Amid a series of injuries to key players and off-court issues, the Hornets have started the 2022/23 season with a 4-12 record, which has led to speculation that they’ll be among the teams looking to trade veterans and retool the roster in order to land a top pick in next year’s draft. However, a rival GM is skeptical Charlotte will hold any sort of fire sale this season.
“The hurdle is getting the owner to go along with it,” the GM told Sean Deveney of Heavy Sports. “It is Michael Jordan. He has never OK’d something like that and it is not clear he would, even if it gets bad this year, even if it puts them in a good spot in the draft for Victor (Wembanyama). He has been pretty strong against tanking. Hard to see another way forward for them now, though.”
Here’s more from the Southeast:
- Miles Bridges‘ status for this season is in limbo after he pleaded no contest in his felony domestic violence case. The NBA is investigating the incident, and Bridges is still a restricted free agent with the Hornets, but Shams Charania of The Athletic hears the Lakers and Pistons are among the teams monitoring his situation, he said on The Rally (Twitter video link).
- The Wizards are still waiting for Will Barton to find his form this season, writes Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington. The veteran wing was acquired in a trade with the Nuggets over the summer and his averages have dropped across the board in ’22/23. “I’m just really trying to figure out what my role is and figure out how I’m going to play in my minutes. But I can’t worry about that. I’ve just gotta go out there and try to be as effective as possible whenever I’m on the court. I think I’m figuring that out,” he said. Barton will be an unrestricted free agent in 2023.
- Wizards two-way guard Jordan Goodwin underwent testing after injuring his left knee on Wednesday, and while there was some initial concern that it might be severe, head coach Wes Unseld Jr. said Goodwin is “day-to-day” going forward (Twitter links via Josh Robbins of The Athletic). He was ruled out for Friday’s victory over the injury-depleted Heat.
- Within his latest 10 things column for ESPN (subscriber link), Zach Lowe wonders if the Magic will eventually go all-in for a lead guard. Lowe says he liked the Magic as a “stealth” Donovan Mitchell suitor this summer, but hears from sources that Orlando didn’t appear to have “dived deeply” into pursuing the former Jazz star.