Hornets 2010-2011 Roundtable Season Preview

Published: October 23, 2010

The Hornets 2009-2010 season is one that most fans want to forget, but luckily it looks like the organization will not only remember it, but they are determined to learn from it. The Hornets entered last season with a coach they had no faith in and a GM that seemed unclear on the direction that this team was heading. The result was a 37-45 finish, which was good for 11th place in the Western Conference.

This offseason, the Hornets were determined to establish a foundation on which they could build, and they have done that by bringing in Dell Demps as GM and Monty Williams as Head Coach. Both men have excellent pedigrees and believe in defense, intensity, and hard work which will be the identity of the Hornets moving forward.

On the court, big changes were made as well. Only six Hornets remain from last years squad and only Peja, CP3, and David West are holdovers from the Hornets team that made the playoffs just two years ago. Out is rookie standout Darren Collison, along with long time holdovers Morris Peterson, James Posey, and Julian Wright. Taking their place are Trevor Ariza, Marco Bellinelli, Jason Smith, Quincy Pondexter, and Willie Green.

Looming over everything are the worries that Chris Paul wants out of New Orleans. Despite Paul’s emphatic claims that he loves New Orleans and that his first choice is to finish his career here, the national media just won’t let it go. Plenty of questions hang over this team during this time of transition, and we try to answer all of them in this Hornets247 Roundtable Season Preview.

Best Offseason Move?

Joe Gerrity (JG): Keeping Chris Paul Can Paul lead Hornets back to the Playoffs?

In the NBA there are a handful of players who will make a 15 win team into a playoff contender all by themselves and Paul is one of those those guys. If recent trends among NBA players has told us anything, it’s that they think it takes multiple superstars to win a title. Thus, trading Paul would do nothing but take the team in the wrong direction.

When players like Paul do get dealt it’s never for anything of equal value and it always begins a massive rebuilding project, rarely ending in anything more than a return to the team’s pre-rebuilding level.

Michael McNamara (MM): Hiring Monty Williams and staff.

Hiring a first year coach who is the youngest in the NBA might not look like a great move on paper, but the culture change was long overdue for this team. After the Hornets gave up on Byron Scott in the 2009 playoffs, he was brought back for a lame duck year, only to be fired 6 games into the season. The Bower/Floyd combo took over and the Hornets plodded their way through the rest of the year with no real direction.

Enter Monty Williams and a well-rounded staff, made up of veteran coaches like Randy Ayers and bright minds like Mike Malone. Each member of the staff will bring something different to the table, and above all, they will hold the players accountable- continually challenging them, which is something we did not see a lot of from Bower or Scott.

Ryan Schwan (RS): Creating Flexibility

Quietly this off-season, the Hornets have cleared the decks of any really odious contracts.  As of right now, the Hornets have only 45 million guaranteed dollars on the books for next year, and if West opts out, they’ll be at $37 million.  That puts them in an ideal situation – they can decide Paul isn’t going to stay, dump Paul and Okafor forassets, and start over immediately from scratch, or if the season is a success, leverage their space into another impact player to make themselves a contender.

Worst offseason move?

MM: Trading the #11 pick in the 2010 draft

On draft day the Hornets shipped out Mo Pete and the 11th pick for picks 21 and26 from OKC. Financially the trade made a lot of sense, as the move allowed the Hornets to get under the luxury tax threshold. But since when do we as fans get happy about millionaires saving money? As a pure basketball move, this was a bad one. This was a move teams like Portland, LA, or Dallas wouldn’t have made because they are not limited by the luxury tax when building the best teamthey can build.

The Hornets ended up with Pondexter and Brackins (who has since been traded). Pondexter might prove to be a quality role player in the next few years, but it is likely that when we look back on this trade in a couple of years, we will see that the Hornets passed up on the opportunity to grab a very good player at 11, all because of theirlimitations as a small market franchise.

RS: The trade of Darren Collison for Trevor Ariza

Look, I won’t argue with the camp that Ariza will have a bigger impact on this team than Darren Collison would if he only averaged 16 minutes  a game behind Paul.  That’s true. Still, that doesn’t change the fact that the Hornets pulled off the trade equivalent of drafting for need rather than talent.  They handed out the more talented player to fill a need with a lesser overall talent.

This is the NBA, you can never know what will happen over the next year or two, injury-wise or personality-wise.  Moving Collison was a short-term move, not a long-term one, even if you take into account the fact he took Posey with him.

