To say the Charlotte Hornets are off to a slow start is an understatement. They're off to a horrible start, and are currently on a nine game losing streak. The important thing is the Hornets aren't panicking and
Report: Hornets aggressively talking trade, willing to deal anyone besides Kemba Walker and Al Jefferson http://t.co/A71mDoo24J— Kurt Helin (@basketballtalk) December 1, 2014
Looks like Zach Lowe said the same thing in an article he wrote about the Hornets struggles.
Yeah, it took the Hornets just one month of losing to get the trade rumors flowing. The name that's been flying around all over the place, but with no actual evidence so far, is Lance Stephenson. Although the most telling reason as to why he seems to be the likely trade piece is this excerpt from Lowe's article.
Stephenson is an easy scapegoat, and that's partly his own doing. His body language has been horrible, and that degrades morale. He pouts when he doesn't get the ball on the weak side, flapping his wings and looking skyward as if his teammates have wronged him. He steals rebounds, and he hot dogs with the ball at times.
Lowe further explains how Stephenson is not the only problem, and anybody that has watched the Hornets this year knows that, but there were red flags with him coming in. Everybody knew Stephenson had the potential to be a locker room problem, and it's possible that he has become one. But this is all speculation in trying to figure out what the Hornets gameplan is here.
It's possible these trades have nothing to do with locker room and chemistry issues, and the team is just looking to find better fits. Sometimes a talented roster just doesn't fit together, which could be the case with this roster. The Kurt Helin report did state that the only two players the Hornets are not looking at trading are Kemba Walker and Al Jefferson. While Jefferson makes sense, being the best player on the team, Walker being untouchable is interesting. He's been just as bad as anybody else this season, and has been plenty a contributor to Charlotte's problems. This might be the Hornets not wanting to give up on their recently signed contract. It could also once again be a locker room thing, teams don't like to trading away good locker room players, and that might be Kemba's role with the team.
However, if that report is accurate, where does this leave Michael Kidd-Gilchrist? Injury aside, Kidd-Gilchrist had a fantastic start to the season. His defense was at an all NBA level, he was playing aggressive, getting to the rim constantly, and his jump shot was much improved. He really appeared to be coming into his own as a player. If Kidd-Gilchrist really is available then there has to be a high asking price for him.
It's concerning that the Hornets already are looking to trade players, but a lot of this is rumor talk. There is some validity to these rumors, but it's possible the team leaked that information to tell the Hornets players that they need to get their problems fixed, or the team is going to fix it for them, or maybe the team really is ready to sell away everybody if it means getting pieces that fit better. There's a lot of smoke and mirrors with trade rumors and right now the best we can do is speculate until clearer information presents itself.