Who needs the off-season of 2010?

Published: May 1, 2011

As we all know, the 2010 Free-agency was the most-action packed free-agency in history. LeBron permanently destroyed his reputation to join Bosh and Wade in Miami. Carlos Boozer went to Chicago. Amar’e decided he had had enough sun and went to the Big Apple. We saw Teams overpay players drastically. (coughTorontocough)

Then there’s the 2010 off-season that saw every team except the Hornets make trades for cap space for those free-agents. The Hornets were the only one who made trades that didn’t primarily involve courting to LeEgo. (Even though they had a better chance than at least two of teams: New York and New Jersey. Kudos CP3). When Carmelo demanded a trade, if New Orleans had been on his list of destinations, I’m sure Dell would have gladly dealed Marcus, Peja, and perhaps Quincy to Denver in exchange for Carmelo, and some bits of pieces like draft picks, and 3rd string centers, and a little bit of money. 

But this is the free-agency of 2011, with Tyson Chandler, Marcus Thornton, and Greg Oden, Tayshaun Prince, and Vince Carter. Teams wasted all their money in 2010. Now the Hornets are the best available option on the block, because playing with a team that pushed the Lakers to 6 games with their two most important bigs non-existent. (David West and Emeka Okafor.) Now with those two going to be a factor in the next year’s playoffs. You’re salviating if you are a shooting guard with any sort of decency on the court and off the court.  

They may even own the off-season of 2012 if they play it right. The off-season of Dwight Howard and Deron Williams basically. The Hornets are the only team with any sort of decency for the next two off-seasons that can offer a nice contract and can even improve, combine that will Dealer Dell Demps, and the Lakers, Spurs, and Mavericks will be hollow shells of what they were during this season, courtesy of age. 

The West will come down between New Orleans and Oklahoma City. (Sorry Memphis and Portland, I just don’t think you can keep your lightning in a bottle until the start of the 2013 season.) Oklahoma City doesn’t have a cap manuverability that the Hornets have. Also the Hornets have the money-savy front office, now add an owner whose actually willing to go over the luxury tax to win. (Gary Chouest.) What do you get? 

Prime Free-Agents for 2011: (in order of importance)

Marcus Thornton

Tyson Chandler

Greg Oden

Caron Butler

Tayshaun Prince


Free-Agents of 2012:

Dwight Howard

Deron Williams


So if the Hornets play this correctly, their front-court rotation could be so packed,  that somebody out of West, Ariza and Thornton has to come off the bench. (Thornton) West would have to move to SF and Ariza to SG or DWest would have to come off the bench. (Okafor definitely would too.) 

Paul         Jack

Ariza        Thornton



Howard     Okafor





Chandler   West

Howard     Okafor


Looks pretty nice, right? 

How to do it:

Don’t overspend in 2011

Unless it’s Chandler or Marcus, employ the Ben Gordon method. (This is what Ben Gordon should have done after 2009). It’s a 1 year contract, but that 1 year is a nice fat 1 year around 5-7 million. [Note: the Bulls should have given Gordon a 10 million 1-year contract in the 2009 off-season. It meant he could have joined the 2010 Free-Agency Class.]

#2 Have CP3 appeal to Dwight Howard. Pointing out all the benefits that would be gained from teaming up with Paul, West, Okafor, Ariza, and possibly Chandler, and the fact that Howard is the 2 (or is it 3)-time defending Defensive Player of the Year, and that he would be perfect for Monty’s system of Defense. Also don’t forget about the constant-alley-oops. (Howard could even throw them, if he was in the mood to Chris Paul.)

#3 Remember to tell the free-agents that the West is theirs for the taking this season.


  1. Hordan

    May 1, 2011 at 6:23 pm

    No Oden. Too risky.

  2. Max

    May 1, 2011 at 7:53 pm

    If demps wanted thorton then demps would never have traded him, you can hope and pray that we get him back, but I would also put my life savings on the fact that demps will not be offering him a contract. Also IMO Okafor would not work as a bench player, if we were to get Howard it would be at the expense of okafor

  3. Brandon

    May 1, 2011 at 9:47 pm

    I agree max. But Hordon, oden is risky but he has size for a starting frontcourt player. Looking foward., how are we beating lakers mavs, grizzlies with this frontcourt. Also if we don’t get Thornton, we do need a wing player that could just flat out score. We also need a better defensive back up guards. But next year look for ariza, landry and q pons stats to go up. If we can get the size, the back up defensive and the pure scoring, the skys the limit.

  4. Hornet Seantonio

    May 2, 2011 at 11:17 am

    if you can get oden cheap might as well make a risk, if he could stay healthy sadly due to the state of bigman in the NBA he is probably the best true center there is. Defense, Rebounding, offense people forget but that kids amazing. If you can get him cheap you’re crazy not too. I dont see any chance of marcus coming back, id love it but i doubt it. HE was at one of the playoff games so maybe he still got love and maybe we do too, heres hoping.

    • Bug Marley

      May 3, 2011 at 1:12 am

      I’m not sure but I read somewhere (slamonline.com) that Oden will be offered 10 mil a year for four years.

  5. 504ever

    May 2, 2011 at 8:19 pm

    You need to look at the Hornets salary figures. Some of what you propose is unrealistic now, if not impossible under the new CBA (collective bargaining agreeement) depending on how it ends up. Adding Chandler and Howard?! Don’t we all wish, but that’s probably $20+M more in salary!

    You didn’t offer an opinion on signing Landry, or including him in your 2011 free agent class. Why?