JG: Not pushing the sale through

This offseason was one of rebuilding for the New Orleans Hornets. With lots of new faces on the roster, a new front office, and a new coach, it was an opportunity for the franchise to completely reinvigorate a fan-base which had been rather lackadaisical for the previous few months. The icing on the cake was the seemingly inevitable sale of the team to billionaire Gary Chouest, a move fans were salivating at the thought of.

Over half a year later Hornets fans are still asking the same questions they were months ago. The buzz has died down, and people are growing concerned. They want to feel like they are part of the Hornets family, and the perpetual silence does nothing but dehumanize Shinn and Chouest. The buzz will get loud again, but it won’t be at full volume until fan concerns over ownership are addressed. Fortunately that looks like it will be sooner rather than later, possibly before the season begins.

Hornets Biggest Strength?

RS: Chris Paul

This remains an easy one.  Chris Paul gives the Hornets an advantage at the point guard position in any game.  Though Paul has stated he’s not totally in rhythm offensively and avoids questions about how his knee feels, he’s still shown in the pre-season he can break down a defense masterfully and generate shots for all the shooters around him.

MM: A Fresh Start

Last year the Hornets started off the season with a lame duck coach and what turned out to be a lame duck GM backed up by a frugal and seemingly incompetent owner. The team had no long term direction and was in desperate need of an identity. This offseason all that (almost there- come on Chouest!) changed.

Monty Williams and Dell Demps come from the Gregg Popovich/Pat Riley school of hard work, determination, and defense. They are going to install a culture here and get this team moving in that direction. The players might change, but Hornets basketball is going to be about something now, and that is exciting for everyone involved- players and fans.

JG: Chris Paul

The team will only go as far as he can take them. Fortunately, he’s one of the best in the league.

Biggest Weakness?

RS: Interior Defense

Last year, the Hornets allowed 28% of the opposing teams shots at the rim, which was the fifth worst in the league.  They then compounded the problem by allowing opposing teams to finish those shots 65% of the time, which was the third worst in the league.   While it can be blamed on the perimeter defenders not keeping people out of the lane, that ignores the fact that David West and Emeka Okafor struggled to lock down the paint together.  This off-season did nothing to address those defensive issues in the paint.

JG: Toughness

Take away David West, who is a bit undersized, and the Hornets roster doesn’t have anyone who can be considered a bruiser. This has been a problem for years, as evidenced by Utah’s longstanding dominance. Again, the problem wasn’t addressed this summer.

Emeka Okafor, Aaron Gray, Jason Smith (who are expected to see around 60 minutes a game) are hardly what you could consider bangers down low, and the addition of Marco Belinelli at shooting guard doesn’t exactly strike fear into the hearts of opposing players. Trevor Ariza is undeniably tougher than Peja, but the Hornets will again struggle against bigger, more athletic teams, and there isn’t much they can do about it with the current roster.

MM: Rebounding

The good news is that Monty Williams wants this team to get out and run. The bad news is that in order to do so, they will have to make stops and rebound the ball. As Ryan said, the Hornets interior defense is amongst the worst in the league and unfortunately their defensive rebounding isn’t much better. This weakness creates problems on both ends of the court because it forces the Hornets to play at a much slower pace. Without the ability to create easy points, more bad shots are taken which result in transition opportunities for the opposition, which results in better shots, and…. You get the point. It all starts here, on the glass, and if the Hornets can not control the glass, they will face an uphill battle in every game.

Who or what is this season’s biggest X Factor?

JG: The first 17 games

Right off the bat the Hornets are going to be fighting for their lives. A disastrous start to the season could spell the end of the Chris Paul era and see the team take a deliberate nosedive into rebuilding. No team in the league starts off with a more daunting schedule than the Hornets, who play only three games against teams which didn’t make the postseason last year. Two of those games are against a Clippers team which is expected to challenge for a playoff spot out West, and one is against an improved Kings team led by Tyreke Evans and Demarcus Cousins. If Monty doesn’t have this team ready, the season might be over by December first.

On the other hand, if the Hornets can come out of the gate hot, and finish November even close to .500, they will have a manageable schedule throughout the middle of the season, and would be a prime position to ride momentum like they did in 2007-2008. With this being Monty’s first year as a head coach, it’s hard to know what to expect out of the team, and how well they will cope with adversity should they lose a few early on.

