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Building Through the Draft vs. Remaining Competitive

Published: December 9, 2011

So it’s apparent that the main two trains from Hornet’s fans are that either the trade was good because we remain a contender with the pieces we got, who can also be moved OR we didn’t get enough young talent/draft picks.

I fall on the side of thinking that we didn’t get enough young talent in return for one of the best players in the league, but I completely understand the other train of though, since I have faith in Dell making other deals with those players.

That being said, I want to point out that no matter which one you support, if the ultimate goal is to win an NBA Championship then we NEED draft picks, and preferably high ones at that. Look at the NBA Champions over the past 10 – 20 years and the one thing in common is that they were all built around someone that team drafted in the top 10 of an NBA draft:

Mavericks (Dirk), Lakers (Kobe), Heat (Wade), San Antonio (Duncan/Manu/Parker), Pistons are only exception no superstar, Lakers (Kobe, Shaq #1 option obviously but Kobe still very relevant), Bulls (MJ/Pippen), Rockets (Hakeem).

Now I know that there were free agents signed, and trades made to make the teams better, but if you look at it, each of these championship teams was built around a player that they drafted.

I understand and have faith that Dell could have moved the Scola/Odom/Martin for more assets, maybe even draft picks, but those guys are all role players for contenders. That is where they fit in best. So only contenders/borderline contenders are going to be interested in trading for them. So even if we send Scola to the Pacers, or Martin to the Bulls, the picks we would get back wouldn’t be high enough to change the future of our franchise.

That is the reason I believe we need to take/should have taken whatever trade gives us the best shot at a high draft pick in what is supposed to be a great draft.

This post was submitted by cmac81.


  1. da ThRONe

    December 9, 2011 at 11:14 am

    I have said this since this all started. This trade leaves us average until the team is out of the city.

    We should have kept CP3 brought in some amnesty guys, RFA, or trade players. Then at the end of the year tell him sign with us or take less money somewhere else.

    • Kevin

      December 13, 2011 at 3:14 pm

      Piece of cake, sign all those amnesty guys (James Posey?), sign all the RFAs who I’m sure are dying to play for a team with no owner, and trade all those valuable trade piece you have, like the great Quincy Pondexter and Patrick Ewing Jr.

  2. 504ever

    December 9, 2011 at 9:36 pm

    The fatal flaw in your argument is you assume the Hornets would keep forever all of the assets they were to receive in the Lakers/Rockets trade, rather than understanding that any of those assets could be traded for younger players and/or draft choices.

    • cmac81

      December 10, 2011 at 5:53 am

      Nope I state right in there that I know he can trade them and explain why I don’t believe that helps us in the draft. 6th paragraph.

    • NOH Domination

      December 10, 2011 at 5:22 pm

      If Dell had plans to trade those players why wouldn’t he just include those deals in with the main deal? Demps is a hard guy to read though. I’m not saying he wouldn’t eventually trade some of the pieces, I’m just saying that’s what I’d do it right away with the initial deal.

  3. PP3istheMVP

    December 9, 2011 at 11:23 pm

    Another flaw is that if we draft the next Sam Bowie or Darko Milicic. We just had a season of sucking and we can suck for the next few years again because the high draft pick we had isnt as good as we thought when we drafted him. Give me proven young NBA talent anyday and let Monty mold a team into a contender just the the 04 Detroit Pistons

  4. Nithenz

    December 10, 2011 at 10:14 am

    Scola is a really great player, a team can work around him, He has been the leading scorer in the last couple of world tournaments, Olympic qualifiers and others, and is a good rebounder and defender the only thing is that he is on the wrong end of the 30s. Give me a 3 year younger Scola and i would be really happy. Never been a big fan of Martin and no idea if Odom would ever show up in the Big Easy. BTW, Jermaine O’neal told he wouldnt come to NO… WTF, he shouldnt come back to the NBA, he is old, bad, 0 IQ, why would any team want him…

    • NOH Domination

      December 10, 2011 at 5:24 pm

      I like Scola and Martin but do you think they’d mesh with Monty? They’re not exactly known for defensive effort

      • NOS-3rd Gen

        December 10, 2011 at 5:52 pm

        don’t know about Scola but Martin averages 1.0 spg!! M.Williams also needs to realize that its not always about Def. we need off. to win our games and DEF win Championship!!!

  5. da ThRONe

    December 10, 2011 at 11:44 am

    It’s a gamble when you draft, but it easier to build around a star draft pick than a bunch of role players.

  6. NOH Domination

    December 10, 2011 at 5:23 pm

    This is a great journal, thanks for posting it. There are definitely two sides to this so glad you journal’d it.

    • cmac81

      December 11, 2011 at 12:55 am

      Thanks. Most people over at HornetsReport flame you the minute you suggest going this route so I wanted to see what our calmer half over at 24/7 thought about it.

  7. NOS-3rd Gen

    December 10, 2011 at 6:39 pm

    the one thing about draft pick and i qoute from Forest Gump -AKA- Tom Hanks: “Life is like a box of chocolates you never know what your gonna get.” just look at Hasheem Thabeet top 5 pick#2 overall bust prime example. I’m sure i can name others but we all don’t have time for a history lesson but one:”If the present don’t learn from the past then we’ll destine to repeat the past in the future.” we could’ve gotten both w/3-team trade w/ (Hou). people seems to undermine the capability of Kevin Martin, and Scola. by the way why on earth sould the Hornets go with a trade w/ bos to give West for a worthless past his Prime player and plus he don’t want to come here. i say bring in a third team and let the draft con’t from another team that won’t go nowhere like Toronto, Indiana, Detroit, Washington, & soon Portland!! get one of those teams involve to sell those picks so they can get two players from (BOS).

    • da ThRONe

      December 12, 2011 at 2:33 am

      Unfortunately for small market teams drafting is the only way to aquire a championship team. Out of all the players in the last dozen years. Every player that’s considered to be a superstar was taken in the top 5 pick.

      Dwight Howard #1
      LeBron James #1
      Dwayne Wade #5
      Chris Paul #4
      Deron Williams #3
      Derrick Rose #1
      Kevin Durant #2
      Carmelo Anthony #3
      Russell Westbrook #4
      Blake Griffin #1

      You get where this is going. The NBA is about difference makers, you want a difference maker you have to draft early.

  8. RobertM320

    December 10, 2011 at 10:15 pm

    I think a case can be made for both, and that’s why the league is having the trade restructured. They also felt we didn’t get enough youth with upside/draft picks.

    Let’s add this to the mix. In the last 15 years, how many top 5 draft picks by small market teams have stayed with their team for more than one big contract? San Antonio (Duncan) is an exception because although the Spurs sucked the year before he was drafted, that was due to the David Robinson injury. Prior to that they were already a winner. But how many Top 5 picks for teams like Milwaukee, Portland, Memphis, New Orleans, Toronto, Charlotte or Indiana have stayed and built anything? None, because they all leave for larger markets. So, if you do get a Top 5 pick, will he stay more than the obligatory 4 years, especially under the new CBA? I don’t know.

    • cmac81

      December 11, 2011 at 12:59 am

      That’s true about them staying long. For the most part, unless the situation is terrible, high draft picks will sign a second contract after their first since they make a lot more money than if they go elsewhere. But after that contract is up, all bets are off, as we have seen in the past two years. So that gives you 4-7 ish years to build a contender. Having an owner willing to spend would definitely make it an easier process.

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