Mock Trade: Hornets Move Back In Swap With Familiar Trade Partner

Would the Charlotte Hornets entertain another swap with the Oklahoma City Thunder come draft night?
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Over the course of the next few weeks, we'll throw together some mock trades that make sense for the Charlotte Hornets. Tonight, we check out another draft night trade that has Charlotte trading back in the first round.


2024 1st Round Draft Selection (#12 overall, via Houston)

2025 1st Round Draft Selection (Top ten protected, via Miami)

2025 2nd Round Draft Selection (via Boston or Memphis)


2024 1st Round Draft Selection (#6 overall, via Charlotte)


This draft has been much maligned. Experts have been saying for months that it lacks top-end, franchise-changing talent. If that is true, what is the downside in sliding down six spots and picking up an extra first-round pick? There are few, in my opinion. It would be smart asset management for Charlotte to use their first round selection in 2024 as trade bait to add extra picks in a more talent-rich draft like 2025.

On the other side, the Oklahoma City Thunder may feel like they're one player away. OKC finished with the best record in the Western Conference before falling to the Dallas Mavericks in a hard fought six game second round series. Oklahoma City saw first hand how a talented rookie (Dereck Lively) can transform a franchise and make an impact on a high-level playoff series in year one. The Thunder have a treasure trove of first round selections. It's time to cash in.

In my opinion, they'd make this trade for Donovan Clingan if he's on the board. Chet Holmgren was a force in his rookie season, but Oklahoma City lacked depth behind their ascendant big man. Jaylin Williams (6'9") and Kenrich Williams (6'6") were the Thunder's best options when Holmgren hit the bench, leaving them undersized and vulnerable to deep front courts. Like the Dallas Mavericks.

Clingan boasts NBA-ready size, a soft touch, and legitimate Defensive Player of the Year Award potential. He is a perfect fit for the Thunder's current roster construction and could make an immediate impact as a role player spelling Holmgren for stretches.

Three of the four conference semifinalists (Indiana excluded) employed a stable of impactful big men. Dallas, Boston, and Minnesota all have multiple 6'10"+ sized bodies that stay on the floor at all times. The Thunder were clearly lacking in size, and a trade up and selection for Clingan is a move that could put them into the rarified air they couldn't reach in 2024.


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