The Charlotte Hornets could potentially be one of the more active teams in the offseason this summer. With nearly $30 million in possible cap space, plenty of assets in the form of players and draft picks and a team on the brink of a breakthrough, the Hornets are one of the most intriguing teams this summer.
Bleacher Report used all of that flexibility to predict a potential blockbuster trade with the Toronto Raptors. Greg Swartz put together a trade that would see the Hornets send P.J. Washington, Vernon Carey and a 2021 first-round pick to the Raptors for Pascal Siakam.
The deal would sap the majority of Charlotte’s cap space, but it would turn a player with potential into a player who has realized his potential. At just 27 years old, Siakam is an All-Star who averaged 21.4 points last season after averaging 22.9 points the year prior.
Trading for him would not cost the Hornets their versatility, either. He spent time at both the four and five last season and has even spent some time as a small forward as well. He has playoff experience, winning a title with the Raptors in 2019 as well as trips in 2017, 2018 and 2020.
For Charlotte, it would be a win-now move that would give them another scoring wing to ease the burden on Terry Rozier, Gordon Hayward and LaMelo Ball. It would also serve as insurance for Hayward, whose track record of injuries means he is likely to miss a segment of games each season.
Where the move runs into issues is breaking down why the Raptors would trade Siakam. The franchise signed the forward to a four-year extension 18 months ago and would need to have a drastic change of heart to deal him this quickly.
For all the reasons he would be a positive for the Hornets, he would be that for the Raptors, too. The only way the team would do the deal is if it feels the need to enter a longer rebuild should they land the No. 1 pick in the upcoming NBA draft and build their franchise around Cade Cunningham or a similar player.
While this deal is unlikely, it’s the type of trade the Hornets could look to make as they aggregate their bevy of assets to try to nab a player that can help take them to the next level.
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