The Charlotte Hornets announced Wednesday afternoon that backup point guard Ramon Sessions will be out of action for 4-6 weeks following surgery to repair a lateral meniscus in his left knee.
In the latest edition of “this is why we can have nice things,” the Hornets are now looking at playing backup-to-the-backup point guard Brian Roberts heavy minutes to spell already-overwhelmed All-Star Kemba Walker at the point.
The news comes at a particularly bad time for the team. Charlotte barely managed to put together a messy win against the worst team in the Association last night with a 111-107 win against the hopeless Brooklyn Nets. It was the first win in 7 games, the last of which was also against the league’s worst team.
Starting center Cody Zeller is still out, and while team officials are optimistic he could return to action Thursday against the Houston Rockets, there is no solid information on his exact return date.
The injury hits Charlotte’s depth chart at perhaps its weakest point. Even with Sessions, the Hornets have struggled mightily this season when Walker has gone to the bench. The backup point guard spot was highlighted early and often as a role that needed strengthening.
It doesn't seem likely, but its possible this development could turn into a boon for the aching franchise. Zeller’s persistent absence became such glaring hindrance that the team made the move to trade for backup center Miles Plumlee last week.
Perhaps this injury will force GM Rich Cho’s hand into finally making a deal to improve the backup guard spot and significantly bolster the second unit.
Thats where there is some good news.
The NBA has never been deeper at the point guard spot than it is right now, and several teams have two or even three floor generals that could start for a given team.
Minnesota Timberwolves guard Ricky Rubio was already the source of significant trade rumors earlier this year, though the recent injury to backcourt counterpart Zach Levine may have temporarily curbed that.
The Phoenix Suns have garnered much derision for dealing the white-hot supernova talent that is Isaiah Thomas- perhaps the most interesting player in the league this year-as well as All-NBA talent Goran Tragic; and yet they somehow still have too many point guards. Brandon Knight and Eric Bledsoe are both rumored to be available.
Its unclear what we’d have to give up to get a significant player like the aforementioned, and any team we enter talks with will know we have the disadvantage of “needing what they have.” Charlotte’s front office isn't the type to make splashy moves, and historically we have had to overpay to get significant players on the roster.
Then again, for the most part, those moves have worked out well. Just in recent memory, Charlotte traded first round picks (or in the case of Noah Vonleh, a recently picked first rounder,) for Nicolas Batum and Marco Belinelli, arguably two of the teams most important players.
Personally, I wouldn't mind parting with another first rounder for a significant player. The Hornets are perpetually stuck in the “low-seed playoff/late lottery pick” range, and Michael Jordan just doesn't seem like the type that will ever sign off on a full scale “Process” like tank job.
Without making a move, this years draft pick will likely be in the late teen to early twenties range again. This is purportedly one of the deepest drafts in a long time, but even still, its not that deep.
With the caliber of names I’ve seen floated around as available for a first round pick, it feels like we might as well swing for the fences.
Who (within reason) would you like to see the Hornets target? Let us know in the comments.