Running in Place

I’ve already ranted once about the killing of the trade.  I just want to vent a little more of the miasma of anger I’m feeling right now.  Sometimes it’s good to have a blog, yes?

The Hornets are screwed right now.  Again, we could debate the merits of the trade, but the way I look at it, the NBA blocking the Chris Paul trade has done the following to the Hornets:

  1. Shattered big market team offers for Paul.  Because why would they risk alienating their own players for a deal that could be nixed?  I wouldn’t.
  2. Lowered the offers by small market teams.  The leverage the Hornets had was “look at this great Laker offer!  You don’t have to beat it, since Paul won’t guarantee a signing with you, but at least come close!”  Those offers, such as they were, are now bound to be less because that Laker offer is gone.
  3. Broke Demps plan to field a competitive team.  I mean the Hornets have one restricted free agent, five under contract, and one of those isn’t too inclined to report to camp, right?  But Demps has spent the last three days courting teams for trades to obtain multiple pieces to fill out the roster.  With that trade, the Hornets had a complete rotation.  Okafor, Scola, Odom as bigs, Ariza, Martin, Pondexter and Belinelli on the wing, and Jack and Dragic at the Point.  9 players.  Sign and Trade West somewhere for another good piece or two and you are in great shape.  That’s the core.  Now they have nothing again.
  4. Caused the Hornets to missed out on the Free Agent market.  Demps said he wanted to obtain players during trades, and although we had some reports that he’d reached out to a few players, he was clearly spending his time on this trade, not wooing free Agents.  At this point most of the intriguing players on the Market have deals – or are closing in on them.   Does Dell drop his hopes for this trade and go after them?  Will they even sign considering the turmoil in New Orleans?

Best case scenario?  The Hornets bring back last year’s team with hopefully a single upgrade.  West, Smith, Gray, MBenga, Green?  Still available.  Pick four, find a fifth, and go get McNamara’s wet dream Patrick Ewing, Jr.

Then, 46 wins here we come!  If Paul shows up.

One last note.  I wanted to include here a statement from David Stern last year at the press conference when the Hornets were purchased by the League.  (Hat tip to Mark Haubner of the Painted Area):

Q. Can you explain when trades are made, or if a free agent wants to be signed, what is the process that Dell [Demps] has to go through, do you say yeah, we’ll do that trade or we won’t do that trade?

DAVID STERN: Actually, the league generally approves all trades, number one. And number two, as far as we’re concerned there have been while this process has been going on, there have been two significant transactions. And our response to both of them was you guys are management, you understand your budget and your instructions, just go ahead, because we’ve got Jac Sperling, Hugh Weber here, and if they recommend it, then we’re going to be approving it.


41 responses to “Running in Place”

  1. From the league’s standpoint, the idea is to keep the value of the franchise in place for a new owner who will then be able to authorize the failed trade, or any other reasonable trade. This means that Chris and the Bees will be in a holding pattern until the sale goes through. It may be that the league has some indication that could happen reasonably soon.

    Chris’ father further bungled all of this by saying that it was never Chris’ intention to stay in NOLA, that he wants to go somewhere he can win. This further cements the devaluation of Chris in a trade, of course, but at least we know with no question: CP3s heart is no longer in New Orleans, if it ever was.

    It will be challenging to see what kind of team the league can assemble for the first part of this season, until a new owner is in place and a trade can be consummated.

    I may be wrong, but Chris Paul did not look physically right last year and he could be damaged goods. Further, the trade to the Lakers was strange from the LA point of view (unless they have some kind of guarantee on getting Howard). Kobe Bryant likes to have the ball in his hands. That’s how get uses his creativity and floor leadership. He doesn’t need Paul to find him with a clever pass. They were gutting their front line to get a player that actually is not a good fit with Kobe, imo.

    The players the Hornets would have gotten back would have made David West totally redundant. I wonder what’s happening on that front now. It may be that the league wants to see West re-sign with the Hornets to further bump up the cash value of the team for the new owner.

    What’s going on now has nothing to do with basketball.

