It feels like weeks have transpired since last Thursday’s draft, but here is where the Charlotte Hornets stand two days into the NBA free agency period.
The Hornets have lost Devonte’ Graham in a sign-and-trade to the New Orleans Pelicans, Malik Monk on a one-year minimum deal to the Los Angeles Lakers, and Cody Zeller on a one-year deal to the Portland Trail Blazers. With the departure of these players, the Hornets have about $13.5 million in cap space remaining and 15 roster spots filled, though Caleb Martin, Cody Martin and Jalen McDaniels all have non-guaranteed contracts for next season.
Tuesday, Charlotte signed Ish Smith to a two-year deal worth $4.5M annually with a team option for the second year of the deal. The Hornets’ available cap space remains at $13.5M after the Graham sign-and-trade due to Smith’s contract fitting in the room-level exception ($4.9M). Here are the best remaining free agents via ESPN’s Bobby Marks:
Non Kawhi key FA— Bobby Marks (@BobbyMarks42) August 4, 2021
J. Hart ®
K. Oubre, Jr.
S. Mykhailiuk ®
T. Davis ®
L. Markkanen ®
J. Vanderbilt ®
Given the crop of free agents and Charlotte’s need for veteran wings and centers, it’s possible that some or all of their cap space is eaten up via trade. It’s also possible for the Hornets to clear out space to trade for Myles Turner and his $17.5M contract by waiving their non-guaranteed deals and acquiring him using cap space and draft capital, but it’s fair to assume we have absolutely no clue of the direction in which the team is going after Monday and Tuesday’s events.
Now that the Hornets and Oklahoma City Thunder are the only teams in the league with cap space, they should be making some sort of move in the coming days. The Mason Plumlee/JT Thor trade also becomes official on Friday.