The Hornets offseason Idea- Ballin on a budget!

Published: June 24, 2011

Now that the dust has settled from the NBA draft, one can look at the Hornets roster and begin to envision how they are going to mold the roster and what avenues they can plausibly take. The first(and most important) thing to view is the salary situation and players under contract. To begin, the team has $42 million in guaranteed money wrapped up in 5 players as of right now. 2 of them are backups, and 1 theoretically should be a backup in Trevor Ariza. 

Chris Paul/Jarrett Jack
blank/Jarrett jack
Trevor Ariza/Quincy Pondexter

Filling in the blanks on this roster with so many holes and so little wiggle room is gonna be a tough sell. To begin, one has to expect that Jason Smith and Belli will not be extended their qualifying offers. Not because theres no chance for them to return, but essentially (Belli in particular) They can become UFA and get signed for cheaper. I would much rather see 2 years at 1.5 or 2 million for Marco since hes a reserve player, and paying him over 3 million next year is simply too much. Gray and West have player options, both of which I assume are going to be exercises thus making them free agents. I think that D-X at this point in his career would like to try his luck an another team, and the best I could hope is a sign and trade with a team. I know hes from New Jersey and the new owner loves throwing money around, so it wouldn’t kill me to see a s&t involving Brandon Morrow, as the hornets desperately need a knock down shooter, and with the Nets just trading for Marshawn Brooks in the draft he seems expendable.

Now that we have some of the sad news knocked out, lets think positive. Pretend that a s&t occurred that landed Morrow, he is still a backup sg at best. The hornets NEED a myriad of things, but a tough minded defender who is still evolving on the offensive end and coming into his own would be a welcome site. Queue Arran Afflalo. He fits everything needed in that position, only thing is he is a RFA and that means probably having to every spend to acquire his talent. Lets make this an even number and say 4 years, 8 million per. That is 12 millino dollars wrapped up in the sg position (not including Jack) for mediocre to above average play. Thats the problem with a small market, ya gotta overpay. Theoretically there is now 3 positions down, with the most important ones left.

Carl Landry filled David Wests shoes admirably post injury last season, but once again he’s a commodity. He could probably be retained for that 5 million per range if lucky, once again probably would have to be a 4 year contract to entice him. He is a sixth man type of player, but unfortunately with limited options I think that he would have to start. Kris Humphries is a name that comes to mind for a decent backup, as he brings some much needed rebounding to the table. If the Hornets can talk him into a 2 year 2 million per contract I’d be ecstatic. I really wanted Kenneth Faried from this years draft to address this need, but i digress. And plus, you’d have to love seeing Kim Kardashian and Reggie Bush sitting courtside next to each other, the tension could be cut with a butter knife.

Center is the final piece, and probably the biggest hole the Hornets have. I really wish that Okafor could learn his ass a jumpshot so that we could shift his undersized ass to PF, but he looks akward enough in the paint after an entire life of playing basketball, it’d take another lifetime to get him hitting a 15 footer consistently. I think that the best case scenario here is to trade for a young center that has fallen short of his teams expectations, and Robin Lopez’s name fits nicely here. Not a game changer, but has some upside and might play well with Chris Paul given his decent athleticism and ability to flash to the rim for easy buckets. 


Chris Paul/J Jack/D-leaguer
Arran Afflalo/Brandon Morrow/Q-Pon
Trevor Ariza/Q-pon
Carl Landry/Kris Humphries/Robin Lopez
Emeka Ofakor/Robin Lopez/Insert random cannon fodder here

When looking at this team, I feel like they improved in some areas, and regressed massively in others. Fact is, losing David West who is a legit knock down shooter and solid 2nd option on offense would really kill this team in the late moments of a tight game where trading buckets is an absolute necessity. I would say they are probably about as good as last season, and depending on the seeding they could be a tough first or second round out. Hmm, gotta admit dedicating all this time to a write up and realizing how flawed this team is burns a little. Still, based on my salary guesses it would put the team just slightly over the $62 million proposed mark in the new CBA (roughly 64 million), and at least the team could still remain competitive at a reasonable price, with some young pieces that may grow into something down the line. 

This post was submitted by Tooeasy.


  1. Hordan

    June 24, 2011 at 3:57 pm

    Kris Humphries is going to get paid big bucks in New Jersey. He played very well in the second half of the season. Plus, I think West is going to come back. That being said, I think our answer at 4 is not Humphries and Landry, but the return of West and Landry.
    Also, I think Brooks was drafted because Sasha V. is a free agent, and they’re going to let him go. I have no idea what our answer at two is, but I hope Demps does.

