Hornets Rumors

Bonnell On Whether Hornets Will Be Buyers Or Sellers

While it may be a little too early to determine with certainty whether the Hornets will be buyers or sellers at the trade deadline, Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer suggests in his latest mailbag that he expects the team to be more focused on improving this season’s roster than acquiring future assets. However, they’re unlikely to take on much salary in any deal, since they’re only about $3.4MM below the luxury tax threshold, Bonnell notes.

If the Hornets were to fall out of the playoff picture, they could explore the trade market for 2019 free-agents-to-be like Jeremy Lamb and Frank Kaminsky, per Bonnell. However, it would require a major slump to slip out of the playoff race in the East, where the ninth-seeded Heat have an 11-16 record.

NBA G League Assignments/Recalls: 12/12/18

Here are Wednesday’s G League assignments and recalls from around the NBA:

  • Veteran Knicks shooting guard Courtney Lee has been recalled from his rehab assignment with the Westchester Knicks and will rejoin the NBA team in Charlotte on Thursday, the team’s PR department tweets. Lee scored 16 points on 7-of-21 shooting in a G League outing on Tuesday. He was sidelined by a neck ailment during training camp.
  • Hornets forward Dwayne Bacon and guard Devonte’ Graham were recalled from the Greensboro Swarm after playing in an afternoon game, according to a team press release. In Wednesday’s game against Wisconsin, Bacon totaled 21 points, 10 assists and seven rebounds in 30 minutes while Graham notched 20 points, 10 assists and seven rebounds in 33 minutes. Both will be available to play against the Pistons tonight.
  • The Jazz recalled guard Grayson Allen, center Tony Bradley and forward Georges Niang from the Salt Lake City Stars, the team’s PR department tweets. Allen and Niang combined for 31 points in a loss to Austin on Tuesday.
  • The Grizzlies assigned big man Ivan Rabb to the Memphis Hustle for practice, then recalled him, the team’s PR department tweets. Rabb has played nine games with the Grizzlies this season.

NBA G League Assignments/Recalls: 12/9/18

Here are Sunday’s assignments and recalls from around the NBA:

NBA G League Assignments/Recalls: 12/8/18

Here are Saturday’s assignments and recalls from around the NBA:

  • The Grizzlies have recalled rookie guard Jevon Carter from their Memphis Hustle affiliate, the team announced on Twitter. Carter was sent to the G League on Thursday.
  • The Hornets have assigned forward Dwayne Bacon to the Greensboro Swarm, according to the team website. This is the second trip to the G League for Bacon, who has played one game for the Swarm and 15 for Charlotte.
  • The Spurs sent forward Chimezie Metu to the Austin Toros so he could play in tonight’s game, tweets JeffGSpursZone.

Marvin Williams Out At Least One Week

Hornets forward Marvin Williams has a right shoulder strain, an MRI on Monday confirmed, according to a team press release. Williams suffered the injury on Sunday and will be re-evaluated next week. Lottery pick Miles Bridges, who scored a career-high 16 points in 29 minutes against New Orleans, will see his role expand during Williams’ absence. Williams is averaging 8.3 PPG and 5.1 RPG in 24.8 MPG.

NBA G League Assignments/Recalls: 12/2/18

Here are Sunday’s G League assignments and recalls from across the NBA:

NBA G League Assignments/Recalls: 12/1/18

Here are Saturday’s G League assignments and recalls from across the NBA:

  • The Hornets sent forward Dwayne Bacon and guard Devonte’ Graham to the Greensboro Swarm, the team announced on its website. This is the first G League assignment of the season for Bacon, who has appeared in 13 games for Charlotte and is averaging 6.4 points per night. It’s the third time for Graham, who has gotten into eight NBA games.
  • The Spurs assigned Chimezie Metu to their Austin affiliate, according to the team website. He has appeared in 12 games with San Antonio.
  • The Pistons have recalled Luke Kennard from Auburn Hills, the team announced in an email. Kennard is recovering from an AC joint sprain in his right shoulder that has sidelined him for the past 15 games.
  • The Pelicans sent rookie Kenrich Williams to the G League, tweets Will Guillory of The Athletic. New Orleans doesn’t have a direct affiliate, so Williams has been assigned to the Westchester Knicks.
  • The Knicks called up center Luke Kornet from Westchester and placed him on the active list for tonight’s game, according to Stefan Bondy of The New York Daily News (Twitter link).
  • The Rockets recalled guard Brandon Knight from their Rio Grande affiliate, tweets Mark Berman of Fox 26 in Houston.

Jeremy Lamb Could Be Playing His Way Out Of Charlotte With Impressive Play

Kemba Walker “Couldn’t Care Less About Big Markets”

Some within the Hornets‘ organization feel that Kemba Walker may be as meaningful to the franchise as Stephen Curry is to the Warriors in terms of relative importance and cultural influence, Zach Lowe of ESPN.com writes in his latest piece. The 28-year-old point guard enjoys his role in elevating the franchise.

“These guys believed in me,” Walker said. “I couldn’t care less about big markets. That’s not who I am. I want to make this place big. I want to be in the playoffs every year. I want to make Charlotte pop.”

Walker is in the final year of one of the league’s most team-friendly contracts, one that pays him $12MM per season. However, the deal didn’t always seem like such as bargain, as Lowe details.

Walker was navigating his way through his rookie deal and his shooting numbers—which were a red flag of his during pre-draft workout—weren’t improving. When he was up for a rookie-scale extension, Charlotte’s offer topped out at $10MM annually, per Lowe, and Walker wanted his agent Jeff Schwartz to accept it, threatening to call the team and make the deal himself if he didn’t.

The Hornets eventually budged, going to the $12MM annual value, and over the ensuing years, Walker has made critical adjustments to his game to set him up for a much bigger payday once that deal expires.

If Walker makes an All-NBA team this year, the Hornets will be able offer him a designated veteran contract, starting at 35% of next year’s salary cap (roughly $220MM over five years). If he doesn’t, Charlotte can still offer a five-year deal worth approximately $189MM. Lowe speculates that the Hornets could find common ground on a five-year deal in the $163MM range since no rival team could offer him more than a four-year pact.

Hornets Have Inquired On Bradley Beal

The Hornets have contacted the Wizards to inquire about the possibility of acquiring Bradley Beal, a source confirms to Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer. Spencer Percy of Queen City Hoops (Twitter link) first linked Charlotte to Beal.

A report from ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski on Monday suggested that the Wizards were giving teams the impression that they’re willing to discuss any player on their roster, including Beal and John Wall. However, multiple reports since then have downplayed Washington’s interest in making a move involving Beal or Wall. In other words, while they’re not going to hang up on teams asking about Beal, the Wizards appear unlikely to actually trade him.

Even if the Wizards are open to listening, it’s not clear what sort of package the Hornets would be willing to put on the table for Beal. Percy suggests (via Twitter) that Marvin Williams and Jeremy Lamb‘s expiring contract might be a start for salary-matching purposes, with Miles Bridges, Malik Monk, and/or future first-round picks among the assets Charlotte could include in a proposal.

Although a deal between the two division rivals seems like a long shot, the Hornets’ apparent interest in Beal reflects the team’s desire to add a second impact player to complement star point guard Kemba Walker.

Earlier today, Bonnell wrote in a piece for The Observer that Walker and Hornets owner Michael Jordan are both interested in extending the relationship beyond 2019, when Kemba becomes a free agent. However, Bonnell also noted that Charlotte will need to get Walker some help in order to maximize his prime and convince him that the Hornets can become a contender.