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The Hornets' need for a point guard is well-known. Incumbent Jarrett Jack is an adequate starter but he's better suited as a backup who comes off the bench to instill an offensive spark and he's also an unrestricted free agent after next season.
Mario Chalmers, meanwhile, has played admirably as the starting point guard for the two-time Eastern Conference champion Heat but this year's rookie, Norris Cole, is breathing down his neck.
Chalmers isn't a huge upgrade over Jack but he's younger and has upside. He also would give the team another proven shooter from behind the arc, which is something they desperately need.
Chalmers' contract expires next season but the team holds the option to keep him. With Cole getting more assimilated into the Heat rotation, Chalmers may be more content finding a starting gig elsewhere.
Xavier Henry could occupy the backup shooting guard role soon to be vacated by free agent Mario Belinelli next season, but there has been speculation that the team will use the No. 10 pick on Duke guard Austin Rivers.
If Rivers is the pick, Henry could possibly be the odd man out. Vasquez, meanwhile, has been the team's chief backup point guard, but will have a tough time wrestling away that starting job from Jack in the near future unless Jack is sent elsewhere.
Henry left Kansas with a reputation for being a dangerous shooter, but he didn't shoot the ball particularly well with the Grizzlies and Memphis gave up on him early as their backcourt became crowded.
In New Orleans, Henry was a little better from long range. He shot nearly 42 percent from the three-point line in just under 17 minutes per game last year with the Hornets. The team would like to develop Henry but might try to safeguard themselves with the widely-speculated selection of Rivers.
Why the Hornets Would Make the Trade
Jack's a free agent next summer and he's not getting any younger. The team needs a younger replacement and the sentiment is that backup Greivis Vasquez isn't it.
If the Hornets make Henry expendable by drafting another young guard such as Rivers, then it's only right they use a promising young trade chip to fill one of their two biggest needs.
Chalmers is a good shooter who can run an offense but he's the fourth option, at best, in Miami. In New Orleans, he and Eric Gordon would make a lethal, sharpshooting backcourt.
Since Chalmers is making close to $4 million and Henry a little over half of that, the Hornets may need to throw in another body to make the dollars add up. Still, bringing in a veteran to run the show is safer than trying to find Jack's heir apparent in the draft.
The point guard prospects for the Hornets at No. 10 are UNC's Kendall Marshall, who is coming off wrist and elbow injuries suffered in the NCAA tournament, and the scant hope that Weber State's Damian Lillard falls to them. Chalmers might be the better bet.
Why the Hornets Wouldn't Make the Trade
Chalmers had some troubles with marijuana early in his career and in college, which is why he dropped in the draft. Those issues seem to be behind him but it's still a concern worth watching.
There's also the issue of giving up on a 21-year-old versatile guard like Henry, who showed some potential last season in his first season with the Hornets. The Hornets need Jack's replacement sooner rather than later, but taking a chance on Chalmers and dealing away Henry could come back to haunt them.
Why the Heat Would Make the Trade
They can replace Chalmers with Cole and potentially replace the aging Mike Miller with Henry. The Heat have become a team in love with shooting from long range and that's Henry's specialty.
With so much money tied up to the Big Three, finding young, cheap talent to put around their franchise trio is paramount for Miami's championship aspirations. For Henry, there's the obvious joy of going from one of the worst teams in the league to playing for a contender. That's sure to boost his morale.
Why the Heat Wouldn't Make the Trade
The team seems to really like Chalmers and, with chemistry always a huge factor, it might be too risky to trade away a two-year starter and give the keys to someone who has barely played. Also, while Henry improved as a shooter in New Orleans, he's still an unfinished project.
The Heat are a win-now team. They may not see the potential of developing Henry as worth risking the loss of their current starting point guard.