Luther Head Fails Physical, Won’t Join New Orleans

The New Orleans Hornets have rescinded their offer to guard Luther Head after he reportedly failed his physical, the TP is reporting. Head was expected to immediately compete for backup minutes in the back court, and potentially would have been Chris Paul’s primary backup had Darren Collison been traded.

Head was the only new player the Hornets had made a contract offer to this summer and the withdrawal of his offer leaves the Hornets with only three guards on the roster, Chris Paul, Darren Collison and Marcus Thornton.

Aubrey Coleman, who led the NCAA in scoring last year and is on the Hornets summer league roster, could potentially be a cheaper alternative to Head. He’s averaging 15 points in the last two games of Summer League on only nine shots per game. His defense is a concern, but for a minimum deal of around 500k a year, the Hornets can afford to take a chance.

[Update] Marc Bartelstein, Luther Head’s agent, unloaded on the Hornets, soon afterwards:

“I’ve been doing this 25 years. I’ve never had a situation like this ever happen,” Bartelstein said. “All you can do is pay attention to people’s actions and draw your own conclusions.

“This is a business that is supposed to be based upon trust and handshakes and being able to make deals where you trust people’s intentions,” Bartelstein continued. “I made a deal with Jeff Bower. If a team had an issue with a physical, you would never ever get a phone call saying, ‘The deal’s been rescinded. We’re moving on.’ The team would call you and say, ‘Hey, we’ve got something we’re concerned about in the physical. Let’s figure out a way to work around it. Let’s deal with it.’ Maybe you put an exception to a particular injury [in the contract]. You would discuss it. You wouldn’t just flat-out rescind the contract and say, ‘That’s it, we’re moving on,’ with no communication unless your intentions are something else.”

The Hornets have since responded with the following statement:

“We can appreciate Mark’s passion for his clients and understand his disappointment,” said Team President Hugh Weber. “It is our procedure for a player to undergo a thorough physical examination before a contract can be finalized. After consulting with our medical team, the Hornets organization feels that it is not in our best interest to move forward with the signing.”

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