Charlotte Hornets forward should be a Golden State Warriors target

In a recent interview on 95.7 The Game, Golden State Warriors’ General Manager Bob Myers commented on whether the reigning NBA champions would make a move to strengthen the current roster. The intended question addressed the fast-approaching February 9th trade deadline and the possible two-way conversion of Anthony Lamb and Ty Jerome’s contracts.

Myers was optimistic on the chemistry between the Warriors’ veterans and youngsters, although that’s hindered in recent times due to a myriad of injuries.

“We have to get things right. I have a lot to think about; we have to get this right. The vets get frustrated but not to the degree where it has tipped over any edge…young guys aren’t performing”, Myers said.

Bob Myers’ revealing answer, “we have to get this right”,  will be his and the Golden State Warriors’ mindset to the fast-approaching trade deadline.

With the Warriors sure to be buyers if they do decide to make a move, it’s time to look at who could be sellers. The Charlotte Hornets officially have the second-worst record in the league this season, proving their ninth-placed finish last season was technically a mirage — their point differential was a far more predictive measurement of the team’s quality.

Gordon Hayward’s $30 million contract, one of the worst in the league, is limiting the cap room needed to assemble a competitive roster around Lamelo Ball. There’s a reason that injury-prone 30-year-old’s aren’t that valuable in the grand scheme of things unless they immediately contribute to championship contention.

NBA legend Michael Jordan has failed to put the necessary pieces around the emerging Ball, with Charlotte miles away from a run at a title and currently a rudderless ship lost in a storm. The situation might give teams, like the Warriors, a chance to pounce on a valuable contributor.

Jalen McDaniels was the Hornets’ 52nd pick in the 2019 NBA draft. After a promising first few seasons in the league, the 24-year-old has earned the trust of Hornets head coach Steve Clifford, and is contributing almost 11 points, five rebounds and two assists with shooting splits of 45.5% from the field and 34% from three-point range.

Earlier this week, The Athletics’ Shams Charania reported that Phoenix among other teams were interested in acquiring McDaniels before the deadline. On just $1.9 million, the fourth-year man appears like of the most realistic options that Golden State could target.

James Wiseman has been sidelined for six games with an ankle sprain, Jonathan Kuminga has been out for five with a foot sprain, and JaMychal Green has been in street clothes for 11 games with a leg infection following Covid. Golden State’s rotation has weakened as a result, and McDaniels would undoubtedly strengthen the bench with his attention to the glass and defensive spark.

McDaniels has what many general manager’s covet —  a 6’9″ two-way forward with the versatility to be a major playoff contributor. A free agent at the end of the season, he wasn’t offered an extension with the Hornets who decided they would attempt to resign him in the offseason. They do retain his bird rights, but the ship may have already sailed away from Charlotte. Could McDaniels be Myers’ version of “getting it right”, and could he be playing at Chase Center by the time the trade deadline concludes?