The Hornets have acquired Courtney Lee from the Memphis Grizzlies. This story was first reported by Adrian Wojnarowski of "The Vertical." Full details of the trade are still uncertain, but what is clear is that P.J. Hairston and Brian Roberts are no longer on the Hornets roster.
This isn’t too big of a loss, as both players have struggled to take advantage of opportunities that have come up due to injuries. With Michael Kidd-Gilchrist set to have another surgery to repair his torn labrum, Lee will most likely start at the shooting guard position, bumping Nic Batum back to small forward.
Lee started 37 of 51 games for the Grizzlies this year. During his time in Memphis, he averaged 10 points per game while shooting 37% from beyond the arc. This is a big improvement over Hairston’s 31%. Lee will become the second best deep threat for the Hornets by the numbers this year, but is now perhaps the best pure shooter on Charlotte’s roster.
Earlier today we polled our twitter followers to find out which trade they would be in most favor of. The most common response was a “replacement” for MKG. While Lee isn’t the defender Kidd-Gilchrist is, he has experience that will be crucial for the Hornets down the stretch. This was a logical trade for the Hornets, as they have acquired wing help while losing two players that weren’t in their future plans. Even if the Hornets aren’t able to retain lee, who is in the last year of his current deal, they would not have given up much for his services.
Other Trading Options
Around 4:00 PM Tuesday, Mark Stein of ESPN reported the Hornets have contacted Houston in an effort to trade for Dwight Howard*. This isn’t a surprise to many, as a trade between the Hornets and Rockets seems logical for both sides. The Hornets would likely have to give up a first round pick, Al Jefferson, and Marvin Williams.
If the Rockets were to agree to that trade, I don’t see why the Hornets wouldn’t. All Charlotte is giving up in this scenario is a first round pick, something the Hornets have historically struggled to effectively utilize. Al Jefferson doesn’t appear to be in their future plans, and Frank Kaminsky looks to be the power forward of the future.
This would give Charlotte a lineup that is very similar to that of the Orlando Magic during their finals run. A defensive minded team with an inside-out offensive game centered around an all-star in Dwight Howard. Obviously, Howard could opt out at the end of the year, making the loss of a first round pick seem more significant. If this deal is on the table for the Hornets, why not mix it up a bit?
*Shortly after this article was published Wojnarowski reported the Hornets are not willing to part ways with major assets to acquire Dwight Howard. ESPN's Mark Stein also reported his source was "pessimistic" about the two sides reaching an agreement.
Lead Hornets Writer: Jonathon Hoppe