Six-time NBA champion Michael Jordan knows a thing or two about contending as a player. Unfortunately, that has not been the case in his current role as the Charlotte Hornets owner. Could a Russell Westbrook trade potentially change this?
As you likely already know, Westbrook is on the trade block. The former NBA MVP wants out after spending just one season with the Houston Rockets. This has apparently caught Jordan’s attention.
Hornets owner Michael Jordan interested in Russell Westbrook trade
“Since it was reported that Westbrook wants out, the Hornets have emerged as the most likely team to land him. Front office sources tell me Michael Jordan wants the 2016-17 MVP, which is unsurprising and understandable,” Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer reported Monday.
Attempting to make his Hornets relevant on the broader NBA stage, it’s not a surprise that Jordan would be interested in a Russell Westbrook trade. That’s until we realize who Charlotte currently has starting in the backcourt.
Devonte’ Graham and Terry Rozier averaged a combined 36.2 points, 7.8 rebounds and 11.6 assists in their first season together with the Hornets. They both shot better than 37% from three-point range, too. Even with Charlotte coming off a 23-42 season, these two seem to be potential building blocks moving forward.
It also must be noted that the Rockets have been met with a cold market when it comes to a potential Russell Westbrook trade. He just turned 32 years old and is set to count a combined $131 million over the next three seasons.
Related: Russell Westbrook trade scenarios
How might a Russell Westbrook trade to the Hornets look?
According to the above-mentioned report from O’Connor, Charlotte will not put the No. 3 overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft up for sale in a potential Westbrook trade. The team is set to be targeting center James Wiseman, as long as Golden State doesn’t nab him at two.
Instead, the Hornets have ample youngsters and salary fillers to offer up to the Rockets for Westbrook. Forwards P.J. Washington and Miles Bridges come to mind first. In terms of a potential salary filler, veteran Nicolas Batum just picked up his $27.13 million option for the 2020-21 season.
Given the lack of a market for Westbrook, a trade looking like this could make sense.
- Hornets get: Russell Westbrook and P.J. Tucker
- Rockets get: P.J. Washington or Miles Bridges, Nicolas Batum, Terry Rozier and protected future first-round pick
Is this a trade that would make the Hornets better? I am not too sure.
What we do know is that Jordan is desperate to make the franchise relevant after Charlotte has missed out on the playoffs all but three times since the end of the 2001-02 season. If that means pulling off a Russell Westbrook trade and biting the bullet, so be it.