Kemba Walker and Gerald Henderson benefit from Monday’s trade because Lance Stephenson isn’t there any more to take away touches and minutes and challenge the team’s chemistry, opines Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer. Henderson decided Wednesday to pick up his $6MM player option, though whether Stephenson’s departure played into that decision remains unclear. There’s more on the Hornets amid the latest from the Southeast Division:
- Wizards owner Ted Leonsis affirmed the notion that the Wizards want to retain Paul Pierce, who faces a decision on a $5.544MM player option for next season as rumors connect him to the Clippers, as Leonsis said on the team website (video link; transcription via Dan Steinberg of The Washington Post). The owner said that the organization “loves” the 37-year-old who’d be “welcomed with open arms” if he decides to stay in Washington.
- Hornets GM Rich Cho said he’d “love” to trade up in the draft, though whether that happens will depend on how much Charlotte would have to relinquish to do so, Cho added, as Bonnell relays (Twitter links). “We’ve been talking to a lot of teams about moving up, moving backward, moving the pick all-together,” Cho said.
- Notre Dame point guard Jerian Grant will work out for the Hawks, reports Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Grant spoke recently with Zach Links of Hoops Rumors, and our Chris Crouse looked at what makes him an intriguing prospect.