The Hornets sought to upgrade their center at last week’s trade deadline, expressing interest in a number of big men on the trade market, according to Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report.
As Fischer details, Charlotte was eyeing Andre Drummond, but couldn’t reach an agreement with the Cavaliers on a viable trade, then lost out to the Lakers on the buyout market. In addition to Drummond, the Hornets also expressed interest in veteran centers such as Myles Turner, Montrezl Harrell, and Richaun Holmes, sources tell Fischer.
A previous report indicated that the Pacers and Hornets discussed a trade involving Turner and P.J. Washington during the 2020 offseason, and Fischer says Charlotte revisited those talks at last week’s deadline, exploring a deal centered around Turner, Washington, and Cody Zeller‘s expiring contract. However, the team had no luck.
Having not addressed the center position via trade, the Hornets figure to be on the lookout for a big man this summer when Zeller’s and Bismack Biyombo‘s contracts expire, and Fischer identifies Holmes and Drummond as two players likely to be on Charlotte’s radar. Both players will be unrestricted free agents after the season.
Holmes is under contract at a bargain price ($5MM) for the rest of 2020/21, but could seek upwards of $20MM per year in free agency, according to Fischer. Meanwhile, league executives polled by Bleacher Report estimate that Drummond’s next deal could look something like Steven Adams‘ two-year, $35MM extension with New Orleans. The Hornets talked to Drummond following his buyout from Cleveland, and the 27-year-old was intrigued by the idea of playing with LaMelo Ball, says Fischer.
Charlotte has the ability to open up some cap room this offseason, though that space would be extremely limited if the team extends Malik Monk a qualifying offer and keeps his $16MM+ cap hold on its books. Monk is in the midst of a career year, but his name was involved in the trade conversations the Hornets had for Harrell and Holmes, per Fischer.
If it’s the simplest path to creating the room necessary to sign one of this summer’s top free agent centers, the Hornets could be willing to make Monk unrestricted. Re-signing him to a deal worth less than his cap hold would be another path to generating a little flexibility.