RS: Marcus Thornton

Thornton has to be the Hornets biggest X-Factor.  No matter what has been said about him to this point – he was a volume scorer who was efficient due to excellent shot selection and very low turnover rates.  If he can gain Monty William’s trust and simply return to form from last year, he will greatly boost the Hornet’s offensive attack.

MM: Aaron Gray

Six points and seven rebounds in 24 minutes might not sound that impressive, but on February 26, 2010 Hornets fans were caught off-guard by Aaron Gray’s performance against Dwight Howard and the Orlando Magic. The Hornets won that game and Hornets fans saw the potential Gray could have against the bigger centers Okafor seems to have so much trouble with.

If Aaron Gray can somehow be the player that we saw that night, or close to it, then the Hornets bench can be respectable this year. He fouls too much to stay on the court for more than 20 minutes a game, but if he can give quality minutes in the time that he is out there, it will go a long way.

One Bold Prediction

JG: Marco Belinelli wins NBA’s Most Improved Player

Marco might have been a disappointment in his first two seasons in the league, but the stars are going to align now that he has Chris Paul setting him up with wide open looks from deep. Expect a big jump in points, three point shooting percentage, and three pointers per game.

RS: David West will be traded this year

I strongly believe that come February 2011, David West will be on the trading block.  I still don’t think he and Okafor work well together, and the Hornets will look to address that problem.  Since West has higher value in the league, has a much more trade-able contract, and it is easier to find a replacement power forward than center, I expect to see West combined with Peja to try and land an impact player via the trade market.

MM: Thornton’s numbers will decrease across the board

I know this doesn’t seem very bold as of today, but this is a statement I would have made a month ago- because I believe it. Personally I saw Collison and Thornton as what Kenny Smith calls “Looters in a Riot” last year and never believed that they would become the All-Stars that some Hornet fans have projected. They got their numbers last year as the Hornets lost games and I don’t think either player has much room for growth.

Thornton has one way to impact the game- by scoring. Monty has been stressing one thing and one thing only this offseason- defense. I am not saying Thornton can not be a valuable piece, but he is just not a player that Monty is going to have much patience with. He is trying to install a culture here and that culture will not include guys who score 20 points but give up 25. If Thornton was a little more John Starks and a little less Vinnie “Microwave” Johnson, then it would work. Monty would put up with the 4-16 shooting nights with Thornton in that scenario, just like Riley put up with Starks when he was off. Sadly, though, MT5 doesn’t have that grit or the defensive skill set to warrant playing time if his shot is not falling.

More likely to get traded: CP3 or D West?

RS: West

As stated above, I think David West is more likely to be moved this season.  Come next summer, if both are on the roster, then it all depends on the team’s success this year.


For me, this simply comes down to value. I can’t see teams giving up much for West, considering that he can opt out after the season is over. He is not the kind of player that teams will view as a guy that can put them over the top, so the offers will be meek. Meanwhile, if teams feel that they need a superstar in this new age of the NBA and management is convinced Paul will bolt eventually, I could see a scenario in which Paul gets moved.

Imagine the Russian billionaire hears that Melo will sign with NJ on the first day of free agency if CP3 is on the team. Would he not give up anything and everything to get those two in New Jersey? Could the Hornets pass up Devin Harris, Lopez, and Favors for CP3 and Okafor?  Neither Paul or West is likely to be traded, but if I had to pick one, it would be CP3. West should have been moved two years ago when he still had value.

JG : West

It’s hard to think of too many situations in which one, but not both Hornets players will be traded. If the team has a to rebuild entirely, they are going to get rid of Paul and West for whatever young talent/draft pick combo they find most appealing. What happens, though, if the Hornets are doing well through midseason and a big name power forward becomes available?

West’s deal is almost certainly going to end after this year, so he’s essentially an expiring contract. Would the Hornets trade West to a team who has given up hope and wants to just buy him out so not to win games, and then re-sign him back to the Hornets, a la Big-Z? That’s the only situation in which I could see either player being dealt and the other remaining, so I’ll go with West. This is also my favorite way that the Hornets could add a real big man without sacrificing anything.

Final predictions for the Hornets 2010-11 season

JG: 47-35. Seventh out West.

There are going to be a lot of teams above .500 out in the West this season, and if Chris Paul can stay healthy he should be able to navigate the Hornets to more than their fair share of close wins.

RS: 47-35, 9th place in the West.

