There is little doubt that the Charlotte Hornets will make at least one trade at some point this season. One player in particular, 33-year-old forward Gordon Hayward, is often cited in trade speculations. As he enters the last year of his contract, several clubs in the league may be interested in Hayward.
According to one person, the Portland Trail Blazers are one such squad. In a hypothetical deal, Charlotte would give Portland forward Hayward and second-round selections in 2024, 2027, and 2028 in exchange for forward Jerami Grant.
In addition to getting rid of Hayward’s expiring contract, finding a way to add a good player is the primary justification for the Hornets’ willingness to proceed with the transaction. It seems doubtful that Charlotte will become a popular destination for free agents any time soon. It would be a major gain for the Hornets to trade any of the next second-round selections, who are often lottery choices anyway, in addition to Hayward to get Grant.
“There’s another factor that impacts how teams view contracts: how easily do they attract talent? That’s something that Charlotte struggles with. Here, they’re willing to take on an undesirable contract because they’ve got more limited means of improving their team than some of the bigger markets. “
Would the Hornets find this to be an interesting addition? Absolutely. To optimize the trade’s worth, a move like this would need some additional moving pieces. There is a lot of forwards on this Hornets squad, including Miles Bridges, Brandon Miller, and P.J. Washington. Bridges’ potential availability is presently a concern, as is Charlotte’s second-overall selection, who is currently an unknown. In the event that things do not go as planned, this would provide the Hornets an alternative course of action to follow later in the season (more on that in a moment).
The agreement Grant made with the Trail Blazers is what led to the latter portion noted above. Grant cannot be dealt until close to the trade deadline, which may give the Hornets more than enough time to make an informed decision. Having Grant on board would undoubtedly be beneficial for Charlotte should they run out of forward options.