Hornets Trade News and Rumors
With 2 days left before the Feb 18 trading deadline, Charlotte Hornets have been active to trade players in order to reach playoff in the competitive Eastern Conference this year.
- MKG 2nd injury on torn labrum pushed the Hornets to make moves because the Hornets will miss his defensive presence and rebounding ability. The Hornets upgraded in SG/SF position by trading for Courtney Lee from Memphis Grizzlies in a 3-team trade that sent PJ Hairston and two 2nd-round picks to Memphis and Brian Roberts to Miami Heat. Rich Cho commented this as fulfilling the need in “3 and defense”. The 3rd string PG vacancy would be filled from the D-League.
- The Hornets are also in trade talks with Houston Rockets to assess what it takes to bring Dwight Howard in to provide defensive presence at the center position. Charlotte clearly does not think Cody Zeller and Spencer Hawes are able to provide consistent rebounding and defensive presence necessary to reach the playoff. It remains unknown if the Hornets are willing to give up valuable assets including 1st round pick
Summary: The Hornets are willing to make moves to reach the playoff. The desired need is for wing presence (Courtney Lee) who can play defense and shoot 3s and center (potentially Dwight Howard) to provide rebounding and defense. But the Hornets are not willing to give up many assets or 1st round picks. These players have expiring contract in 2016 so they are potentially only 3-month rentals. Jeremy Lin seems to be assigned role as backup PG/SG/SF for the time being with the loss of 3rd-string PG in Brian Roberts Link: GM Rich Cho Transcript on Courtney Lee Trade
Feb 18, 2016 Update
The Hornets was not willing to give up more assets to trade for Dwight Howard more than Al Jefferson’s expiring contract and Spencer Hawes so the Rockets did not follow through. The Bucks was reportedly interested but declined when Dwight Howard refused to opt in for 2016-17 so it did not make sense to have 2-month rental of Dwight’s service.