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NBA Trade Grades: Hornets Trade Terry Rozier to Heat

Charlotte Hornets guard Terry Rozier (3) dribbles against the Minnesota Timberwolves in the fourth quarter at Target Center.

Another major NBA trade has happened as the trade season continues. This morning, Terry Rozier was traded to the Miami Heat, a move that had been rumored for several weeks. It was also reported that Rozier preferred a trade to Heat ahead of the deadline. Let’s analyze this trade for both sides.

NBA Trade Grades: Hornets Trade Terry Rozier to Heat

The Deal In Full

Miami Heat Receive: Terry Rozier

Charlotte Hornets Receive: Kyle Lowry, 2027 first-round pick (lottery protected unprotected in 2028 if pick doesn’t convey)

Trade Grades

Miami Heat: A

This move is an absolute homerun for the Heat. Despite being an incredible playoff team, they clearly needed a roster upgrade ahead of the deadline. Miami had been searching for another star for years and had been linked to several stars, including Damian Lillard, throughout the summer. A dynamic scoring guard like Rozier is exactly what the Heat needed. Rozier is in the midst of a career year, averaging 23.2 points and 6.6 assists per game. While he’s not the caliber of Lillard, Rozier is still an All-Star-level player who fits the team’s needs. He will provide a huge boost to Miami’s 20th-ranked offense. Furthermore, the Heat were able to get Rozier for a cheap price, making this deal a no-brainer. Landing Rozier moves the needle for Miami in an increasingly competitive East.

Currently, the Heat are the sixth seed, but they’re only three games back from the fourth seed. With Rozier in the mix, they will be more competitive in the regular season and in contention for hosting a playoff series. Rozier’s presence alleviates pressure from Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo, who have dealt with injuries throughout the season. Rozier’s skill set will give Miami’s offense a new dimension in the playoffs, unlocking more perimeter scoring. Rozier will be the best perimeter player Butler and Adebayo have played with in Miami. The two-man game between Adebayo and Rozier is very intriguing. Rozier’s playoff experience with the Boston Celtics earlier in his career will benefit him with the Heat and make him a natural fit. This offensive and talent upgrade solidifies the Heat as contenders. Ultimately, this checks all the boxes of a great trade.

Charlotte Hornets: C

For the Charlotte Hornets, this trade allows them to fully bottom out and build around LaMelo Ball. However, I can’t help but wonder if they didn’t get enough for Rozier. A Rozier return package was never going to be a king’s ransom, but only getting one first-round pick and no young talent feels like a disappointment. Getting Nikola Jovic or Haywood Highsmith would have given this deal more upside for the Hornets. Additionally, Charlotte is already a bottom-three team in the East, and Rozier isn’t a free agent until 2026. Given this, what’s the urgency to completely bottom out in a weak draft class? If the return was better, I would understand fully bottoming out, but it’s a little puzzling for this return. According to Adrian Wojnarowski, the Hornets don’t plan on buying Lowry out and will instead look to flip him at the deadline.

With Lowry’s $29 million expiring contract, this limits the potential suitors. However, the Philadelphia 76ers remain a team that could make a move for Lowry. From the Hornets’ perspective, they could acquire more expiring contracts and possibly a second-round pick for Lowry. This part of the deal could give the Hornets more value. Wojnarowski also reported the Hornets would remain active in acquiring future assets at the deadline, making Gordon Hayward a possible candidate to get moved. The Hornets have a projected $29 million in cap space next year, allowing them to potentially make a splash in the offseason. It’s unclear who they might be targeting in free agency; regardless, cap flexibility is always a positive. Cap flexibility is the most intriguing part of this deal for the Hornets and could potentially change how we look at this trade in retrospect.


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