People forget how much havoc Paul wreaks on the court.  Look at the season 2 years ago when the Hornets won 49 games.  That season the Hornets got the most minutes from Paul, West, Butler, Peja, Posey and half a season of Chandler/Armstrong.   If Paul can’t push this much more solid roster to at least 47 wins, it’ll be fairly shocking.  Still, I think it will take 50 games to make the playoffs this year again, so the Hornets are still on the outside looking in.

MM: 40-42, 11th in the West.

I honestly thought coming into this roundtable discussion that I was the most optimistic of us three, but that obviously is not the case. I am trying to think about this objectively and I keep asking myself, “How many things would have to go right to make the playoffs versus how many things would have to go wrong to have a season like last year?”

When I pose it like that, one side far outweighs the other. If Melo gets traded, Yao gets hurt again, Jefferson doesn’t fit in Utah, the Hornets stay completely healthy, Thornton gets back on track, and we move Peja for another quality piece or two- then the Hornets are a top 7 team out West. On the other hand, if CP3 goes down or even if Emeka or West does, the season is basically over. Never mind possibly trade distractions or the possibility that Monty is just a bad coach. Best case scenario is 48 wins, worst case is an injured CP3 and 20 wins.


  1. L_Reazy

    October 23, 2010 at 8:21 pm

    Jerryd Bayless is now a Hornet!

    Great job Dell Demps … The Hornets are making moves now!

    F-West, F-Ariza, C-Okafor, G-Belinelli, G-Paul

    F-Stojakovic, G-Thornton, C-Smith, G-Green, G-Bayless


    • LeoneL

      October 23, 2010 at 8:51 pm

      Loving this move!

    • rm

      October 24, 2010 at 5:06 am

      You are aware of my interest this pre season as I am a long suffering Pops fan.
      In your opinion does this trade mean the end of Pops or is he and Alexander being keep as there is a last minute trade on the cards. If the trigger is pushed before Wednesday, they may well be on the roster, if not they will be gone.
      I hope not but what are your thoughts?

    • TopherPrice

      October 24, 2010 at 11:06 am

      Pops should still make the roster. It means Jerrels will either be cut or put on our D league roster and Alexander is still the first cut. I also heard somewhere that Mbenga’s deal is a guaranteed 1 year. So that means that if we cut 1 of the Alexander/Jerrels/Pops group we are at 15. Move Jerrels to D league we are at 14. Pops is 3rd on the list unless Alexander has some photos of Coach or Demps doing something horrible.

      • rm

        October 24, 2010 at 4:05 pm

        Curtis Jerrells just released. Maybe Alexander has got those photos after all!

  2. nikkoewan

    October 23, 2010 at 9:26 pm

    i think i don’t like the Bayless trade. Their are rumors swirling around that its a top 7 2011, then top 8 2012 onwards. Please enlighten me how that is a good trade. Unless the Hornets suddenly become a SURE playoff contender, then this is essentially a good trade. Otherwise, bad trade in my opinion

    • Hornet

      October 23, 2010 at 10:00 pm

      I’m not great with draft pick trades, so could you explain how that works if it’s true. Does it mean if our 2011 pick is a top 7 pick it belongs to Portland and if it’s not the next time we ever get a top 8 pick it goes to Portland?

      • TopherPrice

        October 23, 2010 at 10:43 pm

        The trade is a conditional 1st round pick. That means if some condition is reached, be it playing time or ppg or something, Portland will get our first round pick in 2011 (top 7 protected, meaning any pick after 1-7). If some lesser condition is met then it would be our 1st round pick (top 8 protected) in 2012. If some lesser condition, then the 1st round pick (top 8 protected) in 2013. Another condition gets 1st round pick (top 8 protected) for 2014. And finally if it gets to it 2 more conditions for 2015 & 16 would be for 2 second Rounders instead of the 1st rounder.

      • TopherPrice

        October 23, 2010 at 11:16 pm

        Sorry I had that a bit wrong. If the condition is triggered, then it is the Hornets 1st round pick this draft Top 7 pick protected. If we have pick 1-7 then it moves to Top 8 protected in 2012. If we have a Top 8 pick in 2012, it shift to top 8 protected in 2013… so on and so forth until the second rounder situation in 2015-16

      • JCS

        October 24, 2010 at 1:08 pm

        I’m not sure if I understand the conditional aspect, specifically if it’s PPG. Are players aware of their conditions? If so, what would stop a disgruntled one from point shaving and sabotaging the whole deal?

