Hornets Rumors

Borrego Uniquely Motivating Hornets Rookies

Hornets head coach James Borrego has a unique way of keeping rookie forwards Caleb Martin and Jalen McDaniels galvanized to give maximum effort in Charlotte, as Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer relays. If their play is not to the level of their teammates, they will be sent down to develop with the team’s G League affiliate the Greensboro Swam.

“It’s their job to put pressure on me to keep them here,” Borrego said. “For them to stay in our program right now, there is a level of accountability, there is a level of professionalism they need to carry themselves with.” Small forward Martin went undrafted out of Nevada, while power forward McDaniels was selected by the Hornets with the No. 52 pick out of San Diego State.

2020’s Most Valuable Traded Second-Round Picks

Fans of lottery-bound NBA teams will be keeping a close on the league’s reverse standings down the stretch because of the effect they’ll have on the draft order and lottery odds for the 2020 first round.

However, it’s not just the first round of the draft that’s worth keeping an eye on. Those reverse standings will also dictate the order of the draft’s second round, and an early second-round pick can be nearly as valuable as a first-rounder.

Traded first-round selections like the one the Grizzlies are sending to the Celtics will ultimately be more valuable than any second-rounder, but it’s still worth taking a closer look at some traded 2020 second-rounders that project to be valuable picks.

[RELATED: Traded Second-Round Picks For 2020 NBA Draft]

Here are a few of those traded picks:

From: Golden State Warriors
To: Dallas Mavericks
Current projection: No. 31

This traded pick dates all the way back to the 2016 offseason, when the Mavericks acquired it along with Andrew Bogut. That deal gave them the option to eventually receive either the Warriors’ 2019 or 2020 second-rounder.

Dallas faced a little criticism at the time for helping Golden State clear the cap room necessary to sign Kevin Durant, but if the Mavs hadn’t done it, another team would have. Now they’ll benefit from the end of the Warriors’ dynasty, potentially acquiring the best non-first-round pick of the 2020 draft.

From: Cleveland Cavaliers
To: Charlotte Hornets
Current projection: No. 32

The Cavaliers first traded this pick to Orlando at the trade deadline in 2016 to acquire Channing Frye. It was later traded from the Magic to the Clippers, who eventually sent it to Charlotte on draft night in 2018.

The pick was one of two future second-rounders L.A. surrendered to move up a single spot in the lottery to draft Shai Gilgeous-Alexander at No. 11 in ’18.

Considering the Cavs won a title with Frye and the Clippers eventually used Gilgeous-Alexander to acquire Paul George – and, indirectly, Kawhi Leonard – I don’t think either team is losing sleep about giving up this selection, but it’ll be a nice asset for the Hornets this spring.

From: Atlanta Hawks
To: Philadelphia 76ers
Current projection: No. 33

From: New York Knicks
To: Philadelphia 76ers
Current projection: No. 35

Philadelphia sent three second-round picks to the Warriors at the deadline for Alec Burks and Glenn Robinson III, but did well to hang onto these selections, both of which could fall in the top 35 this spring.

The Sixers received both of these picks in deals that saw their trade partners move up in the second round to nab big men. The Knicks’ second-rounder was sent to Philadelphia in a 2015 deal for No. 35 pick Willy Hernangomez, while the Hawks’ second-rounder changed hands in last June’s swap for No. 34 pick Bruno Fernando.

From: Detroit Pistons
To: Sacramento Kings
Current projection: No. 36

This pick has been involved in two trades, neither of which worked out particularly well for the Suns. It was all Phoenix received in return for Marcus Morris, Reggie Bullock, and Danny Granger in a cost-cutting trade during the 2015 offseason. Then it was part of the package the Suns sent to the Kings for 2016’s No. 8 pick, Marquese Chriss.

The two 2016 first-round picks the Kings got that in that Chriss trade (Georgios Papagiannis and Skal Labissiere) didn’t pan out for Sacramento. However, the package also included the rights to Bogdan Bogdanovic, making it a big win for the Kings. This year’s second-round pick is just an added bonus.

Malik Monk's NBA Learning Curve

  • Third-year Hornets shooting guard Malik Monk concedes he may not have been ready for the NBA when he was drafted at age 19, per a conversation with Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer. “I went to Kentucky, and I still wasn’t ready for the NBA,” Monk told Bonnell. “Some days you’re tired. Or your body hurts. Or you have a headache. And nobody wants to hear that. You’ve got to fight through that. That’s what I’ve really learned — that you’ve got to fight.”

Roster Moves Required Soon For Hornets, Rockets, Clippers

The NBA’s Collective Bargaining Agreement requires teams to carry at least 14 players on their rosters during the regular season, not counting two-way players. However, clubs are allowed to dip below that line for up to two weeks at a time.

