Following last month’s trade deadline, the Hornets were more than willing to negotiate buyouts with their veterans on expiring contracts. Marvin Williams and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist were both bought out within days of the deadline and quickly caught on with new teams.
Veteran center Bismack Biyombo, whose four-year, $68MM contract will be up at season’s end, tells Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer that he could have gotten a buyout and that he considered the possibility, noting that “a lot of (teams were) calling.” However, he opted to stick with the Hornets and play out the rest of his contract in Charlotte, explaining that he wanted to continue to be a veteran mentor as the team rebuilds.
“The house is on fire? Let’s find a way to fix it,” Biyombo said of the Hornets’ situation. “I think the way we have been competing shows a lot of character from a lot of guys.”
Biyombo, 27, has been out of the starting lineup and even out of the rotation at times this season, but he’s seeing regular minutes lately, averaging 8.1 PPG, 6.7 RPG, and 1.6 BPG in his last seven games (20.5 MPG).
Although it’s probably too late for the Hornets, who are 5.5 games back of the eighth-seeded Nets, to make a run at the playoffs, Biyombo is happy to fill the leadership void that was created in Charlotte when longtime Hornets like Kemba Walker, Williams, and Kidd-Gilchrist departed.
“When things are not going right, everybody wants to run away. It’s human nature,” Biyombo said. “Instead of always seeing problems, sometimes you can see opportunity. So we lean on each other.”