The Charlotte Hornets Fire Sale Is Underway After Trading Terry Rozier

The Charlotte Hornets hoped to bounce back this season from a rough 2022-23 in which LaMelo Ball was out with ankle injuries for more than half of the year. Instead, they’ve been even worse, reaching the midway point of the season at 10-31 and don’t seem to have a clear pathway to improvement with the roster currently assembled.

A team in that situation is always a candidate for a fire sale ahead of the deadline, and on Tuesday the Hornets made their first official step towards doing so by flipping Terry Rozier to Miami for Kyle Lowry and a protected 2027 first round pick. According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, trading Rozier is just the beginning of what figures to be an active trade deadline in Charlotte, with the goal being to turn veterans into trade assets and young players in a full-on franchise reset around LaMelo Ball and Brandon Miller.

Charlotte is discussing other deals on its veteran players ahead of the trade deadline and plans to continue accumulating assets, sources told ESPN.

Under new ownership in Rick Schnall and Gabe Plotkin, the Hornets are planning to build around young players LaMelo Ball and rookie Brandon Miller and gather up draft assets and young players in potential deals.

That means Gordon Hayward (who is still sitting out with a calf strain), P.J. Washington, Cody Martin, and Lowry all figure to be available, with the question being what their value is at this moment given Charlotte’s struggles.Miles Bridges also figures to be up for grabs, but it remains to be seen if any team wants to bring him in less than two years removed from pleading no contest to domestic violence, which caused him to sit out a year and only get the qualifying offer in Charlotte this season.

If the goal is to get the best draft assets in return, Charlotte likely will have to take back some big money in the short-term to do so. Lowry was an easy one as an expiring contract, but they might have to load up their 2024-25 cap sheet with some bloated deals if they’re going to get another first for Hayward or Washington. Lowry will be tough to move for anything positive, especially since the teams likely to have any interest in the veteran guard will believe they could get him on the buyout market later instead. Charlotte’s not exactly well-positioned to get a lot back from a fire sale over the next few weeks, but it’s really their only option after bottoming out this year to shift fully into a rebuild and try to start over with Ball and Miller as the centerpieces moving forward.