The Charlotte Hornets organization has confirmed the details of multiple transactions which we were made aware of during the free agency moratorium. Let’s start from the top.
Friday, the Mason Plumlee trade was made official and as a result, the Hornets signed JT Thor to his rookie scale contract and he will now be on the Summer League roster.
This was a smaller and expected transaction, but Charlotte renounced the rights to Bismack Biyombo to clear cap space Friday afternoon per Spotrac’s Keith Smith.
As part of their offseason moves, the Charlotte Hornets renounced the free rights to Bismack Biyombo.— Keith Smith (@KeithSmithNBA) August 6, 2021
Saturday morning, the Devonte’ Graham sign-and-trade with the New Orleans Pelicans was finalized, becoming part of a three-team deal with the Memphis Grizzlies, Hornets and Pelicans. The Hornets acquire Wes Iwundu, a protected 2022 first-round draft pick and cash considerations from the Pelicans along with the draft rights to Tyler Harvey from the Grizzlies in exchange for sending Graham to New Orleans.
The 2022 first-round draft pick via New Orleans will convey to the Hornets if the Pelicans make the playoffs this season; if not, it becomes a second-round pick in 2022 and 2024 per Sports Illustrated’s Rod Boone.
About an hour and a half after the Hornets acquired Iwundu — putting the number of guaranteed contracts on the roster at 17 — the team announced it was waiving Caleb Martin.
Even with Martin being waived, the Hornets must get rid of one more player to get down to the maximum of 15 guaranteed contracts. Cody Martin and Jalen McDaniels both have non-guaranteed deals for next season and Nick Richards could be a candidate to be traded due to his low salary and position on the depth chart.
To cap off the Saturday morning roster shuffle, the Hornets officially inked Kelly Oubre Jr. to a two-year contract per Yahoo Sports’ Chris Haynes.
Official Terms: Free-agent Kelly Oubre Jr. has agreed to a two-year, $25 million deal with the Charlotte Hornets, his agent Torrel Harris of Unique Sports International Management tells @YahooSports.— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) August 7, 2021
A $25 million contract over two seasons with no options is quite a reasonable deal for Oubre Jr., who provides needed athleticism, defense and depth on the wing. The Hornets now have multiple high-level rotation players under team control to go along with their budding young core.
Besides corresponding the move(s) that bring the roster down to 15, the Hornets should be done with team-building for this offseason. If they wanted to retain Grant Riller, one player could be waived while another is traded to make room for him to re-sign on a minimum deal. Here’s a quick depth chart breakdown;
Guards: LaMelo Ball, Terry Rozier, Ish Smith
Wings: Gordon Hayward, Kelly Oubre Jr., James Bouknight, Wesley Iwundu, Jalen McDaniels/Cody Martin*
Forwards: Miles Bridges, PJ Washington, JT Thor
Centers: Mason Plumlee, Vernon Carey Jr., Kai Jones, Nick Richards*
Two-Way players: Arnoldas Kulboka, Scottie Lewis
*denotes a roster casualty; a trade candidate or player with a non-guaranteed contract.