10:08am: The Hornets have been aggressive in reaching out to other teams about potential trades, Grantland’s Zach Lowe writes. GM Rich Cho and company are seeking upgrades at the wing and power forward, according to Lowe. That would cover every position except the ones where Kemba Walker and Al Jefferson play, and they’re essentially the only players the team isn’t willing to discuss, Lowe hears. It’s unclear whether the Hornets have dangled Lance Stephenson, but few would be surprised if they did, as Lowe writes, noting that Charlotte can’t trade the newly signed shooting guard until two weeks from today.
Charlotte is off to a surprisingly poor 4-14 start, the same record through 18 games as the franchise put up in 2004/05, its very first season, as Michael Lee of The Washington Post points out. The Hornets were roundly expected to continue their ascent up the Eastern Conference standings after grabbing the No. 7 seed last season and signing Stephenson to a three-year, $27.405MM deal this past summer, but it hasn’t worked out so far.
Fellow offseason additions Marvin Williams, Brian Roberts and Jason Maxiell can’t be traded until later this month, either, as our register of trade-eligibility dates shows, and the same is true of Jannero Pargo, who re-signed with the club. Walker apparently isn’t under consideration for a trade, but even if he were, the Poison Pill Provision would make salary-matching difficult in any swap, thanks to Walker’s four-year, $48MM extension. The Hornets have exhausted their cap space and are without a trade exception, further erecting barriers to any deal.