    • Tooeasy

      June 24, 2011 at 4:19 pm

      Although I definitely get your premise, I think that if the Nets had the chance to spend big bucks on Kris Humphries or David West, it would be a no brainer as to who the money would be getting thrown at. They are in a situation where they have to try and appease Deron Williams and convince him that they are a competitive team, before his player option comes up after this next season (sound familiar)? The Nets would have to be concerned that Williams/Brooks/Outlaw/Humphries/Lopez simply would not string together enough wins to coax D-Will into any kind of extension.
      The shooting guard aspect of the Hornets is certainly a major variable, and it will be very interesting to see what avenue they choose to pursue considering the general lack of consistent production from that position, essentially in the time since Chris Paul was drafted.

  2. Joe Gerrity

    June 24, 2011 at 4:33 pm

    Lots of good points, and it is too bad about how the team winds up looking.

    Fortunately I have to agree with Hordan about Humphries and West. I heard the Nets want Kris back. West opting out entirely would be a weird move from West in my opinion, too. it would be uncharacteristically risky from a guy who doesn’t seem like a risk taker.

    I would love Affalo, but I really doubt the Nuggets let him go unless someone overpays by a ton. He’s literally a perfect fit with Chris Paul. Plays defense out of his mind and knocks down the open three. I can dream…

    • Tooeasy

      June 24, 2011 at 4:49 pm

      I would thoroughly enjoy David West returning to the team, but I just wonder how much it weighs on his mind the uncertainty of the Hornets organization as a whole and whether or not he would be better off switching teams in the Autumn portion of his career. Thankfully a team like New jersey does not have a great deal of assets, with the exception of a wealthy owner that is willing spend and gamble. I am also kicking around the though of D-X becoming a free agent, and re-upping him with a new contract that is back loaded, kind of like an invert of his previous contract. If he signed on long-term (5 year) for good money that only starts off at say 6.5 million in the first season, it would give the hornets roughly $13.5 to work with to round out the roster. Gives him a financial stability and keeps the teams core intact.

      One thing thing is for certain, there is going to be several fresh faces on the Hornets roster come next season, and based on the massive turnover of players after last offseason and the gambles that paid off, I have to believe the team will garner a couple solid players that can at least fill a niche.

  3. 504ever

    June 24, 2011 at 10:11 pm

    Don’t see the Hornets getting even one of those free agent/trade players. To me this is more fantasy than reality.

  4. JerichoM

    June 25, 2011 at 12:31 am

    I think you mean Anthony Morrow. Brandon is a MLB pitcher.

    Morrow is extremely underrated. When given consistent time, he produces fairly consistently and very efficiently.

    Another guy who I’d like to see give more of a chance is Von Wafer.

  5. JerichoM

    June 25, 2011 at 12:44 am

    Other guys who could make sense financially:

    Carlos Arroyo, Boston Celtics – $1.2 million – Unrestricted
    Patrick Mills, Portland Trail Blazers – $0.9 million – Unrestricted*
    Mario Chalmers, Miami HEAT – $0.9 million – Unrestricted*
    Pooh Jeter, Sacramento Kings – $0.5 million – Team Option ($0.8 million)
    Sundiata Gaines, New Jersey Nets – $0.7 million – Unrestricted*
    Chris Quinn, San Antonio Spurs – $0.9 million – Unrestricted
    Earl Boykins, Milwaukee Bucks – $1.4 million – Unrestricted

    Arron Afflalo, Denver Nuggets – $2.0 million – Restricted ($2.9 million Qualifying Offer)
    Wilson Chandler, Denver Nuggets – $2.1 million – Restricted ($3.1 million Qualifying Offer)
    Shannon Brown, L.A. Lakers – $2.1 million – Player Option ($2.4 million)
    Chris Douglas-Roberts, Milwaukee Bucks – $0.9 million – Unrestricted*
    Nick Young, Washington Wizards – $2.6 million – Restricted ($3.7 million Qualifying Offer)
    Sonny Weems, Toronto Raptors – $0.9 million – Unrestricted*
    Eddie House, Miami HEAT – $1.4 million – Player Option ($1.4 million)
    Gary Forbes, Denver Nuggets – $0.5 million – Unrestricted*
    Delonte West, Boston Celtics – $1.1 million – Unrestricted
    Dominic McGuire, Charlotte Bobcats – $0.9 million – Unrestricted
    Alonzo Gee, Washington Wizards – $0.6 million – Unrestricted*
    Jeremy Lin, Golden State Warriors – $0.5 million – Team Option ($0.8 million)
    Von Wafer, Boston Celtics – $0.9 million – Unrestricted

    Reggie Williams, Golden State Warriors – $0.8 million – Unrestricted*
    Al Thornton, Golden State Warriors – $0.9 million – Unrestricted
    Ime Udoka, San Antonio Spurs – $0.9 million – Unrestricted
    Jawad Williams, Cleveland Cavaliers – $1.1 million – Unrestricted*
    Rodney Carney, Golden State Warriors – $0.9 million – Unrestricted
    Steve Novak, Dallas Mavericks – $0.9 million – Unrestricted

