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Charlotte Hornets news and notes, 1/4/2019

We’ve got a timetable for Cody Zeller’s return and some trade rumblings to discuss.

NBA: Charlotte Hornets at Brooklyn Nets Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports

The Charlotte Hornets have announced a projected timetable for Cody Zeller’s return from a broken hand.

The four to six week recovery time means the Hornets should have their starting center back before the All Star break. It remains to be seen if they can keep their head above water until then.

In other news, Sean Deveney of Sporting News is reporting that the Hornets have reached out to teams to gauge the trade value of Frank Kaminsky. Deveney says that the fourth year big man has received interest from several teams, including some contenders.

In his piece, Deveney also mentions that the Hornets are “desperate” to get out from under the final two years of Nicolas Batum’s contract and are trying to attach him to a trade involving Kaminsky.

Charlotte, according to league sources, is desperate to get out of the two years and $52 million remaining on Nicolas Batum’s salary, and at least one team was told that Kaminsky could be had if Batum were included.

Attaching a contract like Nicolas Batum’s or Bismack Biyombo’s to a trade centered around Frank Kaminsky seems ambitious to say the least. The former Badger is clearly not in the Hornets long term plans, so general Mitch Kupchak doesn’t have much leverage in that regard. Kaminsky is also on the final year of his rookie deal and will be a restricted free agent this summer, which further depresses his trade value.

The NBA trade deadline is on February 7th, so expect the trade rumors to start heating up in the coming weeks. The Hornets front office clearly isn’t content with the current state of the team, so it’s likely a move is coming. Stay patient.