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June 30, 2022
Basketball

NBA draft rumors: Hornets coaching mess could have trade implications

The Charlotte Hornets might make some moves ahead of the 2022 NBA Draft before hiring their next head coach because that is just who they are as a basketball franchise right now.

After being left at the altar by Golden State Warriors assistant Kenny Atkinson, the Charlotte Hornets are not only soldiering on in their long-drawn-out coaching search, but they may make several key players on their good, but not great roster available for trade.

Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report reported on Tuesday, “the Hornets are expected to gauge trade interest in Terry Rozier, P.J. Washington, Kelly Oubre Jr. and Mason Plumlee in advance of (Miles) Bridges’ restricted free agency.” He would also say that Charlotte is in no rush to hire its next head coach, but could take a harder look at their two other finalists in Mike D’Antoni or Terry Stotts.

Charlotte potentially trading everyone of note not named LaMelo Ball without a head coach in place sure sounds like a brilliant way to run a professional basketball franchise these days.

The Charlotte Hornets are a complete mess after its failed coaching search

The biggest hold-up to Atkinson taking over for James Borrego was, reportedly, the financials surrounding how he could assemble his coaching staff. Fischer reported many of Borrego’s former assistants are still under contract for a year and Charlotte would prefer whoever takes over for him would retain these coaches. The Hornets are also bottom five when it comes to coaching staff salary.

If a former NBA head coach is going to willingly leave basketball paradise over in the Bay Area, he is not going to do so for an organization that comes across as cheap. It might be hard to tell Michael Jordan no, but that is exactly what Atkinson did. He may not be the heir apparent to Steve Kerr in Golden State after all, but it is clear that Atkinson is not ready to move his family yet again.

Ultimately, the players Charlotte is reportedly putting on the block are nothing to sneeze at. These are players who can be key rotational pieces in helping any team win games. The problem with moving off players of this caliber is what will an incoming head coach have to work with? Who is to say Borrego’s eventual successor will even be part of the draft process. Charlotte is a hot mess.

Once again, this is why failing to seal the deal with Atkinson is coming back to bite the Hornets.

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