At the February 6 trade deadline, with so many players on the move, a handful of teams around the league fell below that 14-player threshold, meaning they’ll have to get back up to 14 later this month.

Here’s a breakdown of which teams must make at least one roster move shortly after this weekend’s All-Star Game:

Charlotte Hornets

The Hornets had a quiet trade deadline, but completed a pair of buyouts a couple days later, officially releasing Marvin Williams and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist on February 8. They’ll have until February 22 to add at least one player to their roster.

Since the 18-36 squad is well out of playoff contention, Charlotte is far more likely to sign a G League prospect than an NBA veteran. By the end of the season, I’d expect the Hornets to fill both their 14th and 15th roster spots with young players on multiyear deals, in the hopes that one or both of them prove to be keepers.

Houston Rockets

The Rockets had been carrying 14 players since waiving Gary Clark last month. On February 5, they dipped to 13 when they acquired Robert Covington and Jordan Bell (later flipped for Bruno Caboclo) in a deal that saw them send out Clint Capela, Gerald Green, and Nene. They’ll have to add a new player before they resume play next Thursday.

Houston is closely monitoring the buyout market, but if there’s no one that interests the team now, I’m not sure that’ll change within the next week. I could see the Rockets signing a player to a 10-day contract to give them some flexibility to continue keeping an eye on the buyout market for the rest of the month.

Los Angeles Clippers

The Clippers were carrying 15 players leading up to the trade deadline, but moved Maurice Harkless, Jerome Robinson, and Derrick Walton last week while only getting Marcus Morris and Isaiah Thomas back. Thomas was waived on February 8, reducing the team’s roster count to 13. Like Charlotte, the Clips will have until February 22 to add a 14th man.

Since they’re also a contending team, the Clippers figure to join the Rockets in scouring the buyout market for veteran help in the coming weeks. With the possible exception of Tyler Johnson, I’m not sure any recently-waived vets will attract much interest from L.A., so a stop-gap option on a 10-day deal is a possibility after the All-Star break.

Adebayo Thought He'd Be Drafted By Hornets In 2017

  • ESPN’s Zach Lowe takes a fascinating, in-depth look at Bam Adebayo‘s road to the NBA and to his first All-Star nod. Lowe shares some entertaining stories about Adebayo’s first workouts for NBA teams, the impression he made on Miami leading up to the 2017 draft, and how his hunch that he’d be selected by the Hornets fell by the wayside when Charlotte traded for Dwight Howard two days before the draft.

Joel Embiid Would Be Worth The Gamble For Hornets

Justise Winslow is thrilled about his new start in Memphis, but in an interview with Ira Winderman of The Sun Sentinel he offered little insight into an injury that has forced him to miss all but 11 games this season. Winslow has taken the court just once since December 6 because of a lower back bone bruise. “The (Miami) coaching staff thought I was able to play,” Winslow said without further explanation.

After being taken with the 10th pick in the 2015 draft, Winslow developed into a versatile forward for the Heat and often handled play-making duties. However, the lingering injury and the development of young talent in Miami made him expandable in last week’s trade for Andre Iguodala.

“I’m not going to give any dates (for a possible return), I’m sorry,” Winslow said. “But it’s been an ongoing thing this season. That’s the bottom line. I’m sure the Miami Heat did everything that they thought was right to try to help me. Things didn’t work out. I’m here now. I wish I could tell you a date that I’m expected to be back, but there isn’t one.”

There’s more from the Southeast Division:

  • Jimmy Butler has finally found a team that views the NBA the same way he does, writes Nick Friedell of ESPN. Butler clashed with teammates, coaches and management in his previous three stops, but his ultra-competitive attitude is welcome with the Heat“When [Butler] was in other places, he got knocked for (speaking his mind),” Iguodala said. “He was disruptive toward his other teammates, but you put him around some guys that actually want to get to the grind, what did he do for them? He upped their level of play, right?”
  • Jerome Robinson sees the Wizards as an ideal fit and is ready for the opportunity he never got with the Clippers, relays Chase Hughes of NBA Sports. Robinson was a lottery pick in 2019, but often languished on the bench as L.A. focused on challenging for a title. He’s hoping for more playing time in Washington after being traded there last week. “Experience, that’s what you really learn from,” Robinson said. “To grow as a player and a person, I think this is a great step for me right here.”
  • Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer believes the Hornets should pounce on the opportunity if Sixers center Joel Embiid ever goes on the trade market.

