4 Biggest Charlotte Hornets Trades

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Glen Rice presents the winner of a pop-a-shot competition at the NBA Asia Challenge 2010.
(Wikimedia Commons/inboundpass)
Anatoly Pimentel @AnatolyPimentel Jul 19, 2023, 5:51 PM
  • Here's a list of the biggest Charlotte Hornets trades in franchise history.
  • Glen Rice leads the list of players Charlotte received through trade.
  • Other notable players the Hornets acquired were Eddie Jones, Emeka Okafor, and Gordon Hayward.

The Charlotte Hornets franchise was among the expansion teams in the NBA before the 1990s and has experienced a roller-coaster campaign in the Eastern Conference. In over three decades, they qualified for the playoffs 10 times but failed to capture a title. They are one of the NBA teams who never won a championship, along with 10 other franchises.

Despite not being perennial top contenders in basketball odds, Charlotte has displayed their ability to splurge in the trade market by acquiring stars. This gave the team a glimmer of hope to be competitive and improved their roster. But which among these trades in team history is considered the biggest? Here’s a top-four list.

Glen Rice

Due to the Alonzo Mourning contract extension saga in Charlotte, the team was forced to find a trade. In 1995, the Hornets agreed to send Mourning to Miami for Glen Rice, Matt Geiger, and Khalid Reeves. Among the three players, Rice became a star.

The 6-foot-8 power forward set the all-time franchise record for points per game average with 23.5 and minutes per game of 40.8. Along with his over 23-point production, he grabbed 4.4 rebounds and dished out 2.4 assists in 240 games. Rice, who also appeared in three NBA All-Star Games, helped Charlotte reach the playoffs in 1997 and 1998.

Eddie Jones

After three productive seasons with the team, Rice was eventually dealt to the Los Angeles Lakers in another blockbuster trade. Rice was accompanied by J.R. Reid and B.J. Armstrong to the Los Angeles Lakers for Eddie Jones and Elden Campbell. After the trade, Jones brought his double-digit scoring to the Hornets.

The former lottery pick in the 1994 NBA Draft played 102 games with Charlotte and averaged 19.2 points, 4.5 rebounds, and 4.2 assists, which landed the team the fifth spot in the Eastern Conference standings and granted them another postseason. Unfortunately, the Sixers defeated them in the opening round in four games.

Emeka Okafor

After two seasons of absence in the league because of relocation, Charlotte returned to the league during the 2004-05 season. They were granted additional power to pick players via the expansion draft. That expansion draft pick was used to select Montenegro’s Pedrag Drobnjak, a 6-foot-11 forward to shore up the team’s frontline. 

Charlotte, known as the Bobcats at that time, traded with the Clippers during the 2004 NBA Draft to acquire the second overall pick for their first and second-round picks. Los Angeles used those two picks to select Shaun Livingston as their fourth overall pick and Lionel Chalmers as the 33rd pick in the second round.

Once the swap of picks was official, Charlotte selected center Emeka Okafor from Connecticut. Okafor became the face of the team for five seasons and tallied a double-double average of 14 points and 10.7 rebounds, thus winning the Rookie of the Year award in 2005. In 2009, he was traded to New Orleans for Tyson Chandler.

Gordon Hayward

In 2020, the Boston Celtics moved on from the services of forward Gordon Hayward after three seasons of failed title aspirations. This prompted them to find a team that would absorb Hayward’s huge salary. Charlotte willingly accepted the former ninth overall pick in the 2010 NBA Draft for a conditional 2022 second-round pick.

Aside from Hayward, the Hornets also received two future second-round picks from the trade. In three seasons, the 6-foot-7 forward became one of the top Charlotte players and racked up double-digit scoring numbers of 16.6 points with 4.9 rebounds and 3.9 assists. Furthermore, he became a part of the solid veteran presence in the young and rebuilding roster of the Hornets.

Charlotte Hornets Biggest Trades

Player AcquiredTrade DetailsYear
Glen RiceHornets received: Glen Rice, Matt Geiger, and Khalid Reeves / Heat received: Alonzo Mourning1995
Eddie JonesHornets received: Eddie Jones and Elden Campbell / Lakers received: Glen Rice, J.R. Reid, and B.J. Armstrong1999
Emeka OkaforHornets received: 2004 second overall pick (Emeka Okafor) / Clippers received: Hornets' 2004 first-round and second-round draft picks2004
Gordon HaywardHornets received: Gordon Hayward and two future second-round picks / Celtics received: Trade exception and Conditional second-round pick2020

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About the Author

Anatoly Pimentel

Read More @AnatolyPimentel

Anatoly Pimentel is an NBA and MMA writer previously featured in ASEAN Sports, Asian Persuasion MMA, and Overtime Heroics MMA. He graduated from Adamson University with a B.A in Communication and is a Web Content Writer for BetMGM.

Anatoly Pimentel is an NBA and MMA writer previously featured in ASEAN Sports, Asian Persuasion MMA, and Overtime Heroics MMA. He graduated from Adamson University with a B.A in Communication and is a Web Content Writer for BetMGM.