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If I were GM… v2.0

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Published: July 12, 2010

I wrote this 3 days ago while contemplating what next year’s free agent market held for those who will have the money to play.  I decided to wait a bit to post it to see how Coleman shook out during Summer league.  His continued development, or lack there of, might require a move for a decent backup PG instead of his signing, but you guys get the idea.  Funny how some of what I would do has played out.  I left it as is, but obviously you can change the Dhantay Jones to Luther Head in the salary breakdowns which actually gives us even more cap room in the next two years.  The idea is still the same.  Sorry for the long-winded nature of this journal, but would you guys expect any less of me.  😉

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In checking out the FA market for next offseason, I was struck by the feeling that it will be the year of the Center.  There are quite a few young, up and coming, centers that will be available.  If we wished to make a play for one we would have to overpay a bit, but that would still be less or about the same money we would have to pay to finish out Okafor’s contract.  This made me think, just how nice it would be if we could move Okafor, even if we have to give up DC in order to do so.  I really don’t want to move him, but I think it may be the best move for the Hornets long term IF we could pull off the below moves before this season.  Now this does not factor in the addition of any key rookies in the next draft, but that will be a part of filling in the blanks post F.A. maneuvers next offseason.

Moves This Summer and Season:

  • Trade Rasual Butler Trade Exemption for Dahntay Jones or Sign Luther Head to a deal
  • Trade DC2 and Okafor to Portland for Oden and Andre Miller, and if they will do it also Batum.  If they liked a similar trade with CP3 at the head, then they might go for it with DC2 as they really want a good young point.  I think that as highly as they think of Greg, they might be getting tired of the constant injuries and be willing to make the same move we did in order to get a reliable center.  If they don’t want to get rid of Odum then ask for Pryzbilla and insist on Batum.  That would just shift my numbers by adding $610,000 or so to this years salary and eliminate any future responsibilities to him as he is expiring.
  •  Re-sign Gray and sign Ian Mahinmi to $1M contracts.
  •  Dump JuJu and Darius during the season to get under the tax.
  • I really believe that the F.O. is hoping the Houston kid, Aubrey Coleman shows even a little at the point in the Summer Leauge.  If he does I think they are planning a move involving DC2 that will not require we get a point in return and will sign him to be CP3’s backup in 2011/2012.  If he can truly make a shift to point, and still call on his scoring skills at will, he should be able to be a value pickup.

     This would give us the following lineups:

          CP3-Jones or Head -Peja-DWest-Oden

          Miller/Coleman-Buckets -QPon/Batum-Brackens-Mahinmi

Depth:  Gray, Posey, Coleman, Darius(partial season) JuJu(partial season)

I only have Buckets coming off the bench in a Manu way.  He would still carry 30+ minutes a game and see lots of time beside CP3, I just want him to spend some time beating up the opposing bench.  This will also allow for him to foster his development as the #2 leader on the floor behind CP3.  To have him as a recognized leader that the guys look to when CP3 is not around is in the team’s best interest in the long term.

If there are injuries and or one of the players on the team are not contributing we still have some 3.7 million left in cap room to acquire a player if need be to fill in any gaps or just to upgrade the backup center spot.

Player Name 2010-2011 2011-2012 2012-2013
Chris Paul $14,940,152 $16,359,805 (ETO)$17,779,457
David West $8,287,500 (ETO)$7,525,000
James Posey $6,478,600 $6,925,400
Marcus Thornton $762,195
Pedrag Stojakovic $14,256,000
Craig Brackins $1,306,902 $1,404,960 (TO)$1,503,000
Quincy Pondexter $1,073,280 $1,153,800 (TO)$1,234,320
Greg Oden $6,796,524 (QO)$8,788,681
Andre Miller $7,269,264 (TO)$7,807,728
Nicolas Batum $1,196,760 (TO)$2,155,364 (QO)$3,166,230
Dahntay Jones $2,500,000 $2,700,000 (PO)$2,900,000
Aaron Gray $1,100,000
Ian Mahinmi $1,100,000
Aubrey Coleman $473,604 $490,180
TOTAL COMMITTED $66,778,041 $29,293,965 -0-

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I really think that if Q and Brackins can be contributors, and we can stay HEALTHY, this team can make it past the first round of the playoffs.  The big fun begins the next offseason though.

