It’s Tomorrow for Hornets Fans: Time to Think About Chris Paul

Published: November 27, 2011

On Saturday Michael wrote about how great it was that a new CBA has been agreed upon by the Players and Owners, who will now be collectively known as the NBA. One problem? It doesn’t help the Hornets keep Chris Paul. Let’s review.

  • No hard cap (or anything even close)
  • Luxury tax penalties will start to count in the annual tally (with increases for being over regularly), but will not drastically increase in terms of actual penalties either this year or next.
  • No franchise tag or anything similar to particularly further incentivize free agents to remain with their most recent team.
  • The amnesty provision provides no obvious path toward improvement for the Hornets even if money were no option, but allows other teams to free up room for Paul.

One might argue that because the rules for extend-and-trading players are a bit more strict, that the the Hornets are at an advantage to re-sign Paul, but the reality is that they really just have less of a window to make a trade, and likely less leverage as a result since there are more restrictions for the recipient of Paul if they were to wait until after the season to get something in return. Let’s review the rules as per the new tentative CBA:

Extension-and-trades permitted, except maximum length of any such extended contract is 3 years (e.g., 2 new years if player during last year of his old contract) and max annual increases are 4.5 percent. If a player signs a contract extension for a longer period or higher amount than would have been permitted for an extension-and-trade, then the team is prohibited from trading the player for a period of six months following the date of the extension. If a team acquires a player in a trade, then, for a period of six months following the date of the trade, the team is prohibited from signing the player to a contract extension for a longer period or
higher amount than would have been permitted for an extension-and-trade.

So while it’s great news that the NBA is back since it means that all the momentum the Hornets organization has built won’t be for naught, but don’t think for a second that this CBA does anything significant to help us retain Paul other than further increase the viability of New Orleans as an NBA market. It’s not bad news per se, it’s just not what some of us were hoping for.

I imagine that Dell Demps is among the crowd who is less than completely satisfied since it’s quite literally his job to deal with the implications of this deal. Still, it’s doubtful he will have many bad things to say about a CBA that allows him to do what he loves, especially considering how optimistic he seems to be.

A wise man once told me that optimism breeds opportunity, and despite what many of us will paint as a rather gloomy picture, Dell has the potential to build something special in New Orleans. You can bet that today he’s thinking about whether or not Chris Paul is going to be part of it, just like you and me.

Late update- FYI, if Paul were to hit free agency the Hornets could offer him one year and 27 million more than anyone else. It’s an advantage, but Paul’s not exactly hurting for money. Still, hard to walk away from that much cash.


  1. paul

    November 27, 2011 at 1:53 pm

    Look…if Paul wants out…then go and don’t let the door hit him on the way out.
    I am sooooo weary of worrying who is a team memebr and who isn’t.
    Just get me a bunch of players that want to play basketball and let’s get it on.
    I JUST want to watch basketball and root for players whi like playing THE game.
    Not layers who want to form SUPER teams or win at any cost, regardless of with what city.

    I KNOW there are great players out there just waiting to be discovered and developed. Go and find them.
    Enough already of the STARS and their choke hold on the league and cities.
    I KNOW talent is there to be discovered.

    Get a great GM who can smell out the gifted and sign them.

    Enough already of the holding out. There are enough new players ready to jump in the game from Colleges every year.

  2. QueenBee

    November 27, 2011 at 2:18 pm

    Thing is, we don’t know what Paul wants. He may want to go elsewhere, he may want to try to make it work here. I know most feel they know exactly what he wants but truthfully, we don’t. If you let NY media and NY fans tell it though, he’s already tried on his NY uniform. They think Paul will take a substantial paycut just to play there although I’ve never seen anyone do that just to play in NY in my life. Some Hornets fans are ready to get rid of Paul simply because they’re tired of hearing about him and the possibility of him going elsewhere. They have the lets ditch him before he ditches us mentality. If I’m the GM and unless he flat out tells me he wants to go elsewhere, then I’m holding on to him and trying my best to put the best team around him. If he tells me he wants to go elsewhere, then to the best of my ability, I’m going to find the best deal for my team, the New Orleans Hornets, not the best deal for Chris Paul. And as long as he’s a member of my favorite team and he’s playing nondisgruntled basketball, I’ll be cheering him on.

  3. QueenBee

    November 27, 2011 at 2:33 pm

    I’m more interested in who our new owner(s) will be, when they will become our new owners and how long our lease extension will be rather than sitting down pulling my hair out wondering if Chris Paul will be a part of it or not.

