A trade candidate at this month’s deadline, Frank Kaminsky stayed put in Charlotte. Now, he’s hoping that he and the Hornets can work out an agreement on a buyout, but those efforts have stalled, according to Sean Deveney of Sporting News. According to Deveney, a source described Kaminsky as “very frustrated” with the situation.
[RELATED: 2019 NBA Buyout Market Watch]
The ninth overall pick in the 2015 draft, Kaminsky played a regular role in Charlotte’s rotation over the last two seasons, averaging 11.3 PPG and 4.1 RPG on .413/.350/.780 shooting during that two-year stretch. In 2018/19, however, he has been limited to 26 games and a career-low 10.8 MPG, and hasn’t played more than 10 minutes in a game since January 2.
According to Deveney, Kaminsky generated some interest at the trade deadline, but the Hornets passed on all offers. The 25-year-old was under the impression that Charlotte would be willing to negotiate a buyout and give him a chance to play more regularly somewhere else, but the team is somewhat nervous about its frontcourt depth, Deveney writes.
With Cody Zeller, Bismack Biyombo, and Willy Hernangomez up front, the Hornets seem to be well stocked at center, but Hernangomez has also fallen out of the rotation lately and there are some concerns about Biyombo’s knee holding up for the rest of the season, sources tell Deveney. Having Kaminsky on the roster gives the Hornets a strong insurance policy in case he’s needed.
While Kaminsky may be frustrated by his current role – or lack thereof – in Charlotte, he should soon have the opportunity to seek out a new NBA home even if he’s not bought out this season. He’s eligible for restricted free agency this summer, but the Hornets currently seem unlikely to tender him the $4.5MM qualifying offer necessary to make him an RFA. If the club passes on that QO, Kaminsky would become an unrestricted free agent.