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The Hornets had a disappointing trade deadline

The Hornets had a chance to acquire assets in a lost season and barely did anything.

NBA: Charlotte Hornets-Press Conference Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

Coming into the trade deadline, the Charlotte Hornets were thought to be one of the best candidates to sell of pieces for assets. Players like Mason Plumlee and Kelly Oubre are useful veterans on expiring deals that can help playoff teams. Terry Rozier has regained his form and is on a fair contract and was said to be valued around the league. PJ Washington and Jalen McDaniels also had plenty of suitors.

The Hornets offloaded two of those players in exchange for second round picks.

Jalen McDaniels was routed to Philadelphia in what seemed like an almost throwaway deal. All the Hornets got back are two second round picks, one of them being their own pick this year. To be fair, it’ll be about as good as second picks can be, but it’s still a second round pick.

Mason Plumlee was sent to the Clippers. That’s good! The Hornets got back Reggie Jackson, who plays the only position where the Hornets already have good players and is on a roughly equivalent deal to Plumlee’s. That’s...pointless? The Hornets also got a sweet 2028 second round pick to make the deal better.

It’s good that the Hornets got Mason Plumlee out of the way so Mark Williams can start to get big minutes and Nick Richards can make one last audition to be a rotation piece. But the Hornets could have made that decision without trading him. If he was sought after by multiple teams (the Kings were also rumored to have interest), then is a useless expiring contract and a second round pick all that there is to be had?

If the Hornets didn’t plan on keeping McDaniels around this summer, then it makes sense to get what you can for him. Regardless of your feelings on him versus PJ Washington, Washington’s restricted free agency makes him a safer bet for the Hornets, while McDaniels’ unrestricted free agency makes him a total wild card. However, two second round picks, with one of them being several years down the road again? Again, it feels like there was more meat on that bone.

It’s typically pointless to lament the moves teams don’t make because there’s no way to know what offers were out there. But given the current state of the Hornets, it’s hard to not be disappointed in the dud that this trade deadline turned out to be. The Hornets enter this summer in roughly the same position they would have been had they made no moves with the only bonus being one new second round pick.