    • NO-CHI

      May 7, 2011 at 5:15 am

      My Bad

      I did not include Landry because I did not count either his salary or Marco’s into the expiring contracts situations, and neither did I include West. Besides Landry I feel is better as a Cornerman. (SF/PF) due to his size, and off the bench. I also wrote this post BEFORE the Mavs went up 3-0 on LA. [Note: I think that the Lakers will come back to win in 7 now.] Thus I felt that Tyson Chandler would find New Orleans an attractive option. So now if the Mavericks beat the Lakers, we can forget about Tyson Chandler UNLESS the MAVS BLOW IT!

  6. Crazyb1125

    May 3, 2011 at 2:00 pm

    I don’t see Hornets getting MT23, TC, or Dwight Howard, I’m sorry but they make stupid decisions about FAs almost every year, but for back ups wise they need to target Reggie Evans, or/and Kelenna Azubuike. but hornets need to target true scorers (Maybe SG or SF). thats all they need just 3 FAs, maybe not those two in particular but I would still target them for back up support. two more back up (SF,C) and starting scorer. no need to be greedy!!! thats how we’ll get stronger but the question is not only who to target but who to get???

    • NO-CHI

      May 7, 2011 at 5:17 am

      That was with Jeff Bower. Let’s give Dealer Dell Demps a couple of free-agencies before we judge him.

  7. David

    May 3, 2011 at 9:15 pm

    Breakdown of the Roster iMO:

    CP3 – not much to say here. He’ll continue to get healthier and better a year removed from knee surgery.

    Bellenelli – Dude has a 3 million+ price tag for a tender next season. I honestly don’t know if he’s worth it. He’s is so damn inconsistent. He may come back as a solid rotation player, but if the Hornets think they can make a deal to upgrade the position there’s no doubt in my mind they will renounce his rights to free up cap space.

    Ariza – He is inconsistent offensively, but he is the catalyst for our defense. The ability to limit scoring wings in this league should not be overlooked or under appreciated. He is solid as a starting wing, but putting a truer scorer along side him in the starting lineup would take some of the scoring pressure off of him and allow him to flourish as a more efficient player.

    David West – I don’t think he will opt out of his contract. In fact, if the offer for the extension is still on the table, I think he may jump on it in order to 1.) guarantee his contract after the injury and 2.) Sign a contract under the old CBA instead of wandering into the uncertainty that is the next CBA. He may not be ready by the regular season, but it is amazing how quickly knee injuries heal at this day in age. He is also a player that relies on skill rather than pure athleticism.

    Emeka Okafor – The big question mark here. Mek played great interior defense all season long. He is a starting quality big man in the League. IMO, however, in order for him to be truly effective in the playoffs he needs to be paired with one of two types of players: 1.) A tall, long athletic PF who can score (see Amare Stoudemire, Pau Gasol, Kevin Garnett, Al Horford, etc.) where he can play C along side or 2.) A big, dominant 7 ft. center who can score in the low post (Andrew Bynum, Dwight Howard, Marc Gasol, Yao MIng, Bogut, etc.) where he can slide over to the PF position. Where he struggles, like it is with us, where he is playing next to an undersized scorer of a PF (West, Landry) – because defensively and on the boards they get overwhelmed with size – or next to a defensive center who can’t score as well (Chandler, Lopez, Noah) because they get very little scoring from that frontcourt. It’ll be interesting to see, because apparently Demps is set on re-upping West and Landry, and Mek is too expensive to be a backup center (although a frontcourt rotation of West, Landry, Mek, and Chandler would be dirty). Untradeable last season, his strong season may have given him some value. Keep an eye on that situation.

    Carl Landry – Demps wants to re-sign him. He seems to want to come back. He would be an excellent 6th man coming off of the bench, and can play next to West when they go small ball. I’d like to see he and Jack coming off the bench after an off-season and training camp together.

    Jarrett Jack – Slow start w/ the team, as it took him time to adjust to the system. He is under contract, and will be back, and solidifies the backup PG spot. In a perfect world, we will acquire a 2G in the offseason who can score and have a 3 man rotation in the backcourt.

    Willie Green – A pleasant suprise, Green will be welcomed back – but at the right price. He played tough defense, was a valued yet inconsistent scorer, and if he’d stop shooting so many 20 ft. 2 pt. jump shots I’d like him a lot more. He will have to come MUCH cheaper than his 4 million dollar price tag of this season (think 1.5-2, max). If not, he will be shown the door.

    Aaron Gray – The playoff superstar, he has a niche with this team with a valued skill set – Pure Size. He should be re-signed as the 3rd center coming off the bench, and will be a match-up play against the Bynum’s and Howard’s of the world.

    Jason Smith – High energy big man with another 3+ million tender, he is much in the same boat as Bellenelli. If another big man is brought in, I think the Hornets will and should let him walk at that price tag. If he is willing to take less, and play as the 5th big man off the bench w/ Gray (depending on matchups), he will also be welcomed back.

    DJ Mbenga – provides valuable size, but w/ one of the priorities include adding another big he will probably be the odd man out.

    Quincy Pondexter – rookie showed some flashes, should improve and become the first “wing” guy off the bench next season. Plays solid defense, has experience, has an NBA type body, and showed some scoring potential as well.

    Patrick Ewing, Jr. – will be given a chance to be the 15th man in training camp.

    David Andersen, Marcus Banks – contract will expire and not be asked back.

    Best case scenario – re-sign West and Landry, sign a big like Chandler or Yao or Nene to compete with Mek at C, sign or trade for a scoring 2G to fit in, bring back Smith, Bellenelli, Green, and Gray at modest contracts, Let the rest of the FA walk

    C – Mek: Chandler: Gray
    PF – West: Landry: Smith
    SF – Ariza: Q-Pon: Bellenelli
    SG – ????: Jack: Bellenelli
    PG – Paul: Jack: Green

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