Will the Hornets REALLY make a deal?

Published: January 6, 2011

There are a lot of people within the league whom I know personally. Both players and coaches, staff, etc. Some of them I know from playing against them in highschool, some I know because I played with/against their kids on travel ball teams, and in highschool/college/leagues.


There is one person whom I’ve known for a VERY long time who works pretty high up in the Laker organization. I played basketball with his son since I was a kid. I promised this person MANY years ago that any information he gives me, can be talked about, but that he doesn’t want me to announce his name, or that he gave me any information. Especially if its something I’m posting online.


Since the Hornets are playing the Lakers tomorrow and I’ll be going to the game, I actually talked to this person just a little while ago (he knows I’m a die hard Hornet/Chris Paul fan as well), and he told me something that is VERY disappointing to hear. He told me that ever since the NBA purchased the Hornets, all has been quiet on the Hornets front…


Before the NBA bought the Hornets, he was hearing CONSTANT chatter of Dell Demps on the phone PUSHING HARD to make moves. To the point at which the league was chattering thinking not only were the Hornets 11-1, but that they were going to still make a BIG move to put themselves in SERIOUS contention for a title THIS season.


He flat out told me, the deal for Jack was not done to “acquire” Jarrett Jack. That deal was done because the organization was forced to “change it’s direction”.


He also told me that since the purchase, aside from asking about a few “VERY small potential deals”, Dell Demps has been extremely silent, and has backed off considerably when it came to making any big moves.


His exact words, “We all swore either Iggy or Melo would be in a Hornet uniform by now. Don’t think they’re going to be anymore.”


I’m speechless. Absolutely speechless.

This post was submitted by AgentZiko.


  1. Joe Gerrity

    January 6, 2011 at 5:10 pm

    Yikes. Sure hope your source is misinformed on this one, or that Dell has a new strategy that he’s keeping a little more secret.

  2. AgentZiko

    January 6, 2011 at 6:25 pm

    He’s a really good source Joe. He’s not a guy who works ticket sales or anything like that. LoL. He’s a former NBA player himself.

  3. Jamal D

    January 6, 2011 at 6:38 pm

    wow this kinda scare me because it hard to believe

  4. Jamal D

    January 6, 2011 at 6:41 pm

    do your source know why he became silent?

  5. 42

    January 6, 2011 at 7:24 pm

    Well, I did think Carmelo was reasonable.

  6. 42

    January 6, 2011 at 7:26 pm

    Time will tell, right?

  7. AgentZiko

    January 6, 2011 at 7:35 pm

    @ Jamal D: He did not tell my why, nor did I ask. I will see him tomorrow before/after the Laker/Hornet game. I will ask then.

    @ 42: Yea, I know man. We talked about how we both felt like Demps was gonna TRY at the very least. Time WILL tell. I just hope it ends on a high note for us.

    • 42

      January 6, 2011 at 7:44 pm

      Optimism: Chouest was looking for something, Dell was able. If the ownership situation ends up how we like, then we could have something good going on in the future.

      Pessimism: We were rolling for a title, building, believing… The guys lost the faith and it’ll never return.

  8. Hornet

    January 6, 2011 at 7:50 pm

    This saddens me.. a lot.

  9. Hornet

    January 6, 2011 at 7:52 pm

    How long does this TPE last?

    • 42

      January 6, 2011 at 10:58 pm

      Under this CBA that expires in 6 months: a year from the trade I think.

      So, worst case: 6 weeks or so due to trade deadline.

      • 42

        January 6, 2011 at 11:31 pm


        Read here, 71 and following.


      • Michael McNamara

        January 7, 2011 at 1:52 pm

        Actually the current CBA doesn’t expire to July 1st, 2011- so there will still be a draft and time to trade before the lockout. That is the time I think the Hornets could get the best bang for their buck with the TPE. Teams wanting to dump salary will dump a good player along with a 1st rounder to take that salary off their hands.

        Random example- Knicks know they will need money to resign Chandler and offer Melo a max deal offer us a 1st rounder to take Turiaf and Randolph’s 7 million off their hands. You let Jason Smith and Will Green walk, add a wing with the 1st rounder and you possibly get 3 rotation guys and give up nothing.

        Just an example, but teams did it last year by getting Beasley, Hinrich, Cook, and 1st rounders by using that flexibility.

      • 42

        January 7, 2011 at 2:22 pm

        Forgot about the draft. Silly me.

        Humbled . . .

        Did you ever know that you’re my hero?

  10. Loyal Fan

    January 6, 2011 at 9:28 pm

    Don’t know who your “source” is….but he is so far off the mark here it is almost laughable. The NBA buying the team has nothing to do with no major moves being made. Demps doesn’t just make moves for the sake of making them. Of course deal wasn’t to acquire Jack….don’t need a source for that. It was to dump salary and create flexibility for the future.

