Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report recently released an update on some of the latest trade buzz around the NBA. There were a couple of tidbits in the article that the Charlotte Hornets should take note of.
Before getting into the juicy, fantasy trade the Hornets could pull off, it’s important to acknowledge the more realistic trade. According to Fischer, the Utah Jazz are looking to attach pick #30 to Derrick Favors in order to get off of his salary. Favors is under contract for one more season, with a player option the year after that. His contract is worth around $10 million both years.
It’s no secret that the Charlotte Hornets need centers. While Favors likely shouldn’t be their starter, he would be a fine backup for the hornets. Last season, he averaged 5.4 points and 5.5 rebounds while shooting 63.8% from the field. However, he only played 15.3 minutes per game.
Realistically, Favors just didn’t fit what the Jazz were trying to do last year. Rudy Gobert was an exception since he was the Defensive Player of the Year, but Utah’s goal was to shoot as many threes as possible. That’s not Favors’ game. A change of scenery could help propel him back into being the quality center that he once was.
Since the Jazz are simply looking to dump salary, the Hornets could realistically only trade a second young pick in exchange for Favors and #30. This would also allow them to add another promising rookie from this year’s draft class. Some outlets have players such as Day’Ron Sharpe, JT Thor, and Josh Christopher falling that far.
Now that the realistic option is out of the way, it’s time to address the elephant in the room. Shai-Gilgeous Alexander is available.
Oklahoma City is undergoing a rebuild right now. While SGA is still super young, he is also due for a max contract extension very soon. Based on these reports, it seems as though the Thunder do not want to pay him. They would rather save money right now so they have a chance to build something great in the future. Therefore, Gilgeous-Alexander could be gettable this summer.
When most people think about a blockbuster trade, the Charlotte Hornets are rarely one of the teams in the mix. However, Gilgeous-Alexander is the type of player that every team in the NBA should be inquiring about. That includes the Hornets.
It has been reported that the Thunder offered SGA and pick six to the Pistons in an attempt to trade for the first overall pick. If that’s any indication as to how high they value SGA, it will certainly be tough to get him. This doesn’t mean the Hornets shouldn’t at least make an offer.
Realistically, the best they could throw at the Thunder would be PJ Washington and a whole slew of draft picks. Oklahoma City probably wouldn’t want Miles Bridges because then they would just have to pay him instead of SGA. Washington and draft capital might not be enough to land SGA, but everyone knows how much Sam Presti values draft picks. If he would rather take on a ton of picks in return, the Hornets have enough to give him.
Most teams around the league don’t have control over all of their draft picks moving forward. Charlotte is one of the few teams who could offer OKC as many draft picks as they wanted in return for SGA. The question at that point becomes whether or not it’s worth it.
Adding Gilgeous-Alexander would create one of the best young backcourts in the NBA in this hypothetical dream scenario. A trio LaMelo Ball, SGA, and Gordon Hayward also puts the Charlotte Hornets in serious playoff contention right away. The only downside is that if for some reason it doesn’t work out, Charlotte doesn’t have any of their first-round draft picks for a while.
So, while the SGA dreams are likely just that, dreams, it’s fun to think about what he would be able to do in a Hornets uniform. In all seriousness, though, Derrick Favors and #30 is a package the Hornets should consider training for.