  4. QueenBee

    November 27, 2011 at 2:54 pm

    WindhorstESPN Brian Windhorst
    Per @PDcavsinsider this week’s LeBron’s CAA-backed charity game in Akron canceled. Expect others on that tour to get same fate.

  5. paul

    November 27, 2011 at 3:43 pm

    sorry for my original thoughts being so negative, but somehow I am just blown out with worringing about players.
    No more worrying if somebody truly “loves” the city or the fans.
    I have seen what this is really all about…the big players running their own game for themselves.
    I simply have no mre space left in my heart for the blind faith…it is all business.
    I saw what the big players just cost the small guys…salary they will NEVER ever make up again.
    And all because THE wanted to call the shots and move to the top 3 or 4 media centers…and all for endorsement money, not for the love of the game.

    Just go already if you want.
    Leave us the money to give to somebody else, maybe enough for 3 players.

    Sorry all…but I am so down from this past summer and fall nonesense.

    • paul

      November 27, 2011 at 3:44 pm

      I am just one broken down in the dumps, burnt out fan.

  6. GecGreek

    November 27, 2011 at 4:08 pm

    Hornets have to sign 8 guys. How much cap-space do hornets have?

    • QueenBee

      November 27, 2011 at 4:20 pm

      12 is the minimum right? 15 being the max.

      • QueenBee

        November 27, 2011 at 4:22 pm

        If Belinelli accepts his tender, the Hornets will need to sign 6. If he doesn’t, they’ll need to sign 7. We need to have at least 12 players on the roster.

  7. J

    November 27, 2011 at 4:29 pm

    The Hornets have ton of cap space to bulid a team of destiny.As for Paul he doesn’t care about the fans in New Orleans yeah he say the right words publicly about his status here and so did Mello when he was with Nuggets.who knows what going to happen but ESPN,Mark Cuban and Phil Jackson want us to fail anyway.Trade Paul to get a great deal so we don’t have to deal with this for the rest of the season.I just wish we had an owner that can tell him we going to bulid a winner and not have the leauge decide whats best for the Hornets.

    • QueenBee

      November 27, 2011 at 4:46 pm

      **** what Cuban and Phil Jackson want. Phil Jackson is gone and I must say good riddance. I hope he stays gone.

  8. Simon

    November 27, 2011 at 6:27 pm

    It’s simple.
    CP will stay if we can build a team he thinks he can win with. He will go if we can’t.

    In the short term, I think our best bet is signing a new centre to replace Mek. We should be able to get either Chandler or Gasol for around 8/9 million. Im hoping that mid-level players (both of these qualify as mid-range centres in my books) contracts will start to even out around 7 million with the new luxury tax penalties.

    Personally, I wouldn’t mind trying to trade mek for Michael Beasley. I know alot of people don’t like him but last year he averaged 19 ppg in 32 minutes. He also average 6 boards, and 0.8 steals and blocks so clearly he can defend when he wants to. He shot 46% from the field and 36% on 3’s as well as 75% FT (which was a down year for him.)
    Also, he’s only a 4th year player and given he was an ABOSULTE beast in college he can be expected to improve considerably provided he stays off the drugs.
    Also, he is presumably in the last year of his rookie deal (similarly to pretty much every player on the t-wolves roster) so we can probably get someone else in the trade. maybe an Anthony Randolph type high energy/shot blocking PF. Imagine if he and Beasley bought into monty williams hustle/defensive philosophy. They’d be beastly defensively.
    Picture a starting 5 of CP, Ariza, Beasley, Randolph and Chandler. Good luck scoring points against that kind of length and athleticism. Re-sign Landry to come on as 6th man and another complementary Ridnour type guard. Aaron grays slowness wouldn’t be so exposed with those sorts of players around him either.

    Personally I think that could be a beastly team right now, let alone in a couple years when Beasley, Randolph and Ariza have matured a bit. Plus, thats a team that (provided beasley doesn’t have a super breakout year and become a legitimate max sontract candidate) could compete and stay under the cap.

    Whether or not CP would agree remains to be seen. Personally, I think the only strategy other than getting Howard that will keep CP has to be high-risk high-reward.

    Feel free to shoot me down into a flaming mass of craziness.

    • aKn0b

      November 28, 2011 at 3:42 pm

      First off, I don’t think CP3 is only looking for the Hornets front office and asking, “Are you committed to winning?” get a “OF COURSE WE ARE!” and then hopping on board. CP3 just seems destined to join some other superstars in a big market because he can join his friends, thinks he can instantly contend (whether it is true or not), and increase his brand. I don’t think he’ll be an asshole about it like LeBron and The Decision but I definitely think he’s 90% out of the door unless the Hornets are a top 3 seed in the Western Conference and make it to the Finals (assuming he doesn’t get traded or force a trade before then) and even then…who knows.