      • TopherPrice

        October 24, 2010 at 3:56 pm

        I don’t have that answer, I was just giving an example of a few conditions. I am sure whatever the conditions are, they are very easily attainable, otherwise the other teams would not sign off on them. I would guess it is something like 10 mpg for a guy like Bayless. I am guessing it is something that they only couldn’t attain by having a huge injury.

    • Caleb

      October 23, 2010 at 11:21 pm

      Just look at it like we drafted Bayless.

      Fine with me.

      • Hornet

        October 24, 2010 at 12:14 am

        Yeah that’s how I was viewing it but I was wondering if I should expect us to have any draft picks this year or not, and I am not right now.

        Thanks for the clarification.

      • TopherPrice

        October 24, 2010 at 1:01 am

        I look at it like we will be drafting a less efficient and less potent Marcus Thornton in the mid first round next year. The only stats he was ahead of Marcus in last season was assists per, defensive rating, and defensive win shares.

        He wasn’t able to win the primary backup PG role in Portland this pre-season, so I’m guessing we got him because Monty thinks he is everything Marcus can be, but with defense. If he can be a decent backup PG this year, then that’s lagniappe.

        He should give us Pargo style backup PG ability, which is not distribution style PG play. He is better than Green and Marcus as a backup PG, but that’s like saying a Ford Ranger is better than an El Camino at hauling lumber. While the statement is true I would still rather have a full sized truck for the job. Unfortunately, the dealerships are all sold out until next year… oh wait we just gave away next years vehicle voucher. Damn.

        Expansive analogies aside, I still like him better than Green, the current lost version of Buckets, and any of our other plethora of guards for the SG spot as well as backup PG. Having Bayless does take the pressure and need for production off Marcus, and it may allow him to find his form.

      • TopherPrice

        October 24, 2010 at 1:17 am

        Comparison of Marcus and Jerry’s last season:


      • JCS

        October 24, 2010 at 1:10 pm

        LMAO @ “that’s like saying a Ford Ranger is better than an El Camino at hauling lumber.”

  3. jtshoopsblog

    October 23, 2010 at 10:24 pm

    The jerryd Bayless trade certainly brings more life to the Hornets, but more needs to be done. I think they will be grooming Bayless to eventually replace Chris Paul if ever wose comes to worse

    • TopherPrice

      October 23, 2010 at 10:49 pm

      He’s an ok safety net. I think this puts Green and Marcus on the trade block for sure. Bayless will do a Pargo style job at point, but I’m sure he will see time next to CP3 as well. He may be the 3rd primary guard in a 3 guard rotation of CP3, Bellineli, and Bayless. If Green and Marcus fade to spot bench guys, I think one is trade fodder.

    • JCS

      October 24, 2010 at 1:31 pm

      If Bayless gets tutored by CP3, works with the same trainer as CP3, and is given a fair amount of PT like CP3, then if/when CP3 leaves the Hornets we’ll be left with the second coming that is JB3.

      • TopherPrice

        October 24, 2010 at 4:02 pm

        Nice wishful thinking. haha Maybe, at his best, he could be a new incarnation of A.I. But I think that is pie in the sky as well. He definitely has skill, he could be our starting SG next season putting up those 17-20ppg numbers we were hoping out of Marcus. If so, we just made a great trade.

        Either way it would be JB4 I believe. I just want some “Straight Outa Locash” playing when he scores! It’s close enough to CB4 for that, right?

      • JCS

        October 24, 2010 at 5:27 pm

        JB3 has a nicer ring to it IMO and CB4 was already taken. Plus, I work for a religious org, so I guess I like the idea of a “second coming.”

        But hey, if we were to do a look-a-like contest, I’d say JB resembles Euripides more so than CB resembles Albert. Perhaps, we should just go ahead and start calling him Euripides.

        Just imagine Gus Johsnon doing a play-by-play:

        Euripides down the lane…AND 1!!!

  4. James Online

    October 23, 2010 at 11:31 pm

    He doesn’t distribute or shoot well. Drives to the hoop looking for a foul. And a volume shooter, with no range, and no conscience. He scored a lot in Vegas by driving to the hoop a couple summers ago, and that’s all he’s ever done. Bad move.

    • redhopeful

      October 24, 2010 at 12:45 am

      Too pessimistic on a guy who has just turned 22 and, in his short NBA career, has shown marked improvement from the perimeter. He’s likely better than anything we’d get with a mid first rounder anyways…

  5. Mark

    October 24, 2010 at 12:08 am

    Slam Online forums say this is a good trade for the Hornets. Which means this probably won’t end well for us.