Moves Going Into 2011-2012

  • Sign Marcus to a multi-year.  This will probably run a little less than John Salmons 5 yr $39Million, if he has another year like last year.  If he does even better, which I fully expect, then expect to pay more.
  • Re-sign David West to a multi-year around the same money as he currently makes yearly.
  • Do a hostile take of restricted FA Marc Gasol like the Grizz were worried would happen with Rudy Gay.  Front load the heck out of an almost max or max deal in order for them to not be able to match. (using that Peja expired money for max return!)  If we can’t get Gasol, then we could go after Al Horford, Noah, or Kendrick Perkins in a similar way or Spenser Haws but for less money.  One of these guys will jump at near “New CBA” max money with the opportunity to play with CP3
  • Depending on the new CBA and the cap rules we should still have around 1.3 million to spend, if the hard cap ends up at $60 million, on other backups and or another quality player.  If there is an exemption we can use it on Posey and then we have almost $7.4 million.  If not then we could most likely do a salary dump to clear Posey’s salary like we will do with Darius and JuJu.
  • Possibly do a sign and trade of Greg Oden before we sign Gasol to fill the extra cap space worth of spots.  This is all dependent on where the cap ends up being and if we feel it could net us something worth the juggling.

     This would give us a proposed lineup:

          CP3-Jones-QPon/Batum-DWest-Gasol

          Aubrey Coleman-Buckets-QPon/Batum-Brackins-Mahinmi

          Depth:  Posey, other fill in pieces that are too far out to know.

Player Name 2011-2012 2012-2013 2013-2014
Chris Paul $16,359,805 (ETO)$17,779,457
David West (ETO)$7,525,000 $8,525,000 $8,525,000
James Posey $6,925,400
Marcus Thornton $4,500,000 $5,500,000 $6,500,000
Craig Brackins $1,404,960 (TO)$1,503,000 (TO)$2,394,279
Quincy Pondexter $1,153,800 (TO)$1,234,320 (TO)$2,225,479
Dahntay Jones $2,700,000 (PO)$2,900,000
Nicolas Batum (TO)$2,155,364 (QO)$3,166,230
Marc Gasol $14,000,000 $10,000,000 $11,000,000
Gray or Mahinmi $1,250,000
Aubrey Coleman 750,000
FA #1
FA #2
FA #3
TOTAL COMMITTED $58,724,329 $24,025,000 $26,025,000

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These moves give us a team this year and next that, in my opinion, should be able to break out of the first round of the playoffs.  The team should be set next season with a core of Gasol, CP3, a declining David West, and what I believe will be a 20ppg Buckets.  Also, this gives us room for almost two max guys in CP3’s opt out year in addition to the core of Buckets, Dwest, and Gasol.  Around that time you should have some teams needing to shed salary in order to get under the new cap system or just looking to blow up the team to save money on old bad contracts with a couple years left.  So the pickings should be good for CP3 to lobby like Dwayne Wade did to get two top 20-30 players to come to NOLA. 

If CP3 does opt to leave, one of the biggest hits to the team would be to the loss of on the court leadership.  This is where I think Marcus comes in, and the added benefit of him being a Manu style 6th man fostering his growth as the on the floor leader the next two years.  If we are going forward without CP3 in 2011/2012 then we still have a great young core, room for 3 big free agents, and if you can’t pull a good PG and a couple other key players, you are only beholden to Marcus, Dwest, and Gasol after 2012.  For my thinking it gives the Hornets the most opportunities to build a contender without putting all our eggs in this year’s basket.

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