The Pacers would like to unload Jeremy Lamb, who is in the final year ($10.5 million) of his contract and has had health issues since he broke his left leg and tore knee ligaments two seasons ago. They don’t have a spot for him, and his defense is a liability on a team that took a major step back there under Nate Bjorkgren.
What about packaging Jeremy Lamb’s expiring contract and Frank Kaminsky in a trade? I know that Lamb has played well, but that makes his trade value higher than ever. Answer: I understand all questions about whether the Hornets should consider trading Lamb: He will be an unrestricted free agent in July and his performance this season has been good enough that the Hornets might not be able to justify paying what other teams will offer. Right now he’s a bargain as a starting shooting guard making about $7.5 million. First-season Hornets coach James Borrego took the leap of moving Lamb into the starting lineup and it’s been a success. If the Hornets are in playoff contention in early February, and the front office deals Lamb for draft picks or developmental talent, is that fair to the new coach? Sometimes you just have to value the long term over the short term, but that would be quite a hit to this season. That balance could change if the Hornets have a bad January, which is entirely possible with 10 of 14 games on the road.
Trade Jeremy Lamb for a future second-round pick? It could potentially take something that extreme for the Charlotte Hornets to extricate themselves from a player-payroll challenge next season. They have spent all this season close to the NBA’s luxury-tax threshold, and that problem could get worse, rather than better, for the 2018-19 season.
Somewhere along the way once this season ends, the Hornets will have to create some wiggle room with the payroll. Bobby Marks, an ESPN front-office insider and formerly assistant general manager of the Brooklyn Nets, suggested trading Lamb as one avenue to relieve the this payroll problem. Jeremy Lamb would be attractive to other teams because he’d be coming off his best NBA season, his salary is reasonable next season at about $7.5 million, and his contract expires after next season. Of course, those would also be the reasons the Hornets wouldn’t want to lose him, after investing four seasons in his development. Trading Lamb for little more than cap relief would be pretty draconian, but something of that nature might be the only fix.
It’s an open secret at this point that the Bucks are willing to move either Carter-Williams or big man Greg Monroe in the right deal. Sources stress, though, that recent speculation about a Monroe-to-Charlotte trade in exchange for Jeremy Lamb and Spencer Hawes does not fit that description. Lamb would certainly fill a need with the Bucks, but the Hornets -- already committed to trying to nurse Roy Hibbert back to prominence on a one-year, $5 million deal –- are said to have no interest in Monroe.
Lamb, who is 24, is a solid shooter – 44 percent from the field last season – and scorer – 8.8 points off the bench. There have been whispers the Bucks and Hornets have had conversations about a deal in which the Bucks would get Lamb and big man Spencer Hawes for Greg Monroe.