Surprise Bottom-Feeder Team Emerges As Zach LaVine Suitor

Zach LaVine's name continues to be out there on the rumor mill, after it was revealed earlier this month that the Chicago Bulls and their star guard are both willing to explore a trade. 

And while several true contenders are seen as the top suitors to make a deal for LaVine, like the Miami Heat, Philadelphia 76ers and Los Angeles Lakers, a new, bottom-feeder team has apparently entered the fray. Sam Amico of Hoops Wire explains:

One source told Hoops Wire the (Charlotte) Hornets have a strong interest … though again, it’s a matter of LaVine’s contract. It may be giving them pause, the source said.

Ah yes, that contract. 

LaVine still has 4 years and $178M left (including this season) on his contract. That will make a trade difficult, to say the least. NBA Insider Marc Stein reports:

“A trade involving a contract as substantial as LaVine’s is tricky to construct in the best of times and a far more significant undertaking before Dec. 15, for starters, when roughly 25% of the league’s nearly 450 players on standard contracts is still ineligible to be traded." 

The Hornets have a superstar point guard in LaMelo Ball (who recently signed a 5-year extension at $205M), but no other true impact players. Imagine putting the high-scoring LaVine in that backcourt with Ball. But how they could possibly be able to match salaries and make a deal work (as well as convincing LaVine to go to Charlotte), makes this all seem highly implausible.

The Hornets are currently 4-9, in 13th in the Eastern Conference, after a 27-55 year last season, finishing 14th in the East.

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