This year's NBA trade deadline was absolutely bonkers. Everything started off pretty tame at first with only a few trades happening, and then the final 30 minutes hit and it was like a gatling gun of trades. Heads were spinning and twitter timelines were constantly moving as everybody reacted and tried to understand what was going on. You can relive it all with our open thread and watch how everybody reacted live to the insanity that was the 2015 NBA trade deadline.
Of course, not everybody in the NBA made a trade today even if it sure felt like it. The Hornets decided that their best course of action for today was to stand pat and not make a trade. Funny how after the early parts of the season was filled with trade rumors and speculation on Lance Stephenson's future in Charlotte nothing ended up happening with him. In fact the only player that did get moved this season was last year's trade deadline acquisition, Gary Neal. The trade brought in long time veteran point guard Mo Williams and gave the Hornets some much needed point guard depth, but it's possible Charlotte could have done more.
The Hornets have struggled all season in multiple areas, and their problems stretch out much farther than Lance Stephenson. This team can't shoot 3-pointers consistently and their offense is the second worst in the NBA. The roster is in desperate need of some offensive upgrades and today was the perfect day to piggy back on to a trade and get a player that another team is trying to dump for salary cap reasons. An opportunity to improve was missed.
However, was any of this unexpected? The only rumors the Hornets have been involved in all season has been that they were trying to move Lance Stephenson. Trading him was the one goal the organization appears to have had, and nobody in the NBA was going to work with them. Charlotte chose to stand their ground and not sell any lower than they wanted to. There's something to be said for a team that's willing to be patient and see what they have with a fully healthy roster. After all, the Hornets have had arguably the best defense in the NBA this season when they're healthy and a trade to improve the offense could throw that defense off balance. Is a trade for a small gain on offense worth the possible drop off on the other side of the ball?
It's disappointing that Charlotte chose to not try and improve their deplorable offense at what appears to have been their best chance to do so, even if it was expected, but it's what everybody expected. Charlotte was not going to make a trade unless the deal that approached them was perfect, and we've seen that the last few days with multiple reports saying the Hornets were probably not going to get involved today.
So now that the deadline has passed what should the Hornets be doing? Well for starters they need to evaluate their talent. The roster is going to be healthy at some point but it remains flawed. Veterans like Al Jefferson are getting older and young players like Kemba Walker and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist are entering their primes. Can this core compete or do they need to go after a big name in free agency? Are these role players good enough to get to the conference finals with? These are questions the front office should be asking itself.
The trade deadline has come and gone and focus for the Hornets will shift. A race to the playoffs is imminent and everybody battling for those last two seeds, in the East, got a little better today. The Hornets chose to stand pat with their roster as is and now it's time to see if that paid off for them.