Hornets and Blazers Pre-Draft Trade
Charlotte Hornets | Portland Trailblazers Trade – First Reaction:
- The Trade: Noah Vonleh and Gerald Henderson to the Blazers. Nicolas Batum to the Hornets.
- Hornets: The Hornets get a player in the prime of his career who is also in a contract year. Batum will provide upgraded outside shooting to a team that desperately needs it and an above average defender on a team that wants to play great defense. Batum will get a chance to play himself into a big contract as a key piece of the Hornets 2015-16 team. As a result, the Hornets are giving up a talented young player in Vonleh for one year of Batum.
- Blazers: The Blazers lose a versatile player with a year left on his deal and gain a role player (at best) in Henderson and an unknown commodity in Vonleh. As mentioned above, the more intriguing player for the Blazers is Vonleh, whose skillset has been compared to LaMarcus Aldridge. For now Vonleh is a project, but he’s inexpensive and will be able to practice with and model himself after Aldridge for at least a year.
- Winner: Time will tell. For the immediate future the Hornets are the winner of this trade. If Vonleh turns into even 80% of LaMarcus Aldridge the Blazers will be the clear winner.
Rumors are that LaMarcus Aldridge is not expected to remain with Portland. This changes things from the Blazers side of the trade as they may be looking at Vonleh to play a more prominent role this season. He is still a few years away from maximizing his potential, but if Aldridge leaves he may be expected to expedite his learning curve. It has to be mentioned that the Hornets, with all of their problems, decided Vonleh wasn't worth the wait.