May 20, 2014
Expect the Hornets to shop around for potential deals
If you look at the Charlotte Bobcats’ history (yes, they’re the Hornets today, but I’m looking back), they’ve been poor drafters and mediocre in free-agency until they signed center Al Jefferson. However, they’ve made plenty of trades and many have been successful.
The past could portend the future.
An educated guess: The Hornets will aggressively explore some way to turn the Nos. 9, 24 and 45 picks in the June 26 draft into something else. I’m not saying all three picks become a veteran, necessarily. I’m saying they now have commodities, plus at least $17 million in room under the salary cap in July.
They’ll explore how to add another game-changer to center Al Jefferson. So I take it for granted they’ll check what it might take to acquire power forward Kevin Love, who seemingly wants out of Minneapolis. Likewise, I’d expect them to inquire about restricted free agents Greg Monroe with Detroit and Gordon Hayward with Utah via sign-and-trades.
A caution about Love. Of course he’s available in trade, but remember why: He’s headed toward unrestricted free-agency and reportedly told the Timberwolves he won’t sign an extension.
No sensible front office would trade for him without a long-term commitment. Would he tell the Hornets in the summer of 2014 he’s theirs for the long haul? That could be a reach.