  2. The NBA may have instituted the “Stern Discount” in the process of finding a buyer for the Hornets. Who in their right mind would pay anywhere near the going rate for this team with the set of handcuffs the league just slapped on the franchise? This will be worse than a HUD auction sale after what’s happened the past day of so.i

  3. I wasn’t upset by the trade actually. I think its one of the best superstar trades I’ve seen in terms of the assets actually received. I’d argue about the direction it indicates and whether that’s good for the future of the team, but it is a completely realistic and anything but one-sided trade.

    • Thank you Ryan. this has been my sentiment all along, but people here still ridicule the fact that I do not think this is a good forward looking trade for the betterment of our franchise

    • The Nuggets got a way better deal last year for Melo. I’m not saying that should be the standard, but there have been better returns on superstars. As for the direction, it’s a horrible direction. Let’s be realistic, we’ll turn into a watered down rockets team. Yea that means we’ll maximize our win total for this year, but we won’t be in a position to get better. We’ll win about 35 games and come up short of the playoffs yet we won’t have a high draft pick to improve the team. All the guys we got have maxed out their potential with the exception of Dragic and the Knicks pick will land us a role player at best. Do any of you remember how we got CP in the first place? We gave Baron away for Dan Dickau and sucked. I’m not saying we should give Paul away, but let’s get some young, developing talent and/or picks and rebuild through the draft. I’d rather suffer through a shortened season of growth and have a discernible future than try to grab an 8 seed we probably wouldn’t get anyways. Small market teams build through the draft. That’s how OKC and SA did it so why can’t we take that model and do it.

  4. I commented when this news came out that my frustration had reached an all time high , while my optimism about the future had fallen to an all time low . After a night of trying to cleanse my mind of all thoughts NBA/Hornets/Demps/Stern, I find that my frustrations are in fact much higher than they were yesterday and my optimism much lower. And I’m not so sure Demps shouldn’t resign , Paul shouldn’t report to camp over this exercise in arbitration. How can you even as a fan have faith in your teams autonomy to make decisions after this. I never felt betrayed by Chris Paul , I never felt forgotten by the lockout . But I certainly feel betrayed now and forgotten now by Mr. Stern and the NBA

  5. This could actually work in our favor. We could get more assets!

    “The Lakers, Hornets and Rockets are talking again about ways to sweeten the three-team trade vetoed by Stern yesterday, tweeted Adrian Wojnarowski:

    “All three teams are engaged,” one source tells Y! Sports. “Not sure if it will work.”

    They even mention sending Okafor to the Lakers and getting him off the Hornets books as an option & adding more “pieces” for the Hornets.

      • So Stern could, in the end, say he thought they could get more value since the Lakers made out really well . . . they’d be ok doing a little less well in the long term. As Michael said, dump and bad contract on them for a year (heavy tax implications) and we get a pick.

        That’s still some public criticism of Dell, but maybe that comes with the territory.

        If it’s about using us as some sort of CBA test case . . . hold the star, show the NBA that the extra money is enough . . . then stop the monkey-see monkey-do superstar antics to get off certain teams . . . not trade is good enough, if that even works. Chris like money, but Chris is a principled man.

        Maybe Stern sees something. Maybe Stern wants the other teams to take on teals and have the small market teams not running scared. I don’t know. It’s an ideological fight and we, our team, and our GM, and getting trampled by the apathy.

      • What don’t you see about the trade being bad, 42? I know, it nets us some nice players and it’d be the best team we can field THIS year, but don’t be so short-sighted. Do you want a decent team or a contender? I know you like stats and history and look at history and tell me how to build a contender.. This isn’t how you do it. Maybe Stern isn’t doing this for the sake of the Hornets, but because of the small market owners elsewhere, but regardless it IS in the best interest of the Hornets future, whether that’s Sterns endgame or not. I’d like to think the NBA wants what’s best for a team they’re trying to sell. $300 million is no small number and that’s quite a lot to be risking on moral crusade against superstars. You think Stern would know that keeping a disgruntled star doesn’t help the value so I have to believe he wants a better deal in return that is more future oriented.

      • NOH . . .

        I didn’t speak to the value of the trade, and I usually don’t weigh in on such things, especially when they don’t exist, but you are a regular here, and I respect what you do for the team and site, so I’ll bend a little . . .

        I think the trade that was shot down would have given us an actual rotation with one swoop. We’d have moveable and `name’ peices. With that roster we could churn a little over time and make rounds 1 and 2 most of the next 5 years with no real shot at a title.

