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Juneteenth

Hornets deal Dwight Howard, but to what end?

Posted by: Editor - Herb White on Wednesday, June 20, 2018 at 7:05:00 pm

With Dwight Howard shipped to Brooklyn, the Charlotte Hornets are surely not finished dealing yet.

One question Hornets fans are pondering: Is Kemba Walker next on the trading block as new General Manager Mitch Kupchak and new head coach James Borrego opt to tank in order to rebuild? It's hard to say, given Kupchak pronounced on Tuesday the franchise is looking to go for a wing scorer in Thursday's draft, which makes sense. If that's the case, it signals Charlotte isn't looking for a franchise player – not that there's one available with the 11th pick.

This franchise has holes, notably scoring, capable wing defenders and now that Howard's gone, a defensive presence around the hoop. But in today's NBA, defense is secondary to versatile offensive players who can drain three-pointers and make the occasional drive to the hole. Other than Walker, Charlotte lacks consistent threats who can get to the basket or force defenses to take notice. The Hornets need to play faster, which is why ditching Howard for Cody Zeller at center makes some sense.

Still, it'll be interesting to see which way Charlotte goes in the draft, which now includes the 45th overall pick as part of the Howard deal as well as the 55th. There's also free agency, which the Hornets can now at least entertain trying after Howard's departure.

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