Top 3 trade targets for Hornets are very intriguing

Milwaukee Bucks v Charlotte Hornets
Milwaukee Bucks v Charlotte Hornets / Streeter Lecka/GettyImages
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It took until almost February, but the Charlotte Hornets have finally come to their senses and have started making moves with their future in mind. Terry Rozier has been dealt to Miami, and the player coming along with a draft pick, Kyle Lowry, is also expected to be traded sooner rather than later. Another player who could be on the outs is veteran forward Gordon Hayward, and it seems to be only a matter of time before he ends up in a new place to call home. 

With the Hornets front office and coaching staff realizing that the 2023-24 season is going to amount to nothing from a competitive standpoint, they have turned their eyes to future seasons, a time when they should be more competitive.

The roster rest in Charlotte has resulted in a refocused list of potential trade targets. No longer are there win now moves on the list but rather acquisitions which should help their long-term outlook. Potential acquisitions that fit this description have been outlined by Bleacher Report's Zach Buckley in Every NBA Team's Top 3 Trade-Deadline Targets. The grouping put together by Buckley is incredibly intriguing and would be a great path forward to the long-awaited rebuild in Charlotte.

1. Draft Picks

This is an obvious no-brainer for the Hornets, considering their current state. The widely held expectation is that Charlotte is going to be willing to take on higher salaried players as long as some form of draft capital is attached to the compensation coming back. This process has already begun with the Rozier-Lowry swap, as the Hornets received a future first-round draft selection from the Miami Heat.

It is understandable why there has been an underwhelming response to the player and pick swap that took place. Future draft picks are hard to get excited for, particularly when there are protections attached and could come to Charlotte in one of two years. That relative uncertainty about this traded draft pick results in heavily curbed enthusiasm, even though that is the wrong way to look at it.

What must be remembered is that there is more than one way for this pick to be used by the Hornets in an effort to improve their roster. They could wait until the year the draft pick is in, 2027 or 2028, or they could utilize their newly acquired asset via trade to land an established player of some kind. Should the rebuild in Charlotte go faster than anticipated at this moment, it would not be surprising to see this route being taken by the organization.

If there is a certain level of growth and chemistry between LaMelo Ball, Brandon Miller, and Mark Williams, in addition to the additional acquisitions from the organization by that point, the Hornets could look to acquire a star-caliber player to supplement what should be an exciting and talented core of players in Charlotte. The best way to make that possible is to acquire more draft picks now for players who are not going to be part of their competitive future.