Hornets Notes: Salary, Zeller, Bridges, Bacon

Several high-priced veterans appear destined to remain on the Hornets‘ roster, writes Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer. Charlotte has been trying for some time to find a taker for Nicolas Batum ($25.565MM this year with a $27.13MM player option for 2020/21), Marvin Williams ($15MM expiring deal) and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist ($13MM expiring), but other teams have been reluctant to take on any of those salaries.

Bonnell expects that to continue for another year as GM Mitch Kupchak said he doesn’t foresee any significant roster changes. The team tried to move Williams during the offseason, and Bonnell sees him as the most marketable of the three. He speculates that Kidd-Gilchrist might be open to a buyout if he can’t be traded before the February deadline.

There’s more tonight from Charlotte:

  • Cody Zeller, who is owed nearly a combined $30MM over the next two seasons, is a good bet to finish that contract in Charlotte, Bonnell states in the same story. Zeller has been the Hornets‘ best center when he is healthy, but injuries have limited him to 33 and 49 games over the last two years. Bonnell notes that Willy Hernangomez hasn’t done enough to convince the front office that he could handle the starter’s role if Zeller were to be traded.
  • Among the team’s young core, Miles Bridges and Dwayne Bacon are most likely to have long-term futures in Charlotte, Bonnell adds. He identifies PJ Washington and Devonte’ Graham as two other prospects the organization may decide to hold onto, while Hernangomez and Malik Monk both have something to prove.
  • The Hornets will hire an assistant coach with responsibilities in both the NBA and the G League, Bonnell tweets. The new addition will be in charge of player development and will split time between Charlotte and Greensboro.
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12 thoughts on “Hornets Notes: Salary, Zeller, Bridges, Bacon

  1. x%sure

    It’s probably good for PJ Washington that Miles Bridges will be the young forward they push into the lineup first. PJW had an unimpressive first year at Kentucky and still has not developed a go-to game. Let him emerge when he finds his dynamic. Good pick though– an everywhere doing everything kind of player who is also very long and willing to use it inside and for the team. Could be a complementary tandem IMO, one with force & the other with finesse, both a 3/4.

    • FromTheCheapSeats

      The Hornets are going to regret passing on Brandon Clarke to take PJ Washington.

      Watching PJ at Kentucky, I had no idea what position he could play in the NBA. I still don’t. He’s an undersized big with a “clever” game. Although he’s not nearly as heavy, he reminds me of Jared Sullinger. What do you do with that?

      Sadly, I think this is another thrown away first rounder by Charlotte.

      • x%sure

        Meanwhile, DC Washington passed on Clarke to take his teammate Hachimura at pretty much the same position!

  2. hiflew

    Is there a bigger collection of underachievers in all of sports than the Hornets? MKG and Marvin Williams were both #2 overall picks, but don’t live up to that billing. Neither does Zeller, pick #4, or Batum a high priced FA. I know not every draft pick will work out, but going back to Adam Morrison, Sean May, and others, Charlotte always seems to turn really good picks into really bad picks.

    • FromTheCheapSeats

      Underachievers? Nah. That description would suggest that any of these guys had shown potential when they signed those enormous contracts.

      The only on that’s the least bit forgivable MIGHT be Batum – and even that would be a stretch.

      Why do they keep blowing picks? Look no further than the 2018 draft. The Hornets used the 12th pick on Miles Bridges – a guy that no one in the organization had ever even spoken to – let alone worked out.

      And don’t get me started on 2015… The Celtics offered a fist full of #1s to move up for Justice Winslow. Instead, Charlotte sat at 9 and took friggin’ Frank Kaminsky.

  3. Knowing that a really good free agency is coming up not end of this year but the next one I’m surprised a team isn’t willing to take on Batum and his 2 years and gain a first rounder.
    I’d think he could be alright for a rebuilding Cavs for Clarkson and Henson. The cavs get Batum and a first

  4. mcmillankmm

    Still can’t believe they didn’t deal Kemba….could have gotten some picks or offloaded one of these contracts

  5. MiserablePadreFan

    No no no, we’re not trading Cody effing Zeller. Centers that avg 10pts, 7rbs and >1blk don’t just grow on trees. We’ll keep him for $15m a year, thank you very much.

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