  11. Eman5805

    January 7, 2011 at 12:21 pm

    I don’t buy it 100%. What’ll the NBA do to Demps if he goes “Screw the budget. I want to win games!” and BOOM we got Melo? You’re telling me the NBA is so concerned with money they’d turn down the chance to partner two superstars in New Orleans?

    This guy works for the Lakers, so this has to be speculation and inference on his part. Even if it’s well-informed speculation, I’m not inclined to give this guy the benefit of a doubt. I mean, is this what he KNOWS or is this what he BELIEVES?

    Could easily be a situation where Demps found a deal he likes, but has to wait for the 20th for those deals to clear.

    • Eman5805

      January 7, 2011 at 12:23 pm

      When you see this guy again, ask him if there’s the chance that he’s waiting for those trade restrictions to expire before really getting back heavy on the phones.

  12. Michael McNamara

    January 7, 2011 at 1:34 pm

    I read this post and immediately tried to get in contact with some people I know in the league- one from the Eastern conference, one from the West. What I was told is this:
    Melo is not going to be moved until the All-Star break, if at all this year. Also, Philly has discussed Iggy but their asking price is rediculous. One of the guys I have talked to works with a team that has a TPE that is big enough to take on Iggy’s deal and they offerend that along with a young prospect that I would say is much more valued around the league than MT5. They were told no and they were told that even if they took on Brand’s contract, the deal would still be a no. Philly wanted more talent back.

    Both of them theorized that if it is true that Dell is not as active, it is because that things just usually dont get done in December or January. One of the guys said that if 2 deals get done per year in those two months combined, he is shocked. GM’s usually talk at the beginning of the year and lay their cards on the table regarding possibilities in the future. So Demps calls the Bobcats in October, lets say, and voices his interest in Wallace or S Jax and the Charlotte GM says’ “Well, we like our team right now and we think we can make a playoff run, but if things don’t work out- we will keep you in mind.”

    Now think about it this way, if Demps keeps calling day and night- do you think that when Charlotte wants to move S Jax, that they will offer a bargain basement deal or will they sense desperation and hold out for more?

    Bottom line, I was told, was that at this point teams have all talked and expressed their interest. Most of the dialogue in front offices is internal and those guys are discussing whether they are going to be buyers or sellers or Switzerland at the trade deadline- and they are reevaluating that position EVERY DAY. Then in February teams start putting out feelers again and by All-Star weekend teams are trying to find the best deal.

    Don’t know if that helps ease anybody’s worries, but I think we all knew that we didn’t have the ammo for Iggy or Melo if we were being realistic with ourselves here. The real question is: Are the Hornets going to go after a Stephen Jackson or a Hamilton, and I think the answer is yes, but things can change in a heartbeat. If West or Emeka go down, perhaps the Hornets become sellers- you never know. Maybe some superstar chokes a coach and becomes available, etc.

    I just wouldn’t be too worried if what the Lakers guy said is true, that’s all.

    • 42

      January 7, 2011 at 2:26 pm

      Can’t choke fat neck in Chicago . . . You seen that thing?

      Talk about neck.


      Dude should have been a wrestler.

    • 42

      January 7, 2011 at 2:33 pm

      All this makes sense.

      I’m open-minded in all directions, but I don’t buy the position that the NBA would allow the team to declare bankruptcy rather than step in. The Coyotes did this to the NHL, and, embarrassment aside, I think it caused some legal issues and fear for the league. At the point where we were at, we actually added payout over this season as next by making the deal. A variable there is the under-tax-team-payout.

      One could argue that we also dumped a first rounder’s salary next year due to the initial Bayless deal, but that may be the first time somone considered a salary dump by dropping a first rounder rather than marginal guys on larger nonguaranteed deals.

      And why keep Mbenga and his scant minutes if we are trying to ‘go lean’?

      Too many holes there.

    • 42

      January 7, 2011 at 2:35 pm

      Plus, I think we can fix the bench easier than net a superstar.

  13. Loyal Fan

    January 7, 2011 at 1:47 pm

    Laker guy really doesn’t know Demps….I know that for sure

  14. AgentZiko

    January 9, 2011 at 1:27 am

    Got to talk to my friend just a little while ago. I couldn’t see him in person last night, but he gave me a call back again today to apologize for not being able to meet me after the game like he promised.

    The first thing we were talking about was how we had wished CP had played better just because it’s SOOO fun to watch. This guys is a BIG fan of CP, and thinks he will go down as the best PG to ever play behind Magic, a guy he’s VERY CLOSE friends with, and whom he played with. (Thats all the information I’ll give you about him. If you guess who it is, just keep it to yourself please).

    Then I asked him if he had heard any news about New Orleans making any deals since they were in town. He told me he hadn’t heard ANYTHING, and reminded me of our phone conversation. Then he told me WHY he doesn’t see the Hornets making a big deal now.

