The Price of Fiscal Sanity
I’ve been pretty open that I really like what Jeff Bower did with the roster this season. Over the summer, pundits were talking armageddon for the Hornets, insisting that they weren’t likely to be able to get under the Luxury Tax line without trading David West – or more ridiculously – Chris Paul.
Instead, Bower has successfully traded away marginal rotation (or less) talent for salary relief, without giving up any future assets, taking no less than six seperate trades to pull this off. How many GMs have the patience to execute so deliberate a plan? Presented with the necessity of shedding $7 million from the payroll, retain competitiveness, and do it all in a bad economy and financial climate, how many GMs wouldn’t just throw in the towel and trade David West? Or offer someone a 1st round pick or two to take Morris Peterson off their hands?
Hell, look at Oklahoma City. They’ve milked two first round picks and Eric Maynor out of teams desperate to shed $7 million dollars the past couple years in order to get under the line. Jeff Bower gave away nothing but cash and players with an average PER of 10.13. In case you didn’t know, a PER of 10.13 is what you can expect a D-League call up to produce.
Still, that all said, the injury to James Posey does shine a light on the one problem caused by all that player movement: The Hornets are now a little thin on the wing. Peja, Wright, and Thornton should be able to handle the minutes there adequately until Posey returns, but Achilles tendons can be tricky things that can easily get aggravated and keep players out for weeks. If the Hornets suffer another injury at the wing, things could get dicey, and the Hornets may wish they still had Devin Brown around instead of Aaron Gray. Mo Pete doesn’t really inspire confidence.
At least we’ll get to see if Wright’s confidence will continue with bigger minutes.