The hottest news in Charlotte right now was the draft pick of LaMelo Ball. With the number 3 pick in the draft, Michael Jordan and the Charlotte Hornets had no hesitation in drafting one of the most promising point guards over the past decade. Ball has an unbelievably high ceiling and could be just the right player to turn everything around for the Hornets.
But Michael Jordan and the Hornets shouldn’t stop there. They should strike a deal with the Pelicans, a franchise always listening to offers, and acquire LaMelo’s brother Lonzo Ball. With the two Ball brothers on the squad, Michael Jordan and the Hornets are primed and ready to build a team that will be very competitive in the near future. To do this, the Hornets must move on from Terry Rozier and also take on sharpshooter J.J. Redick. This is why this deal makes the most sense for the Charlotte Hornets and the New Orleans Pelicans.
Trade Package: Lonzo Ball, J.J. Redick for Terry Rozier
Charlotte Hornets Have Amazing Guard Play
Firstly, the drafting of LaMelo Ball changes the entire franchise. Terry Rozier was the only recognizable name brought in last season to replace the departed Kemba Walker. Rozier’s toughness and strong attitude were perfect for a Michael Jordan team, and he did manage to fill some of the holes left by All-Star Kemba Walker. Rozier averaged 18.0 PPG for the Hornets last season and was the main ballhandler and shot taker for the team.
Unfortunately for him and the Hornets, Rozier only shot 42.3% from the field and averaged only 4.1 APG. For a point guard that played 34.3 MPG, this wasn’t conducive to a winning squad. Rozier especially loved dribbling out the clock and loved getting his shots up, something that will not fit with the new draft signing LaMelo Ball. With LaMelo handling the ball, there is no fit for Terry Rozier. The Hornets can move on from Rozier’s high usage rate and gain a pure point guard in Lonzo Ball and an off-ball scorer like Redick in a massive trade deal.
With Lonzo and Redick joining the squad, the Hornets will have some of the best guard play in the league. Lonzo and Redick are two unselfish players that will fit perfectly alongside LaMelo. The Hornets could have a lineup with three guards Devonte’ Graham, Lonzo Ball, and LaMelo Ball with the likes of Malik Monk, P.J. Washington, and J.J. Redick coming off the bench. The Hornets can play fast with ball movement and not a single player can opt to hold the ball for too long or take bad shots.
Most importantly, Lonzo Ball has not reached the heights expected of him in the NBA just yet, and playing with his brother might finally help him reach his goals. They know each other so well and perhaps the love and competition for each other will boost Lonzo’s game. Michael Jordan will certainly strive to bring the best out of each player, so this would be a great story for the NBA if Lonzo and LaMelo become All-Stars playing with each other someday.
The Pelicans Gain More Explosiveness With Rozier
Even though Rozier doesn’t fit with the Hornets due to his style of play, he can be an excellent addition to the New Orleans Pelicans. New Orleans recently acquired Eric Bledsoe who is expected to start if Lonzo gets moved. A duo of Bledsoe and Rozier is a very athletic and explosive tandem that can back each other up in the lineup. Losing J.J. Redick hurts, but the Pelicans can play fast and bring a ton of athleticism to the court at any given moment.
Zion Williamson is one of the most athletically gifted players in recent memory, so guys like Bledsoe and Rozier bring a ton of force that defenses will have to deal with. Moreover, moving Redick and Ball creates more space for All-Star Brandon Ingram to shine. More possessions going Ingram’s way is more beneficial to the Pelicans because he has superstar potential. Lonzo will likely never find his groove in New Orleans and Redick is in the back-end of his career, so adding a scorer like Rozier could be the best thing to do.
The only knock on this trade is that the Pelicans lose a pass-first point guard like Lonzo Ball who will feed the ball to Zion Williamson. Rozier is not a playmaker and is more of an energizer bunny off the bench, a role in which he truly flourishes in. But Eric Bledsoe is a defensive specialist who is much more athletic than Lonzo Ball and plays with more aggression. Bledsoe is also capable of playing the Pick n Roll with Zion so the Pelicans can make sure that the same gameplan is in place without Lonzo on the team. Bledsoe’s explosiveness and veteran experience paired with Rozier’s energy could make New Orleans better off going forward.