fact that Grant Williams has meant so much to this organization since he arrived. Grant may not be an All-Star caliber player, but on top of his obviously solid on-court contributions is the notable effect he has had in Charlotte's locker room.

Originally from Charlotte, Williams was positively thrilled to be traded to his home town at the deadline. He has embraced being a Hornet from day one, and the energy he brings to the team is palpable. Multiple times over the course of his time with the Hornets this past season, Grant stressed his understanding of his role as a veteran, and his desire to do his part to connect the dots and help Charlotte take the right steps toward becoming a consistent winner.

On paper, losing him may not be such a big hit. But when considering the intangibles, he should be considered near-untouchable. At the very least, the Hornets would need more than just Devonte' Graham and one draft pick, with all due respect to Graham.

The 2025 first-rounder included in this deal actually originally belonged to Charlotte, having been traded to New York and Atlanta before landing in the hands of the Spurs. The pick is currently top 14 protected, but San Antonio could hypothetically change the protections on it before packaging it in a trade. In the end, it may not end up being as valuable an asset as it initially appears.

Realistically, the Hornets' guard rotation is deep enough that Devonte' Graham would not be guaranteed to play a lot of minutes. So as a whole, there is not one part of this trade that is particularly sensible from Charlotte's side of things. If this deal were sent to the office of the Hornets' management in real life, they would do best to swiftly turn it away.