    He said that since the NBA now owns the Hornets, the rest of the league is looking at their situation with VERY close eyes. Phil Jackson himself blatantly called out the Hornets and league for the situation, and questioned how they could FAIRLY make any moves. He told me to consider this:

    Lets just say the Hornets were able to make a move to land Melo or Iggy right now. What would happen? Even if they SOMEHOW were able to put together a package that was FAIR for Denver or parties involved, what would it do for the franchise? It would basically SKYROCKET their value. Allowing the team to take on high salaries and going over the cap is one thing… But who do the Hornets write the luxury tax check to? The League? But if the League owns the Hornets, wouldn’t they be writing a check to themselves? They basically wouldn’t have to write a luxury tax check AT ALL. Meaning it would be unfair to the rest of the league who DOES have to write one.

    Second of all, because the VALUE of the team would skyrocket, who benefits from the sale of the franchise? THE LEAGUE DOES. Lets say the league allows the Hornets to trade for Melo somehow but leaves them still able to keep Emeka, West, Ariza, and Paul. Adding Melo to that group and you now have a team that will SERIOUSLY content with the Lakers THIS season.


    Investors would lineup, probably willing to pay double the amount that the League paid. And who would pocket the money? The LEAGUE would.

    This is why he said he doesn’t see the Hornets making ANY big deals. He said, yea, they’ll probably do a few small things. But NOTHING to go over the cap. Because the league won’t want to deal with the issues of luxury cap with this team, and hearing other teams complain about the situation, which they WILL.

    He said until the League can sort out these issues, don’t expect the Hornets to make any big moves.

    This definitely makes sense to me, and I hope it answers some of your questions.

    The big rumor he told me he was hearing prior regarding Iggy was that the Hornets were willing to take on Iggy and Brands contract for expiring contracts from the hornets (including Pejas).

    In regards to Melo, he said that Demps had tried doing multiple multi team trades with Denver to land Melo, and that they didn’t care if Melo signed the extension right away because they felt that a season of running with Chris Paul would convince him to stay.

    I asked him who would be the best player the Hornets could still realistically trade for. His exact words: “I don’t think anyone would care to complain if they landed Stephen Jackson or Richard Hamilton. If they got Iggy or Melo or some other actual superstar, then yes, teams would be upset. But those guys are considered problems a lot of teams don’t want to deal with.”

    Nice call Mike.

    Lastly, he called me a traitor for being such a big Hornet fan, and not a Laker fan, and that since the Hornets lost, I owe him and his son lunch. LoL.

    • 42

      January 9, 2011 at 11:05 am

      I thought the tax money went into a kitty to pay the teams who weren’t over the tax a little bonus.

    • Mark

      January 9, 2011 at 5:18 pm

      Interesting read, Agent. And I think it’s important to distinguish value into wins and sales, since although they somewhat go hand-in-hand, just because your team is winning doesn’t mean you’ll garnish high sales (as we have seen).

      With our team, hopefully we can keep a winning mentality, but the best bet to save this team financially is to acquire a popular player to generate more interest. Unfortunately, the Jack trade was very underwhelming (especially in retrospect), and we don’t have many trade chips in my opinion.

      • 42

        January 9, 2011 at 5:27 pm

        Traded Player Exceptions are nice trade chips if you are willing/able to add salary. They are invisible, but they are there.

        If you are unwilling to add salary, there aren’t too many deals you can do that will improve the team anyway, so they aren’t useless. As it is, we go half of a trade early. We’ll only be able to get the other half if we spend.

      • Mark

        January 10, 2011 at 1:42 pm

        It’s true you’ll likely get more talent the more you spend, but I still wish there was more value in our trades.

        And there are too many of these small clauses in player salary, so don’t mind me if my opinions on salary are implausible, haha

  15. Loyal Fan

    January 9, 2011 at 11:27 am

    Tax money goes into a kitty you are right…so everyone benefits. We can’t get melo so get that out of your heads.

    • 42

      January 9, 2011 at 11:47 am

      The Nets’ collection of picks make it hard for anyone to compete. I, for one, don’t think the price is as high as folks think. LeBron was had for 2 first rounders, so that’s the floor as Carmelo woukd see action with a team this season if dealt by the deadline. I see some picks and a young player, maybe an expiring. Other things might get wrapped up in it, like swapping other folks, but I don’t see a Carmelo deal being that big, just hard to put together that many picks and space.

  16. Stefan

    January 13, 2011 at 1:10 pm

    After the Orlando game, I became very optimistic.

    Now… nothing.

  17. kelvin wilson

    January 15, 2011 at 11:52 am

    hornets need to make a trade from cav-mav-bobcats

  18. Carl

    January 21, 2011 at 1:09 pm

    Carmelo Anthony will be a Hornet before the trade deadline.

  19. BOB

    January 23, 2011 at 12:40 pm

    antwan jamison for expirings and maybe a first rounder=a good third big who can stretch the floor, hes easy to have and WILL be traded. hornets should jump on it

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