        I’m fine with that. We need to get people excited about basketball here, and that would do it. We can’t just go get a superstar this year. We need go through players like Sally Struthers at a ribs buffet, picking out the jewel in the rough in terms of talent-to-contract-value and wait on the new taxes to hit . . . maybe snag an amnestied guy here or there when we are below the cap.

        Then we make a move after the people start embracing this team instead of that player.

        Your criticisms are legit. I just don’t know if there is a better move out there. One was submitted, so we’ll see.

  6. ur_gmas_daughter: The Okafor part of that actually makes sense, especially if Dwight Howard goes to NJ, which is projected. The Lakers were holding on to Bynum to use as trade bait for Howard. With him out of the picture, they can include him in the deal as well.

    I do know this, if a revised version of this deal gets floated to the league office, Stern had better approve it. This thing is a PR nightmare for him right now, and it’s a horrifying precedent. If he somehow vetos a revised deal, I don’t see him surviving this season as the Commissioner. Personally, I’m through with the little punk. He’s exhausted any shred of integrity he had left, and after the Tim Donaghy debacle, it wasn’t much. Look, I love the Hornets as much as anybody, and I’ve been a season ticket holder since they moved back from OKC, and a consistent contributor to this website since meeting Niall Doherty at a streetcar stop back in December of 2007. You won’t find anyone out there more dedicated to this team than me. After last night though, I just don’t know if I can support anything that David Stern is in charge of. It really has me questioning my loyalty to the NBA, and that’s sad. I love this game, this sport, and this team, but I have absolute zero confidence in the competency or the integrity of the NBA Commissioner.

  7. “With that trade, the Hornets had a complete rotation. Okafor, Scola, Odom as bigs, Ariza, Martin, Pondexter and Belinelli on the wing, and Jack and Dragic at the Point.”

    I agree. Add Crawford to the bench, and we have a chance to make some noise. Dallas has been torn apart; the Lakers are Gasol-less; and Roy is retiring. Our chances would be slim, but we would still have a chance to compete and please our season ticket holders.

    • for this year maybe, but what about the next 10? Is that slim chance that we could make the playoffs once worth the next 10 years of the franchise?

  8. Didn’t see any mention of the Dan Gilbert email in the comment, so just wanted to vent a little on that direction. Is this guy a complete clown or what? First, his handling of the Lebron James situation last summer was so classless and unprofessional that I doubt he is qualified to manage a single Arby’s franchise, let alone a professional sports team. And now he has helped manage to ruin another franchise. If he has to have any role in our franchise, I recommend the position of schedule magnet manager. He can be given full control of ordering and distributing magnets with this season’s schedule on it. That way, when he inevitably screws it up royally, all we will be left with is an open space on our refrigerator instead of mass uncertainty and organization-wide gridlock on the day that NBA operations resume.

    If you see someone in the arena this season wearing a custom tee reading “The NBA: where collusion happens”, feel free to say hi!

  9. Send Okafor to the Lakers and get us another pick (the Lakers first rounder), and I’ll be satisfied. This would burden the Lakers with more salary, but in a helpful way (given Bynum’s history of injury), and it sheds the Hornets of some contract and gets us another pick for the deep 2012 draft.

  10. I feel for you guys. I honestly thought the Clippers had the best offer for the Hornets, then the Warriors offer. But because Paul only wants to sign with the Lakers or Knicks, then the Hornets, Clippers and Warriors get screwed. The reason the Clippers and Warriors hesitated so much giving up their young stars is because they don’t want to pay that much for a one-year rental of Paul. I hear so much uproar about the Lakers getting screwed. Why no uproar about the Clippers, Warriors and Hornets getting screwed?

    I know a lot of sports writers are saying the Hornets were getting a good deal, but was it really? On paper it does, but when you really think about it, it’s not as rosy as many sports writers would like you to believe. The Hornets get Odom (who will most likely will be gone next year since he only has one year left), Scola, Martin and a first rounder. The Hornets end up with a lot of salary back, so now the team will have a mediocre team without much cap flexibility to rebuild. Your team would have been stuck in mud for years.

    Sports writers are upset because they were salivating at the thought of writing juicy stories about Paul, Howard and Kobe with the Lakers. Teams like the Hornets, Clippers and Warriors and their fans are becoming sacrificial lambs. We get to watch shitty to mediocre teams for the sake of high ratings of super teams.