Hornets Project To Be Among Teams With Most 2020 Cap Space

  • The Hawks, Knicks, and Pistons project to have more than enough cap room for a maximum-salary player this summer, with the Heat and Hornets potentially joining them, says John Hollinger of The Athletic. As Hollinger observes in his preview of the NBA’s 2020 cap outlook, there are several other teams that could create some cap room if free agents walk or players turn down options, but there won’t be much league-wide space this offseason.

Forbes Releases 2020 NBA Franchise Valuations

The Knicks have had a miserable 12 months, finishing the 2018/19 season with a league-worst 17 wins, missing out on their top free agent targets, and then firing head coach David Fizdale and president of basketball operations Steve Mills during the 2019/20 season.

None of that seems to have had a noticeable impact on the team’s market value though. Once again, the franchise is considered the most valuable of any of the NBA’s 30 clubs, according to a report from Kurt Badenhausen of Forbes. The Lakers and Warriors aren’t far behind, having both surpassed the $4 billion mark for the first time this year.

For the first time, all 30 NBA teams have a perceived worth of $1.3 billion or more, per Forbes’ annual report. Every team’s value increased by at least 6% since Forbes put out their 2019 valuations last February, with a handful of franchises jumping by 20% or more.

The NBA-wide average of $2.12 billion per team in 2020 is also a new record — that league-wide average surpassed the $2 billion mark for the first time. NBA franchise values are up almost sixfold over the last decade, according to Badenhausen.

Here’s the full list of NBA franchise valuations, per Forbes:

  1. New York Knicks: $4.6 billion
  2. Los Angeles Lakers: $4.4 billion
  3. Golden State Warriors: $4.3 billion
  4. Chicago Bulls: $3.2 billion
  5. Boston Celtics: $3.1 billion
  6. Los Angeles Clippers: $2.6 billion
  7. Brooklyn Nets: $2.5 billion
  8. Houston Rockets: $2.475 billion
  9. Dallas Mavericks: $2.4 billion
  10. Toronto Raptors: $2.1 billion
  11. Philadelphia 76ers: $2 billion
  12. Miami Heat: $1.95 billion
  13. Portland Trail Blazers: $1.85 billion
  14. San Antonio Spurs: $1.8 billion
  15. Sacramento Kings: $1.775 billion
  16. Washington Wizards: $1.75 billion
  17. Phoenix Suns: $1.625 billion
  18. Denver Nuggets: $1.6 billion
  19. Milwaukee Bucks: $1.58 billion
  20. Oklahoma City Thunder: $1.575 billion
  21. Utah Jazz: $1.55 billion
  22. Indiana Pacers: $1.525 billion
  23. Atlanta Hawks: $1.52 billion
  24. Cleveland Cavaliers: $1.51 billion
  25. Charlotte Hornets: $1.5 billion
  26. Detroit Pistons: $1.45 billion
  27. Orlando Magic: $1.43 billion
  28. Minnesota Timberwolves: $1.375 billion
  29. New Orleans Pelicans: $1.35 billion
  30. Memphis Grizzlies: $1.3 billion

The Raptors are among this year’s big “winners,” with their value rising 25%, from $1.675 billion a year ago to $2.1 billion this year following their first NBA championship. The Clippers also had a noteworthy bump, moving from ninth place on Forbes’ list to sixth after landing Kawhi Leonard and Paul George last summer.

Although every franchise’s value increased, the Nets had the smallest jump, just 6%. The Magic‘s modest 8% increase resulted in the team slipping from 23rd on last year’s list to 27th this year.

It’s worth noting that when a franchise has been sold in recent years, the price often exceeds Forbes’ valuation, so these figures are just estimates.

Williams Buyout Paves Way For Youth Movement; MKG Gives Money Back In Buyout

Now that Hornets power forward Marvin Williams has officially been waived (Williams just signed with the Bucks), Charlotte’s pivot to a youth movement is complete, according to the Charlotte Observer’s Rick Bonnell.

“The goal right now is to get these young guys experience,” Hornets coach James Borrego said. “And the more, the better.” 

  • Williams’ fellow Hornets vet Michael Kidd-Gilchrist returned the minimum salary he will make in his next landing spot (the Mavericks have been rumored to be in the mix for his services) in his buyout arrangement with Charlotte, per Jeff Siegel of Early Bird Rights (Twitter link). Siegel also notes that, due to this, Kidd-Gilchrist’s buyout accounted for $810,763 of his $13MM salary.

Seth Curry Would Embrace Playing For Hornets

  • Mavericks guard Seth Curry would welcome the opportunity to play in his hometown in Charlotte with the Hornets at some point in his career, Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer relays. “I’d love to,” Curry said following the team’s win against Charlotte on Saturday. “If the opportunity came about, I would embrace it.” Curry’s contract with Dallas runs through 2023, so he’s expected to remain with the Mavs for the foreseeable future.