  6. L_Reazy

    October 24, 2010 at 2:22 am

    I don’t understand some of our fans here … I thought everyone would be on board with the Jerryd Bayless trade since no one liked having Green at the back-up point guard position. I don’t think everything has to have a critical response. Nevertheless, I respect everyone’s opinion.

    I like the trade for several reasons, but mainly because Jerryd can step right into the back-up PG position and make an impact since he knows Monty William’s system; being that he played for him last season in Portland. If your going to bring someone new into your team it’s always better to bring in someone who is already familiar with the playbook. Smart decision, because Willie Green would have struggled at the ‘Point’ … he’s better as a ‘2’.

    One other note: until another trade is made the Hornets will have to play Bayless, Green, and Thornton together at times instead of wasting talent. This means Peja will play the ‘4’ which was where he was a better scorer at during the preseason, and Jason Smith will come in for Okafor. Hence: Bayless, Green, Thornton, Stojakovic, & Smith will man the second unit to start the season. Not bad in terms of ‘firepower’!


    • nikkoewan

      October 24, 2010 at 3:32 am

      my initial reaction was it was a good trade(i was assuming it was a lottery protected). Then i learned it was only top 7(which varies from year to year).
      And then, ATH posted something about win shares(assuming Bayless is a rookie), i was convinced it was a good trade. 🙂 SO

      Initial: Good
      2nd thought: Bad
      Final: Good

      the only thing is, it makes the Willie Green trade look more perplexing

      • 42

        October 24, 2010 at 9:15 am

        You mean the Jason Smith trade?

      • TopherPrice

        October 24, 2010 at 11:12 am

        It isn’t more perplexing, it was as perplexing as it could be when it happened. Lol. At least this shows our coaches and GM are not ego driven, or worried about mucking a bad hand even when they licked the cards. I love this move as a sure sign that we have quick thinking, fast reacting people at the helm of the Hornets ship.

        And yes, I refer to it as the Jason Smith trade as well. Lucky bounce for The Brain Trust.

      • TopherPrice

        October 24, 2010 at 11:16 am

        Licked is supposed to be PICKED in the above. Fricking autocorrecting Droid!

    • Zwie

      October 24, 2010 at 10:22 am

      im sorry but that’s a terrible second unit…..

      For one: nobody on that second unit plays particularly good defense.

      two: i HATE peja at the 4, now this isn’t your fault.. but Monty must realize peja is not a rebounder or a defender. He just stretches the D on offense, because their 4 with have to guard a 3 point shooter.

      three: that is a ridiculously short squad.
      putting this type of squad in, the hornets will SURELY see any lead evaporated.

      fourth: i do believe Gray will definitely get the nod before smith to be subbed in.

  7. Joe P

    October 24, 2010 at 11:12 am

    So let me see, possible PGs this offseason (6’5″ and under): Collison, Paul, DJ Strawberry, Belli (he’s a passer, right?), Armon Bassett, Aubrey Coleman, Mo Agar, MT (doesn’t turn it over right?), Mucho Jannero, Lion King Tupac, Willie Green, Curtis Jarrells, and now Jerryd Bayless. Ok, so “only” NINE made it to preseason. Especially considering Joe’s X factor above, I’m worried about chemistry for the beginning of the season. Are we fooling ourselves when we think the Hornets may make the postseason? Is this the rebuilding year, and next year we can think about sniffing at the second round? I think 420 makes a good point above. Demps traded Craig Mackens for Jason Smith. I’m pretty ok with that.

    • JCS

      October 24, 2010 at 1:23 pm

      “Mucho Jannero, Lion King Tupac…Craig Mackens…”

      I think we should leave the nicknames up to Joe P!

  8. James Online

    October 24, 2010 at 11:28 am

    Portland Oregonian on the trade of Bayless:

    “Bayless’ determined drives and score-first mentality raised questions whether he was a point guard or a shooting guard. Those questions were answered by Cho, who used the first month of practices and exhibition games to come to Saturday’s conclusion:

    “Jerryd is not a true point guard,” Cho said. “And at two guard on this team, he’s stuck, probably as the fourth guy.”

    In seven preseason games, Bayless averaged 8.0 points and 3.0 assists while shooting 37 percent from the field and 35.3 percent from three-point range (6 for 17). “

  9. BeesGivingEffort

    October 24, 2010 at 11:49 am

    James Online is determined to keep pissing in our tea. CP3 is not a Trail Blazer and will likely never be a Trail Blazer.

