NBA Power Rankings: Lakers desperate for bold trade deadline move; Streaking Suns

There are a few big jumps in our latest NBA Power Rankings at the midway point of the season.

Phoenix Suns v Dallas Mavericks
Phoenix Suns v Dallas Mavericks / Sam Hodde/GettyImages
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27. Charlotte Hornets

It appears that the Charlotte Hornets are finally pivoting toward selling off some of their veteran assets. Earlier this week, the Hornets completed a Terry Rozier trade to the Miami Heat in exchange for the expiring contract of Kyle Lowry and a future first-round pick. The next natural step likely will include the Hornets exploring deals for Gordon Hayward and possibly even PJ Washington. Hayward seems like the most likely trade candidate but if the right deal comes across the desk, I'm not sure Charlotte would be opposed to any move.

And this is exactly the path the Hornets should be taking with two weeks left before the NBA Trade Deadline. Charlotte has a solid core with LaMelo Ball, Brandon Miller, and Mark Williams. Heading into the offseason, the priority for this team will be adding to their already talented core. That's where adding future draft picks will come in handy.

If the Hornets do move forward with embracing being a seller at the trade deadline, it will mean the team takes another step back this season. There's a real chance Charlotte could end up with the No. 1 pick in the 2024 NBA Draft.