The Hornets may be ready to include big man Frank Kaminsky in a trade, according to Sean Deveney of Sporting News, who reports that teams – including some contenders – have expressed interest in the former first-round pick.
While the Hornets would likely have plenty of potential trade partners to choose from if they were to move Kaminsky on his own, they would prefer to attach him to another big contract, according to Deveney’s report.
Sources tell Sporting News that Charlotte would like to get out from under Nicolas Batum‘s deal, which has another two years and $52.7MM left after this season. At least one team was told Kaminsky could be had in a trade if Batum was included as well, per Deveney. Bismack Biyombo‘s contract, which has one year and $17MM left after this season, is another pricey deal the Hornets are interested in moving.
Pairing Kaminsky with a big contract may be a tough sell though — as Deveney notes, the 25-year-old will be a restricted free agent himself in July, so he’ll be in line for a raise on his $3.63MM salary later this year, especially if he plays well for a new team. Plus, Kaminsky’s role has been very limited under new head coach James Borrego this season, suggesting he may not be part of Charlotte’s future. As such, potential suitors figure to be wary about making substantial offers for him.
Kaminsky, the ninth overall pick in the 2015 draft, was a reliable contributor for the Hornets in 2017/18, averaging 11.1 PPG and shooting 38.0% on three-pointers in 79 games (23.2 MPG). This season, however, he has been in and out of the rotation, playing just 11.6 MPG in 22 contests. Even with Cody Zeller sidelined, Kaminsky only played 16 minutes in Wednesday’s blowout loss to Dallas. That limited role prompts Deveney to speculate that the fourth-year power forward “would likely welcome a change of scenery.”
Back in 2015, the Hornets reportedly turned down a Celtics trade offer that included four first-round picks in order to draft Kaminsky, so the optics for the franchise wouldn’t be great if he’s moved now for a modest return. Of course, letting him walk for nothing in the summer might look worse.