Charlotte Hornets

Could answer to Charlotte Hornets’ point guard problem be a realistic trade away?

Houston Rockets guard Patrick Beverley, right, guarding Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry, is one of the NBA’s top defensive guards.
Houston Rockets guard Patrick Beverley, right, guarding Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry, is one of the NBA’s top defensive guards. AP

Is there a deal to be made that could bring point guard Patrick Beverley to the Charlotte Hornets?

Multiple reports say Beverley, entering his sixth NBA season, is part of the package the Houston Rockets will trade to the Los Angeles Clippers for former Wake Forest star Chris Paul.

Beverley, known as one of the NBA’s better defensive guards, has an economical contract. He’ll make about $5.5 million next season and has a team option in his contract for the 2018-19 season at about $5 million.

Those numbers are certainly in line with what the Hornets would expect to pay for a backup to starting point guard Kemba Walker. The Hornets are expected to waive or trade veteran point guard Ramon Sessions by Thursday, when his team option (about $6.3 million) would become guaranteed for next season.

Sessions’ and Beverley’s salaries next season are close enough that if the Clippers were interested in Sessions, a match is possible. Unfortunately, it wouldn’t work as a payroll-reduction deal for the Clippers; the Hornets couldn’t trade Sessions under NBA rules without exercising that option for next season..

Beverley, who is 6-foot-1, played mostly shooting guard last season, with Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni using superstar James Harden as his primary ballhandler. Beverley started all of the 67 games he played last season, averaging 9.5 points and 4.2 assists – in line with his career averages.

D’Antoni and Hornets coach Steve Clifford are close friends from when D’Antoni coached the Los Angeles Lakers and Clifford was his assistant from 2012-2013, so Clifford would get a thorough scouting report on Beverley if such a deal was contemplated.

Sessions struggled last season in his second stint with the Hornets. He had surgery in February to repair a torn meniscus in his left knee, the first significant injury of his NBA career.

Bonnell: 704-358-5129: @rick_bonnell

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