Charlotte Hornets general manager Rich Cho was emphatic last week that he would find this team some 3-point shooting.
He addressed that situation Wednesday night and Thursday morning with three trades. First the Hornets acquired Nicolas Batum from the Portland Trail Blazers, sending shooting guard Gerald Henderson and power forward Noah Vonleh west. Then, in a two-trade process, the Hornets acquired Jeremy Lamb from the Oklahoma City Thunder. The Hornets ended up trading Matt Barnes (to Memphis) and agreed to send a contingent 2016 second-round draft choice to the Thunder.
Just what did the Hornets get in these deals?
The case regarding Batum
He’s 26 and has played seven NBA seasons, all with the Trail Blazers. He’s 6-foot-8 and a lean 200 pounds. Cho said Wednesday night the team has penciled in Batum as the starting shooting guard, complementing small forward Michael Kidd-Gilchrist.
For his career, Batum averages 11.2 points and 5.1 rebounds, shooting 44.6 percent from the field and 36.3 percent from 3-point range. Batum’s numbers were down this season, when he averaged career lows in points per game (9.4), field-goal percentage (40 percent) and 3-point percentage (32.4 percent).
Batum is one of a generation of French players to make it to the NBA. The Bobcats/Hornets have had two Frenchmen previously, trading for Boris Diaw and drafting Alexis Ajinca.
The case regarding Lamb
Lamb has played all three of his NBA seasons with the Oklahoma City Thunder. He was chosen in the first round (12th overall) of the 2012 draft by the Houston Rockets, then he was included in the trade package that sent James Harden to Houston.
At 6-5 and 180 pounds, Lamb has played some at shooting guard and small forward. Mostly he watched from the bench, averaging just under 16 minutes in 148 game appearances. He has totaled eight NBA starts, all this season.
He has been a good, but not great, 3-point shooter, at a career 34.8 percent. He’s not known as a particularly strong driver or a particularly physical player. He’ll compete with Troy Daniels and P.J. Hairston for wing minutes as a reserve.
Lamb played with Hornets point guard Kemba Walker at Connecticut.
Bonnell: 704-358-5129; @rick_bonnell