      Okafor is a solid player. The casual basketball fan just looks at scoring and may want Beasley over him, but Okafor is an above average defender who protects the rim, is still relatively young, knows his role, and is a good teammate. Pretty good health track record as well…especially compared to Beasley. He’s paid a little too much, but sometimes you have to overpay for a position that is scarce in the league like center is.

      Beasley is absent on defense and his shot selection is poor. I’d take Okafor over him. And if you had Beasley instead of Okafor…who is your center now???

      Gasol, assuming you meant Marc, would probably be a good fit here but I see him getting paid around the same as Okafor in free agency and he’s still young. We already have Okafor under contract though and I’m not sure we want to spend that type of dough when our needs are at shooting guard and forward.

      This next year will certainly be very, very interesting for the Hornets. I know it seems and probably is impossible, but if you add Dwight Howard to our roster from last year (which I know won’t be the same)..I think the Hornets are probably the best team in the west.

      • Simon

        November 28, 2011 at 9:11 pm

        Beasley would be playing the three with chandler at the 5 and anthony randolph at the 4 with landry coming on behind him.

        The hornets don’t need people that know their role right now. That was purely intended as a risky strategy that Paul might be on board with and stay at the franchise for.

        Im fully aware that Okafor is a top 8 centre. However, tat is largely for his defense and rebounding – which is awesome – but which is only slightly better than the younger, cheaper and more athletic Chandler. He’s be ideal for me in this lineup. While Nene and Marc Gasol might be better players, Chandler fits the bill more for me in terms of what NO need from a centre. That being someone who is solid but doesnt swallow heaps of cap space and wont take the ball from either CP or a secondary scorer like Beasley. Also, Randolph would score 15 a night on this team provided he bought in to defense for monty.

        I repeat. High Risk, High reward. The only chance the hornets have of keeping CP

  9. sundance

    November 27, 2011 at 6:56 pm

    One bit of news is that the Hornets will be able to bid on amnestied players:

    “The Sun Sentinel confirmed Sunday that instead of players being released under the league’s “amnesty” provision going directly to the open market, a bidding system has been put in place for teams operating below the league’s salary cap to add such players at a deep discount.

    For example, while Lewis has two years at $44 million total remaining on his contract, a team currently operating below the salary cap could bid to pay Lewis $3 million in each of those years (with the Washington Wizards, who are expected to make Lewis available, then paying the balance of his salary).

    “This just makes it more attractive or appealing for a team to pick up a contract on waivers, because they’re obviously not paying the whole thing, they’re only going to be paying the part that they bid on,” another party involved in finalizing the process told the Sun Sentinel.”,0,4202541.story

    • Joe Gerrity

      November 27, 2011 at 7:42 pm

      Very interesting. Thanks for this tidbit.

  10. J

    November 27, 2011 at 7:01 pm

    CP3 contract is going to be 5yrs $85 Million thats $17 Million a year

  11. J

    November 27, 2011 at 7:06 pm

    Is there a list of players the hornets can bid besides Lewis he would a be a great addition

  12. Simon

    November 27, 2011 at 8:29 pm

    There wont be a list until players have actually been waived.
    Other players will most likely be guys like Arenas, Baron David, maybe Brandon Roy..
    Presumably they’ll be waived pretty quickly once Dec 9 rolls around

  13. Simon

    November 27, 2011 at 8:29 pm

    *Baron Davis

  14. nikkoewan

    November 27, 2011 at 8:31 pm

    i agree with QueenBee. let the chips fall where they may. Try your damn hardest to sign any combination of West/Landry/Nene(my personal preference), and then look to sign a SG like Jrich. If he plays like he doesn’t care about his team, then look to trade him for the best trade for the Hornets not Paul.

  15. J

    November 27, 2011 at 8:56 pm

    JRich was horriable with the Magic.I like Jamal Crawford or Young and sign Gilbert Arenas i know this one might be a problem but i pefer him over Baron Davis after everything he said about New Orleans when he was with the Hornets.

    • QueenBee

      November 27, 2011 at 10:13 pm

      Baron’s biggest problem before getting traded was he didn’t want to play for Byron Scott.

      • QueenBee

        November 27, 2011 at 10:16 pm

        This is a whole new team all the way from the owner, GM, Coach. Nothing that Baron played under but I still wouldn’t want him as a Hornet.