    • Andrew, some of your facts are wrong. First, most reports are that the Clippers were not willing to offer Gordon and the Warriors were not willing to part with Curry, meaning their offers were not the best available. Even if CP3 had indicated a willingness to sign an extension with them, their own organizations were resistant to trading away their elite guard for Paul.

      Second, Odom’s contract includes a team option after this season, so the Hornets have the option of keeping for one or two years. Of course, they also had the option of trading any of Martin, Scola or Odom to other teams if they felt they could get a better package of assets in return for what they were offering. Of course, that was under the old assumption that the league would let the Hornets front office (as opposed to Lord Stern) make the organization’s basketball decisions.

      Third, the media has covered how the Hornets are being screwed here. The reason they are focusing on the Lakers angle is that this is the reason that OWNERS gave (explicitly in the case of Dan Gilbert) for asking Stern to block the deal. Of course, if you believe the league, the owners pleas had no bearing on the league’s decision.

      Of course, your point that the trade might not have been the best direction for the Hornets to take is a legitimate debating point. But the whole premise behind the league’s unprecedented ownership of the Hornets was that they would the Hornets front office make personnel decisions. In that regard, the Hornets management should be offered the opportunity to take the franchise in the direction they think is best, even if they turn out to be wrong. Just like Dan Gilbert was allowed to fail miserably at putting adequate talent around Lebron James to win a championship because he has the intelligence of a brain-damaged squirrel.

    • Well put Andrew. Michael – the Clippers wouldn’t offer Gordon because of Paul’s reluctance to sign with them. Same goes for the Warriors and Curry. If Paul welcomed those trades Curry would’ve been thrown in immediately and I’m not so sure Gordon wouldn’t have been too (if not DeAndre would along with that timberpups pick). Andrew didn’t talk about the leagues precedent (which is sketchy to say the least), just about how one-sided the media has been in covering this. There are a lot of other angles on this thing and Andrew brought up a few of them. Like the Clipps, Warriors, and Hornets getting screwed because CP is being a diva and that the Hornets didn’t get the greatest deal on earth like the media would have you believe.

  11. I want us to get Arenas for the leauge minnimum (spell check) if we set aside his past because we need veteran help at PG because Billups says he’s not coming to a rebuliding team.

    • I wish it would come true J! The league did say they wanted us to make a deal that would be good for the future and thats about as good as it could get!

  12. @Trey i’ve a trade thats interesting with the Hornets,Celtics and Pacers

    The Hornets get Jeff Green (Celtics) Darren Collison,Tyler Hansbrough,Brandon Rush,Danny Granger,the Pacers 2012 1st rd pick and Celtics 2013 2nd rd pick & 2014 1st rd pick

    The Pacers get Okafor & Ariza (Hornets),Rondo & Celtics 2013 1st rd pick

    The Celtics get CP3

  13. I’d like to give kudos to Paul for being at the first day of training camp. A lot of other guys wouldn’t have shown up. I appreciate the professionalism.

  14. I blame Demps. We should have played hardball with CP3. This deal would have made us competitive for a low playoffs seed if we touched the post season at all. Essentially leaving us in limbo. Who were we to sell to the fans. At least a trade that secured us Curry or Gordon caves us a player to try and build around. Who do we build around with this trade? Sure we win some games maybe enough for the playoffs(however I doubt it), but then what? A bad draft pick and still nobody to build around.

    • The problem is tho the warriors and clippers didn’t want to give up those players for even the slightest chance that CP doesn’t resign with them. That is going to be a huge problem trying to get a lot of teams to trade for him because they don’t want to risk only renting him. I think under the circumstances that was the best trade we could have done, b/c at the end of the day we can keep those players or trade them somewhere else.

      And we don’t know how that team would have done under Monty, its 100% possible that we could have gone deep into the playoffs we didn’t even give those guys a chance to play and we are already bad mouthing them.

  15. So David West went to the Celtics. . .

    I think they are making a super strong push to get CP they just signed wilcox and traded for Bass now they signed West they have like 20 guys at the PF spot, KG, Bass, Green, Wilcox, and now West. Something fishy is going on here.

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