  10. rm

    October 24, 2010 at 2:04 pm

    When does the roster have to be 15? Before any game starts e.g Monday or before Hornets first game Wednesday?

  11. Michael McNamara

    October 24, 2010 at 2:04 pm

    Love the discussion, but let’s bring it back to the big picture and this Season Preview more specifically. Here are some questions I have for you guys, answer any one or all of them:

    1.) How does this impact your thought of Ariza/Collison trade? Now that we can step back and see it as Posey, Collison, and a 2011 1st round pick for Ariza and Bayless- do you view it any differently?

    2.) Is there as much pressure on Thornton after this trade? Less? More?
    3.) With this infusion of youth- do you see West in the long term plans?
    4.) Should Hornets reconsider putting Thornton in starting lineup since he and Bayless are so similar? Would a Bayless/Belinelli combo be effective?
    5.) Is management being short sided in the moves they are making or are they just confident that they are closer than most “experts” think that they are?
    6.) Management will have to make decisions on whether to pay Belinelli, Jason Smith, David West, Marcus Thornton, and Bayless next season. If they pay these guys, then all cap room will be gone. Does that make it more likely or less likely that they move Peja before February?

    7.) Any other ideas/questions you had from reading the Season Preview

    • TopherPrice

      October 24, 2010 at 4:24 pm

      1: About the same. We can revisit at Christmas time.

      2: Less. Green has been consistent and shown that he does better when others are the primary ball handler. So I would suspect that we will see Paul/Belinelli start, Bayless come in for Either Paul or Belinelli and stay in for quite a few minutes. They will put Marcus out there in spot minutes and see if he comes out of his funk. If not, mop-up minutes at the 2 spot will be Green until Marcus takes it back, Green or Marcus gets traded, or their is an injury to CP3, Belinelli, or Bayless. So the pressure is off, as the team does not NEED his scoring.

      3: Yes. I don’t think you give us a loyal guy, who is as consistent as West. If you can keep him for around the same money for the next say 3-4 years, he will be a beast off the bench when we can find a young PF to take the starting minutes. David is a realist, he would not buck a request by coaches he believes in to shift to a roll where he comes in off the bench to keep the offensive flow going.

      4: Yes, and I would suspect. Worth a try, depends on his abilities defensively as well. I think I would rather flank Marcus, who is still struggling defensively, with Ariza and Paul if Bayless is still having difficulty on the defensive end.

      5: I think they are thinking about next year, while trying to find pieces that might all hit close to their highest potential during this season and sneak into the playoffs. As I stated, I think they see Bayless as more of the roll they saw for Marcus, and hope he is WAY better than anyone else we have at backup PG while knowing he is surely a decent register better than them at backup PG.

      6: If they can, they will move Peja. If they find that all 4 of the young guys pan out to their fullest potential, then they will have some decisions to make. That is highly unlikely, so I think it is a solid plan to have 4 potential lotto tickets in your hand. If 2 pan out, then wonderful. I would welcome the problem of having to choose whether or not to move Peja because you really think you have 4 young guys worth $4-5 million a year next season. Oh and David West still chugging along at his 18-20ppg rate. While your at it, ask me if I think its an issue if I had Jessica Alba and Jessica Biel fighting over me as well.

      • TopherPrice

        October 24, 2010 at 4:26 pm

        in the West comments, I meant that you don’t give UP, not us.

    • Joe P

      October 24, 2010 at 6:38 pm

      1. There are enough back up PGs out there that selling high on Collison was a good move. Ariza is a championship caliber starter if he’s a complimentary player. Payroll relief is underrated because you can’t see it right away on the court.

      2. There’s an Fton of preassure on Thornton because there’s almost a logjam of little guards on the team.

      3. Hey, if West wants to give the Hornets a sweetheart deal, they should consider it, but I bet some contender is going to think he’s a missing piece, and pay him more than the Hornets should.

      4.Thornton needs to earn it. Belli has earned it for now.

      5.I hope management is making longer term moves. It seems like they’re building for 2011-2012.

      6.Demps needs to be confident and active, and find value for Peja’s contract. The bench players that would take up the cap space (and West) make me think of the lotto for years to come.

      7. I sure hope Aaron Grey is a serious x-factor. A solid rotation big at his size and contract (and he seems like a nice guy) would be like a freebie gimmie from the end of the Bower era.

