Team-Builder for the Charlotte Hornets

The Hornets are not a playoff team. Unfortunately, they have a roster full of mediocre players on bloated contracts for several more years.

It is with my deepest sincerity that I offer my help to Michael Jordan and Richard Cho for the next stages of the Charlotte Hornets franchise.

1. Trade Kemba Walker, Nic Batum, and Marvin Williams to the Utah Jazz for Derrick Favors, Joe Johnson, Ricky Rubio, Dante Exum, and Rodney Hood.

This is a massive trade, but I think it helps both teams. The Jazz get an elite shot-creator in Kemba Walker, a reliable wing, and a starting-quality swing forward. All three of those players seem perfect for Utah’s system. They would make a push for the playoffs this year and next year. Walker and Mitchell could trade on and off as primary ball-handlers, and they would be stocked full of athletic, rangy wings with Gobert patrolling the paint.

The Hornets get out of two long-term contracts (both quality players) and get back two promising young players for Kemba Walker.

Roster Starters: Howard, Zeller, MKG, Rubio, Hood

Roster Reserves: Favors, Johnson, Exum, Lamb, Monk, Kaminsky, other end of the bench players.

2. Release or buy out Favors and Johnson.

Let them go to playoff contenders in need of depth. They would just get in the way of the youth movement.

Roster Starters: Howard, Zeller, MKG, Rubio, Hood

Roster Reserves: Exum, Lamb, Monk, Kaminsky, other end of the bench players.

3. Let Hood and Monk loose. Let Exum loose if he gets back toward the end of the year.

Give them as many shots as they want. Let them figure it out. Tank games in the process.

Roster Starters: Howard, MKG, Monk, Exum, Hood

Roster Reserves: Zeller, Lamb, Rubio, Kaminsky, other end of the bench players.

4. Get a top 5 pick in the 2018 draft.

Draft Priority

  1. Bagley
  2. Ayton
  3. Bamba
  4. Porter
  5. Doncic
  6. Young
  7. Jackson

Roster Starters: Howard, Bagley, Monk, Exum, Hood

Roster Reserves: MKG, Zeller, Lamb, Rubio, Kaminsky, other end of the bench players.

5. Buyout Dwight Howard

You don’t need him poisoning the young guys.

Roster Starters: Zeller, Bagley, Monk, Exum, Hood

Roster Reserves: MKG, Lamb, Rubio, Kaminsky, other end of the bench players.

6. Resign Exum to a 2+1 prove-it deal at 10 million a year. Resign Hood to a 4 year, 50 million dollar deal.

They will be assets at the very least.

7. Enjoy a year under the cap. Look to take on bad contracts into your cap space to get assets in return.

Let Monk, Hood, Exum, and Bagley loose. Let Zeller and MKG do the dirty work to keep your young big healthy. Let Kaminsky stretch the floor for your young guards and wings.

Roster Starters: Zeller, Bagley, Monk, Exum, Hood

Roster Reserves: MKG, Lamb, Rubio, Kaminsky, other end of the bench players.

8. Target Klay Thompson in the off-season of 2019. If not him, look at Tobias Harris or D’Angelo Russel.

My estimates place the Hornets cap space over 30 million dollars in the 2019 off-season They probably would need to let Rubio, Lamb, and Kaminsky walk, which is fine, because they aren’t that good.

Roster Starters: Zeller, Bagley, Thompson, Exum, Hood

Roster Reserves: MKG, Monk, other end of the bench players.

9. Compete in the 2020 playoffs for the first time in your rebuild.

If Exum, Hood, and/or Monk prove to be quality starters and scorers, and you also have an elite scorer like Klay Thompson, and you have an elite young big like Marvin Bagley Jr., and you have great role players like Zeller and MKG, you could make a run in the playoffs.

10. Trade Monk and Hood in the 2020 off-season for a third piece.

The Hornets would still have serious assets capable of fleecing a team. The team to target is whichever one is squandering an upper-tier talent and in need of a reset.

Monk will only be 22 and Hood will be a sizable contract. One will have high potential and the other will be a solid rotation player capable of switching. Obviously, I have no idea who will be available at that time, but ideally it is a player who can create his own shot at a upper-starter/all-star level.

11. Compete for a championship.

There you have it.

Michael, I will send you a bill for my consultant services.