But league sources told Sporting News that the Hornets and Grizzlies do not have an agreement in place, and that there is increasing skepticism on both sides that a trade can be brought to bear ahead of Thursday’s NBA trade deadline.
Jake Fischer of Sports Illustrated:
In Memphis-Charlotte talks, sources say Tuesday night’s Marc Gasol deal was indeed at finish line, short of agreeing on the contracts to match salary. Some involved believe when Memphis prematurely sat Gasol—whereas Charlotte’s roster remained active—the Grizz forfeited leverage.
The Grizzlies are in talks to send Marc Gasol to the Hornets for Bismack Biyombo, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, and a protected first-round pick, according to league sources. The holdup at this point is the protection on the pick, per a source
Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer:
A source close to Marc Gasol says he anticipates ending up with the Hornets. The player obviously doesn't make that final call, but it's indicative, at least, that this is still running in the direction of a deal before Thursday's 3 p.m. deadline.
When trade negotiations get leaked as “strong talks” – Charania’s characterization in the initial report – that’s usually a prelude to a completed deal. This trade obviously hasn’t fallen through, but there are more hiccups than usual.
A Gasol-to-Charlotte trade remains logical. The Hornets are trying to win now, and they’re a rare team that needs center help. Gasol would be a big upgrade. The Grizzlies are out of the playoff race and should at least look to move Gasol before he can leave in unrestricted free agency next summer. Memphis, especially if entering a rebuilding phase, also has a low enough payroll to take back some of Charlotte’s negative-value salary. Of course, the Grizzlies should get better young players and picks than just Gasol would fetch if also taking bad money.
But the teams must still agree to exact parameters. It’s uncertain whether that will happen.
Maybe Gasol knows something, though. Or maybe it’s just wishful thinking on his part. According to Zach Lowe of ESPN, Gasol wants to be traded – a factor that could push Memphis to finish a deal now that trade talks have become public.
Charlotte reportedly in “strong talks” to trade for Marc Gasol from Memphis
Michael Jordan entered this season with two main goals for his Charlotte Hornets: 1) Make the playoffs; 2) Re-sign Kemba Walker in the offseason.
Charlotte, at 26-26, is currently the seven seed in the East, three games up on ninth-seeded Detroit. The Hornets look like a playoff team, but Jordan wants to both secure that and make the kind of move that tells Walker they are serious. Rumors of their interest in Memphis’ center Marc Gasol have bounced around the league since the Grizzlies said he was available.
Now, those appear to be more than rumors, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic.
Gasol would be an upgrade at center for Charlotte, who desperately missed Cody Zeller at the five when he was out injured. Gasol would improve the Hornets on both ends.
The question is who goes back to Memphis? Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, ($13 million this season and a player option for the same next season) has been rumored to be in it, and the Grizzlies might want promising young center Willy Hernangomez. After that maybe Malik Monk? Jeremy Lamb? The Grizzlies will listen to just about anything that doesn’t include Jaren Jackson Jr.
This has the feel of a trade that gets done.
Whether that is enough to keep Kemba in Charlotte next July is a question for another day.
Khris Middleton simultaneously blocked by most of the Hornets’ lineup
The second season of Tony Parker's contract with Charlotte is non-guaranteed with a trigger date of July 4th, 2019, per league sources. It is also worth $5.25 million if picked up, so the deal is really two years, $10.25M, sources say.
The unguaranteed second season makes a significant difference.
At age 36, Parker has already considerably declined and will only continue to slip. I get the logic of paying him next year, even if that money could have potentially gone to better use. Charlotte so desperate at backup point guard, Parker should be an upgrade. He’ll also help the Hornets transition to new coach James Borrego, who was a Spurs assistant coach. But I wouldn’t want to lock into paying him at age 37.
This was reported as all but done a couple of days ago, now it is official.
James Borrego is the new head coach of the Charlotte Hornets. A deal was reached and the team made the announcement Thursday afternoon.
“I’m very excited to serve as the head coach of the Charlotte Hornets,” Borrego said in a statement. “I want to thank Michael Jordan, Mitch Kupchak and Buzz Peterson for this opportunity. I’m confident in the coaching foundation I’ve had the opportunity to develop during my time in San Antonio, Orlando and New Orleans, and I cannot wait to get to work in Charlotte.”
“We are thrilled to have James join our franchise,” Hornets GM Kupchak said in his statement. “He brings a wealth of experience and a strong track record of player development from his time as a coach in San Antonio, New Orleans and Orlando. He has been a part of teams that have ascended to the highest levels of success in our league and understands what it takes to win in the NBA. James is considered one of the NBA’s most well-regarded assistant coaches and it’s great to have him as part of our team. I look forward to working with him in the years to come.”
Borrego comes out of the Spurs coaching tree. He started with that organization as a video coordinator and worked is way up to being an assistant coach under Gregg Popovich. He left with Monty Williams to be an assistant coach in New Orleans, from there went to Orlando under Jacques Vaughn — where Borrego was an interim head coach for 30 games after Vaughn was fired. After that, he came back to the Spurs and has been an assistant there for three years.
He comes to a Hornets team on the cusp of changes, it’s just unclear what direction Kupchak will take the team. With massive contracts on the books for Nicolas Batum and Dwight Howard, plus paying eight figures to Marvin Williams and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, the Hornets are capped out and are pushing the luxury tax. They can keep the roster together mostly, add a lottery pick, and make a push for the playoffs, or it could be time to start the rebuilding — which begins with trading Kemba Walker.
Borrego and Kupchak clearly talked about this before this hiring was made — Borrego knows what he’s getting into. While he picks a staff and sets up his infrastructure, the future direction of the Hornets will become clear.