The Charlotte Hornets moved quickly to replace Kemba Walker by acquiring Terry Rozier in a sign-and-trade with the Boston Celtics, and several executives around the NBA didn't think it was a good move.
ESPN's Tim Bontemps published Wednesday the results of a survey that "asked 20 coaches, executives and scouts" about the craziness of the league's offseason so far.
One of the questions was "What was the worst move of the summer?" The top answers (tied with six votes apiece) for this question were the New York Knicks' dreadful summer, which was hardly a surprise when you consider who they signed, and Ricky Rubio signing with the Phoenix Suns. Rozier joining the Hornets came in at No. 3 with four votes.
The Hornets compounded their mistake of reportedly not offering Walker enough money to remain in Charlotte by overpaying to replace him with Rozier. The 25-year-old point guard primarily served in a backup role in four seasons with the Celtics, but that was enough for the Hornets to give him a three-year, $58 million contract.
One executive in Bontemps' survey gave a pretty strong take on Rozier's deal:
"I thought that was a huge overpay without enough short term to justify it," one Eastern Conference executive said. "I think that's going to be a disaster to be a bottom-end team and throw that money around. I don't see how that's going to work out."
The Hornets might have the worst roster in the NBA. They have zero young players with franchise cornerstone-type potential. They don't have any salary cap flexibility to take on bad contracts in exchange for quality assets or to be a major factor in free agency next summer. Unless the Hornets win the draft lottery next season, it's difficult to envision this roster making any sort of significant improvement in the short term.
The Hornets also have a horrible track record of first-round draft picks. Charlotte's last first-rounder who became an All-Star with the team was Walker, and he was drafted in 2011.
Rozier is a talented player with a bright future. He's a good defender and capable of getting hot from the field and scoring a lot of points against the right matchups. Paying him almost $20 million per season doesn't make much sense, however, but we can't say we're surprised with what unfolded given Michael Jordan's lackluster record as Hornets owner.
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