Grading the trade for the Charlotte Hornets
The Charlotte Hornets are sitting at 13th place in the Eastern Conference with a record of 10-32, so they are clearly poised to take back as much draft capital as possible for some of their veteran players ahead of this year's trade deadline. The Hornets just recently traded Terry Rozier to the Miami Heat in exchange for Kyle Lowry and a first round pick, so the groundwork is already being laid for Charlotte to try and seek more assets for their veterans.
The Hornets can definitely extract some positives from this trade if they were to make it. First off, P.J. Washington has played worse this year comparable to past seasons, and has looked less effective from an offensive perspective. While there are still many believers in Washington's talent, getting a mid-tier first-round pick and a good young player (Hardy) in a deal where Charlotte is sending him out would be an absolute win for the Hornets.
Hornets center Mark Williams hasn't played since December 8 due to a lower back contusion, and as good as Nick Richards has played this season for Charlotte, it's largely assumed that Williams will retain the starting center position upon his return as he's Charlotte's big man of the future. Given that Charlotte is also getting a veteran backup center in Holmes in this trade, parting with Richards becomes much easier especially when you take into consideration that he has never played at this level in his career thus far.
Potential starting lineup: LaMelo Ball, Cody Martin, Brandon Miller, Miles Bridges, Mark Williams
Grant Williams is the biggest wild card in this deal, as him playing well could thrust this into an absolute A+ trade for the Hornets. Hardy is a great young scorer who'd have all the time in the world to grow in the Hornets system in a perfect world, but Charlotte already has coveted young guards of their own in LaMelo Ball and Nick Smith Jr., so cracking the rotation won't be easy.
If Hardy or Williams were more sure-fire prospects at positions of need for the Hornets, or Dallas gave Charlotte another first-round pick, then the Hornets would effectively win this trade. However, there are too many uncertainties despite the assets that Dallas gives up in this one, so the Hornets get a B.