NBA Rumors: Hornets Prepared to Take Trade Calls on Gordon Hayward, Rozier, Oubre

Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVJanuary 21, 2023

HOUSTON, TEXAS - JANUARY 18: Terry Rozier #3 of the Charlotte Hornets in action against the Houston Rockets during the second half at Toyota Center on January 18, 2023 in Houston, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)
Carmen Mandato/Getty Images

The Charlotte Hornets are "prepared to take calls on veterans like Terry Rozier, Gordon Hayward and Kelly Oubre Jr.," according to NBA reporter Marc Stein.

Charlotte entered Saturday with a 12-34 record, third-worst in the NBA. Talented guard LaMelo Ball has been limited to 22 games this season and suffered an ankle sprain this week.

As a result, the Hornets will "prioritize lottery position" for the remainder of the season, per Stein.

The team has a 14 percent chance to get the No. 1 pick and a 52.1 percent shot at a top-four selection, per Tankathon. With an exciting 2023 class led by Victor Wembanyama and Scoot Henderson, there is plenty of motivation for teams to get a top draft pick.

Oubre would have been the easiest trade target as an impending free agent who was very productive to start the season, averaging a career-high 20.2 points per game. He unfortunately suffered a torn ligament in his left hand and required surgery in early January.

The forward had a timeline to return of four to six weeks, according to Shams Charania of Stadium and The Athletic, making it questionable if he'll get back on the floor by the Feb. 9 trade deadline.

Though Oubre can still make an impact in the second half of the year, trading for an injured player is always a risky proposition.

Hayward has also been in and out of the lineup, appearing in just 21 games this season, and he has been out since Jan. 2 with a hamstring injury. His 13.7 points per game would also be his lowest in a full season since 2011-12.

With $31.5 million owed to him in 2023-24, it might be difficult to move Hayward's contract.

Rozier would be the best player available, averaging 21.0 points, 5.3 assists and 4.1 rebounds per game this season. The contract, initially a four-year, $96.3 million deal, could still be an issue with at least two more guaranteed seasons remaining.

A team must be willing to make a long-term commitment to trade for the 28-year-old guard.