Hornets Pursuing Posey and Maggette?

Published: July 1, 2008

No new breaking news yet about who the Hornets are pursuing on this, the first day of Free Agency.  There have been rumors here and there that the Hornets will Pursue James Posey of the Celtics or Corey Maggette of the Clippers, but nothing concrete has cropped up.

Either of those two players are possible, but 'possible' is about the strongest word I can use.  The Celtics would be fools to let Posey walk, and their window for a repeat is only good for a couple more years at best anyways.  They should keep him.  Maggette opted out of a contract paying him 7mil, and I have a hard time seeing him taking less money than that – and the Hornets can only offer a little short of 6 million.

We have been helped a little by Baron Davis and Elton Brand opting out of their contracts.  With those two guys joining Gilbert Arenas in a Free Agent market that only has a couple teams that can offer much in the way of cash, it makes the available cash that much tighter.  That could translate into Maggette taking the Mid-Level exception from some team.  Still, I'm not sure I'd want the Hornets to passively hope that Maggette, who will be bound to get multiple offers of the Mid-Level Exception, would select them over the other teams.  I've always believed that if there's a player you want, you should figure out what you're willing to give up for him, and make an aggressive play.  So of course, my inclination would be for the Hornets to go hard after Maggette.  I would love to have them see if the Clippers would bite on a Sign and Trade.  How about:

Morris Peterson + Rasual Butler + a 2009 1st Round Pick for
Corey Maggette signed to a 5-year $40-45 million deal.

The Clips aren't exactly floating in wing shooters, having only a badly aging Cat Mobley, a Slashing non-shooter Al Thornton, and rookie Eric Gordon to play those positions.  Adding Peterson as a solid big shooter and Butler as a possible defender/shooter who conveniently has an expiring contract the same year Thornton needs an extension seems like something they'd have to consider.  And the 1st round pick is a nice sweetener.

If I were Jeff Bower, I'd also think hard about a package to try and pry Udonis Haslem from the Heat.  With Beasley in the fold, they don't need Haslem so badly and Udonis can't really play the center position full time.  With Shawn Marion also there, something has to give.  Would Hilton Armstrong, Mike James, a re-signed Chris Andersen, and a couple second round picks be enough to get Haslem?  Hilton and Andersen would shore up the Heat's hole at the center spot, and Riley likes veteran points.  Mike James could be the ball-handling deep threat the Heat need to put next to Dwayne Wade.

So – that's my speculation for the day.  Hopefully we'll hear something exciting soon.

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