Getting players on expiring contracts to play together is not easy, but the Hornets did it exceptionally well.
Now comes the harder part.
The short answer: The Hornets almost certainly can’t. But they’re trying to maximize their chances of bringing back more of that group.
Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports:
There are plenty of teams that should take that deal. Spencer Hawes (two years and $12,369,934 remaining, with a player option) and Jeremy Lamb (three years and $21 million left on a contract extension that hasn’t even kicked in) aren’t that onerous. There’s solid value at No. 22 in this draft, and Lamb is young enough that he might still come around.
The Hornets have full Bird Rights for Batum, Lee and Jefferson. Batum is the top priority, but even renouncing everyone else would leave enough cap room to sign only one of Williams or Lin (with the slight, slight chance Lee’s cap hold could stay on the books then his Bird Rights used to exceed the cap to re-sign him).
Remove the No. 22 pick and Hawes or Lamb, and there’s very likely enough wiggle room to keep Lee and one of Williams and Lin. It might even be possible to re-sign Williams and Lin and let Lee walk, but there’s an easier path to re-signing Lee with his Bird Rights.