Tuesday was a huge night for the Charlotte Hornets.
Although the Chicago Bulls own the Hornets’ pick this season (16th overall), the Hornets own the 24th overall pick from the Portland Trail Blazers, completed the trade that sent forward Gerald Wallace from Charlotte to Portland, and earned a second first round pick on Tuesday when the Detroit Pistons dropped from eight to nine. The Pistons owed the Hornets a pick from the Ben Gordon-Corey Maggette deal, but it was top eight protected, so had the Cleveland Cavaliers (or another team below the Pistons) not moved up into the top three (The Cavaliers have the first-overall pick), the Hornets would not have received the pick.
Now that the Hornets have those two picks (and the 45th-overall selection as well), they are going to try to turn that into something bigger, according to Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer.
I’m not saying all three picks become a veteran, necessarily. I’m saying they now have commodities, plus at least $17 million in room under the salary cap in July.
They’ll explore how to add another game-changer to center Al Jefferson. So I take it for granted they’ll check what it might take to acquire power forward Kevin Love, who seemingly wants out of Minneapolis. Likewise, I’d expect them to inquire about restricted free agents Greg Monroe with Detroit and Gordon Hayward with Utah via sign-and-trades.
Obviously, Love seems like a long-shot, but Hayward and Monroe don’t seem so far-fetched.
The Hornets are also expected to chase Los Angeles Lakers’ free agent big man Pau Gasol.