The Charlotte Hornets are ragtag bunch of misfits who happen to make it into the first-round of the 2016 NBA Playoffs. The team is a few pieces away from being a legitimate fifth seed in the eastern conference next season.
Potential trade targets include Greg Monroe and Rudy Gay. Both have been actively shopped by their respective teams since earlier this summer. The Hornets have enough assets to acquire either of the two while keeping their core group intact.
According to Jerry Stephens of Swarm And Sting, the Hornets can get Monroe in exchange for Jeremy Lamb and a future first-round draft pick. Lamb’s departure won’t affect the team significantly. It just means Nicolas Batum would be playing more minutes at the shooting guard spot, backed by Italian sharpshooter Marco Belinelli.
As for the draft pick, the Hornets can do away with it since much of their success have been instigated by trades and free agency signings. Some have criticized the team’s legendary owner for being a poor judge of rookie talent.
It can be remembered that Michael Jordan had a huge hand in selecting players like Brandan Wright, Adam Morrison and Kwame Brown over Joakim Noah, Brandon Roy and Pau Gasol.
Monroe’s troubles with the Milwaukee Bucks can be attributed to fit rather than talent issues. Jason Kidd wants to play an up-tempo style of offense with tall players who are quick on their feet. Despite his best efforts, Monroe lost some of his minutes to up-and-comers Jabari Parker, Giannis Antetokounmpo and John Henson.
Gay is in a similar predicament with the Sacramento Kings. He has been one of the most stable contributors for the team. However, stability is not a word closely associated with the Kings organization.
Also Read: Rudy Gay To Miami Heat?
After being traded to the Kings in 2013, Gay signed a multi-year contract extension with the team in hopes of building another title contender in Sac-Town. Of course, that’s far from the truth as constant in-team bickering has stalled the rebuilding process.
In an interview with Sac Town Royalty, Gay said suiting up and giving it his all on the court is the only thing he can do. He does not want to involve himself in the turmoil, but his indifference also has a negative effect. He has no clue about his new teammates or what direction the team is heading.
Stephens described Gay to the Hornets as a realistic scenario. The trade would involve Jeremy Lamb, Spencer Hawes and a future first-round draft pick. If Gay exercises his player option with the Hornets for the 2017-18 season, his $14.2 million salary would be a cheap bargain under the NBA’s new TV deal.