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Portland Trail Blazers Trade Nicolas Batum to Charlotte Hornets

Charlotte Hornets Buzz City
Do the Hornets Have a Plan?
The Charlotte Hornets continue to retool prior to the NBA draft, this time trading Gerald Henderson and Noah Vonleh to the Portland Trail Blazers for Nicolas Batum.  Does this signal the end of the LaMarcus Aldridge era in Rip City? Or did they clear cap space to bring him back?  

Unless the Hornets plan on playing Michael Kidd-Gilchrist at the SG position, MKG will be moved to the bench. 

Believe it or not, Batum has never averaged 15 points per game in a season.  Last season, he saw his 3pt % drop for a 3rd straight season, down to 32.4%.  No reason to believe he can resurrect his career in the Hornets slow paced offense, and he will still be the 3rd option on offense behind Kemba Walker and Al Jefferson.  Batum is owed $11 mil next season.

With Wes Matthews entering free agency and asking for $15 mil per season, and Robin Lopez testing free agency, we could see an entirely different Blazers lineup next season, with Damian Lillard being the lone returnee. 

Henderson averaged 28.9 minutes in 80 games last season, scoring 12 points per game on 43.7% shooting.  He is good for 12 points per game for his career.  Playing with Lillard in Terry Stots offense, he should be able to get back to his 15 points per game he averaged from 2011-13.

Vonleh spent most of his rookie season injured, playing in just 25 games and shot under 40% from the field while pulling down 3.4 rebounds in 10 minutes per game.

The Hornets have the 9th pick in the NBA Draft, and our mock has them selecting Devin Booker.  Makes even more sense now with Stephenson and Henderson leaving town!