    Troy Murphy, Boston Celtics – $0.9 million – Unrestricted
    Louis Amundson, Golden State Warriors – $2.2 million – Player Option ($2.4 million)
    Josh McRoberts, Indiana Pacers – $0.9 million – Unrestricted*
    Luc Mbah a Moute, Milwaukee Bucks – $0.9 million – Unrestricted*
    Craig Smith, L.A. Clippers – $2.3 million – Unrestricted
    Dante Cunningham, Charlotte Bobcats – $0.8 million – Unrestricted*
    Jonas Jerebko, Detroit Pistons – $0.8 million – Unrestricted*
    Darius Songaila, Philadelphia 76ers – $4.8 million – Unrestricted
    Leon Powe, Boston Celtics – $0.9 million – Unrestricted
    Hamady Ndiaye, Washington Wizards – $0.5 million – Unrestricted*
    DeMarre Carroll, Houston Rockets – $1.1 million – Unrestricted
    Solomon Jones, Indiana Pacers – $1.5 million – Unrestricted
    Josh Powell, Atlanta Hawks – $1.0 million – Unrestricted

    Kyrylo Fesenko, Utah Jazz – $1.1 million – Unrestricted
    Theo Ratliff, L.A. Lakers – $1.4 million – Unrestricted
    Etan Thomas, Atlanta Hawks – $1.2 million – Unrestricted
    Jason Collins, Atlanta Hawks – $1.2 million – Unrestricted

  6. Hollis21

    June 25, 2011 at 6:57 am

    Pretty good post. Afflalo is just perfect for this team but like Joe said, the Nuggets will pry match.

    I’d like to see Mario Chalmers come this way. At first I thought the Heat would lock him up after that Finals performance. However, I’m not as sure after the team traded for the rights to Norris Cole. Chalmers would be a nice backup. He’s still young and I like what I see from him. This could also get Jack more time at the 2 where he seemed to shine while on the floor with Paul.

    I see a lot of people mentioning Wilson Chandler in their talks for offseason moves. Is he a realistic option for the Hornets to acquire? I figured he’d be out of our price range, but maybe I’m overrating him?

    • Tooeasy

      June 26, 2011 at 1:12 pm

      Wilson Chandler is a good player but I think it would be a mistake signing him on board, at least for the money he will most likely garner. I remember one of the old Simpsons halloween episodes where Bart had a Siamese twin, and Dr. Hibbert called him “Too crazy for boys town, too much of a boy for crazy town.” That’s how I see Chandlers position limbo. He played a lot of PF for the Knicks, and settled in to play SF and even SG for the Nuggets. Most people have a pretty defined position after half a decade in the league. I have a problem with his general lack of consistency, and he all but disappeared when the Nuggets and Thunder faced off in the first round of the playoffs this year.

      • 42

        June 26, 2011 at 1:36 pm

        If you are going to quote The Simpsons, I’m going to have to ask you to post more.

        Sorry, but that’s just the way I feel, and I’m sure others are with me.

        Right everybody?!?!?

        I had to work a thermodynamics problem in college once that was essentially, “Can Homer actually cool off the house by opening the frige?”

        No. Second Law gets you . . . entropy is a mofo . . .

  7. Rob

    June 25, 2011 at 10:02 am

    My pipedream is to offer DeAndre Jordan 9 to 10 million a year for 5 years and hope the Clippers don’t match this offer. Obviously this would hurt our team offensively as Okafor would have to be our PF but our back line defense would be terrific.
    I just feel this team needs height and length in order to compete with the big dogs in the West.

  8. crazyb1125

    June 25, 2011 at 10:12 pm

    all those players are good enough to help us get to the playoffz but not good enough to get us out of the first round slump!!! think harder, but smarter!!!

  9. chiefyoungblood

    June 26, 2011 at 2:27 am

    WHY DIDN’T WE DRAFT JAMIE SKEEN . guys gonna make a roster and it coulda been ours

  10. Tooeasy

    June 26, 2011 at 1:03 pm

    The main issue is the general lack of assets the Hornets have to work with right now. Someone like Jarrett Jack carries more weight on the team than we could return in a trade, considering the cost and his ability to play two positions. DC/Thornton/our first rounder were all chips that could return talent and therefore the turnover on the team happened rapidly. Even Julian Wright brought us back a rotation player. Things will be very different this offseason, as it is really going to fall on the free agent market to round out the roster.

  11. Nik

    June 26, 2011 at 10:14 pm

    we are going to make a move for Rip Hamilton i can see it now!!!

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