    • BigEasyBaller

      November 28, 2011 at 2:24 am

      J-Rich is play dropped off because he switched from a team that ran the offense through a pass first pg like steve nash to a team that ran the offense through dwight howard. I really think that J-Rich’s play would pick up if he started playing with Paul.

  16. Aussie Hornet

    November 27, 2011 at 8:59 pm

    In YEAR 3, if a team is $10-15M over the cap (in Year 3), they pay a $2.50 tax for each $1 over. That is basically a hard-cap and should help small market teams like ours. Not going to help us this year or next year though.

  17. Aric

    November 28, 2011 at 12:32 am

    Despite what Cp3 is saying u cannever tell…. especially after the lockout which gave him melo an amare time to bond and play in charity games so im SURE Chris Paul has Ny on his mind.

    • BigEasyBaller

      November 28, 2011 at 2:27 am

      I don’t think New York is viable option for CP, they have two players that are getting paid almost 18 million a year, absolutely no center, and a very terrible bench. There are so many holes to fill on that roster. Do you think CP would really want to go play on a team like that? I would hope not.

    • QueenBee

      November 28, 2011 at 10:29 am

      I wouldn’t include Amare as much. They may have played like what, 1 charity game together? Amare has been doing his own thing this lockout (a lot of fashion and things like that) so he hasn’t really been ‘bonding’ with anyone. Despite what CP3 is saying? What exactly is he saying? Not much really.

  18. paul

    November 28, 2011 at 4:41 pm

    eveybody here really remembers me as the Gray boy.
    Still am.
    My position has always been that NOH need a star shooting guard.
    Before anything else, THIS is THE position that will make everybody better.
    And yes, Paul can still look even better with such a shooting star.
    Okafor becomes a real offensive threat with such a guard.
    Gray becomes THE star center OFF the bench with such a shooting guard.
    This opens the game and creates the opportunity for everybody to get their opportunities.

    Hell…get TWO such shooters and our bench becomes better.

    Not saying the off the bench shooter is as hot as one really special starting SG, but spend all the time looking for these types.

    I had enough of every opponent shooting the hell out of the basket whenever they played against the Hornets last year!!!!!!!

    • QueenBee

      November 28, 2011 at 6:19 pm

      Do the Hornets need better perimeter defense then?

      • Simon

        November 28, 2011 at 9:15 pm

        Does he need to be a star shooting guard or could he just be a star wing?

        i.e perimeter D with CP Ariza and Gay.
        Ariza can play SG or SF equally inefficiently so he could just as easily be an SF IMO

      • paul

        November 28, 2011 at 10:06 pm

        Not sure of Grays perimeter defense.
        However, I KNOW his interior defense.
        Rare is the beast that can be 7 foot and be both.
        But I do know we have good outside defense now…but our outside shooting is piss poor. ..nothing to stop opposition teams from filling in the middle.
        And certainly nothing steady for Oakor Gray to pass out to.

    • paul

      November 28, 2011 at 10:02 pm

      I dunno all the details or role calling….JUST that I want a real threat out back.
      A threat that is so powerful, every player thinks twice, three times about clogging up the middle and harrassing our big men.

      And nothing makes this happen more than a true, solid 3 point shooter.

      Yes, we need defense inside and I am sure Okafor and Gray provide plenty.
      They just get into trouble when everybody runs at them knowing full well the options out back suck. No center is good enough to play with double or even triple coverage.
      Well, maybe O’Neal was. But he was massive and rules were changes to allow for his thing.
      PLEASE get our John Paxson!!!!!

  19. neitzelbaby12

    November 28, 2011 at 6:24 pm

    has 1 article ever had more comments?????????????????????????

    • QueenBee

      November 28, 2011 at 6:53 pm

      Yes indeed. This ain’t nuthin.

  20. J

    November 29, 2011 at 12:01 am

    I would like to see the Hornets sign SG’s Nick Young and Sasha Vujacic,PF’s Glen Davis,Carl Landry and Leon Powe,C’s Gray and Solomon Jones,SF James Jones and 3rd PG Earl Watson

    • BigEasyBaller

      November 29, 2011 at 3:58 am

      I love Nick Young, I just dunno how much Monty is gonna love Nick Young cause I don’t think Nick Young knows what defense is. Sasha would be a nice pick up, apparently him and Ariza are like best buds (I think I read that somewhere on here), I dunno how I feel about Powe I would rather we resign Jason Smith, and I want Daequan Cook over James Jones, just cause I heard that Jones wants to stay with the heat. Besides if we re-sign willie, then sign Young and sasha we have plenty enough people to play the back up three spot, kinda like a rotation we had last year.

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