Charlotte Hornets surprisingly discussed trade to acquire one of NBA’s worst contracts

Charlotte Hornets
Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

Two years ago, the Charlotte Hornets were on the path to becoming one of the most dangerous teams in the Eastern Conference. LaMelo Ball became a first-time All-Star, and Miles Bridges took a massive leap to become the 20 PPG scorer he is today.

But we’ve seen the Hornets lose their sting over the past two seasons following coach James Borrego’s departure. Of course, injuries to Ball and off-court issues with Bridges didn’t help as Charlotte went from a playoff team to one competing for draft picks.

However, despite the Hornets’ sour recent past, this is still a roster that features several young, intriguing pieces, starting with Ball, Bridges, and Brandon Miller. But now Bridges is a free agent again, and there’s a sense Charlotte may be willing to move on from the 26-year-old scorer.

In fact, they reportedly already discussed trading Bridges ahead of last season’s NBA trade deadline when it became clear that Charlotte wouldn’t reach the postseason.

According to Yahoo’s NBA insider Jake Fischer, the Hornets discussed a trade with the Brooklyn Nets that would have swapped Bridges for three-time All-Star Ben Simmons.

“While Bridges could command upward of $30 million, sources said, the Hornets are also believed to be open to parting with Bridges by way of sign-and-trade, should a productive opportunity present itself. Charlotte, sources said, held conversations with Brooklyn about swapping Bridges in a package that would have brought Ben Simmons to the Hornets in February. Sacramento was another team that inquired about Bridges at the deadline, sources said.”

Jake Fischer on Charlotte Hornets trade rumors involving Miles Bridges/Ben Simmons

While the move seems a bit odd on the surface, we’re guessing Brooklyn would have kicked in some draft compensation to move off from Simmons’s contract. Perhaps that’s where discussions broke down. While Bridges is now set to test the free agency market, Simmons, 27, has one year left on his contract at a rate of $40.3 million.

With the Hornets open to considering sign-and-trades involving Bridges, it’s possible they will revisit the Simmons trade negotiations later this summer.

Related: Brian Windhorst drops another strong hint about the next major NBA transaction

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