Hornets draft Mark Williams from Duke and trade another first-round pick

Roderick Boone, The Charlotte Observer on

Published in Basketball

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — With the initial selection of their pair of first-round picks, the Hornets selected Memphis’ Jalen Duren 13th overall in Thursday night’s NBA draft.

Immediately after making the pick, though, Charlotte traded the 6-foot-11, 250-pound big man to New York, a source confirmed to The Charlotte Observer, before the Knicks moved him to Detroit.

With the No. 15 pick, the Hornets drafted Mark Williams from Duke.

Coming into the draft, there was chatter indicating the Hornets were looking to be active in the trade market.


One report even suggested they were trying to package one or both picks with Gordon Hayward to shed his salary and give them some cap relief. Hayward, who has played in a combined 93 games in his two seasons in Charlotte, has two years and $61.5 million remaining on the four-year, $120 million contract he inked prior to the 2020-21 season.

Moving Hayward’s deal would give them financial flexibility, but it won’t be easy due to many teams not possessing a ton of cap space this offseason.

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