  12. hewhorocks

    October 24, 2010 at 2:31 pm

    1) it doesnt impact my thoughts on Collison Ariza trade, The hornets should have gotten more

    2) Lots more on Thorton though I think Bayless and Thorton could be an effective backcourt tandem for the second team.

    3) West needs to show more leadership and passion. He complains to the refs too much and doesnt appear to give 100% on D

    4) Buckets needs to work back, no gifts.

    5) Both.

    6) Peja’s trade appeal is cap relief. Paying everyone makes it less likely they’d trade Peja. From the looks of things most of the Hornets pay to keep guys wont be that expensive. Still with few draft picks coming due to the trades some will have to be kept.

  13. James Online

    October 24, 2010 at 3:47 pm

    BeesGivingEffort: what are you talking about? The last thing I want is for the Hornets to lose Chris Paul. I live in the San Francisco Bay area. I’m a Hornets fan. I have no interest in the Trailblazers. I just don’t like adding this particular player. Ariza: yes. Belinelli: yes. Jason Smith: yes. Mbenga: yes. Bayless: no.
    If that’s pissing in your tea, change drinks.

  14. notoriousBEE

    October 24, 2010 at 6:39 pm

    I like the idea of a second unit with Bayless, Thornton and Peja. Anyone of these guys can score a bunch if they get hot. If Bayless or Thornton gets hot, play them at SG with the starters. If Peja gets hot, slide Ariza to the 2 and leave Peja on the floor for a while. However Monty decides to play these guys, I’m thrilled to have another guy with the potential to drop 30 on a good night.

  15. Sportnlife

    October 24, 2010 at 8:08 pm

    1.) How does this impact your thought of Ariza/Collison trade? Now that we can step back and see it as Posey, Collison, and a 2011 1st round pick for Ariza and Bayless- do you view it any differently?

    Ariza seems too much like a fourth offensive option, and as long as he can’t get his own shot, he’ll have to make up for it with teeth-rattling D. Bayless always strikes me as pressing too much on offense. Doesn’t let the game come to him enough. A lot riding on two fragile 2 guards finding their roles on the team.

    Conditional OK on trades: only if they co-exist on offense and scrap on D.

    2.) Is there as much pressure on Thornton after this trade? Less? More?

    More. BucketList can only play with swagger. Any residue of doubt destroys his game. Watching him flip balls at the hoop after driving, when last year he was trying to take down the whole backboard, tells me that he has no Plan B. Forcing him into a Plan B by bringing in 3 new SGs registers as a vote of no confidence in his head. Save him by trading him, now that you’ve made the Bayless (why do I have the urge to call him PayLess?) move. My take.

    3.) With this infusion of youth- do you see West in the long term plans?

    No. He’s gone to a contender.

    4.) Should Hornets reconsider putting Thornton in starting lineup since he and Bayless are so similar? Would a Bayless/Belinelli combo be effective?

    Try MT5 as starter. If it doesn’t take, shop him.

    5.) Is management being short sided in the moves they are making or are they just confident that they are closer than most “experts” think that they are?

    They’re throwing spaghetti on the wall to see if they can make hieroglyphics. Also known as short-sighted.

    6.) Management will have to make decisions on whether to pay Belinelli, Jason Smith, David West, Marcus Thornton, and Bayless next season. If they pay these guys, then all cap room will be gone. Does that make it more likely or less likely that they move Peja before February?

    Next year is next year. They won’t pay everybody, because they’ll have other options if they lose CP3. If they don’t lose him, they’ll still have other options.

    7.) Any other ideas/questions you had from reading the Season Preview

    Hornets are a work-in-progress. What Peja deal puts them over the top, as far as personnel upgrade? With West and Peja gone, will we get both young and good with that deal?

  16. HiMyNameisSteven

    October 24, 2010 at 11:23 pm

    CP3 does not get hurt this year…. ariza will be 15 ppg 5 reb 3 asst… d west 17 8 (no surprise there) okafor 15 and 11 big year – belly – 12 ppg – mt5- 14 a game and now bayless 10 a game best bench back court in bball with bayless and marcus.

    hornets win 50 games and get 5th in a much more deep western conference but a not so top heavy anymore

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  21. edbballin504

    October 26, 2010 at 3:35 pm

    Yall check this out!!!!! This trade gives us 41 more wins!


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  23. jtshoopsblog

    October 27, 2010 at 11:09 am

    The addition of Bayless changes the fortunes of the Hornets a little bit. they were lucky to be able to get rid of Posey`s dead weight contract, that`s 4 sure

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