Thoughts on the Hornets After Chris Paul

By:
Published: December 14, 2011

I love this deal. Love. It. I defended Stern when he reportedly vetoed the last one (as the owner) because he didn’t like the direction it was headed, and I feel completely validated now. This deal makes me roughly 75 times as happy to be a Hornets fan and writer. I was sitting there after the Lakers deal thinking, “Wow. I guess I’m just going to cover a decidedly non-competing team for the next five years or so.”

Phew.

The Clippers deal means the Hornets have a chance at greatness. Eric Gordon can be a franchise player. Realistically Minnesota could be terrible if someone gets injured, or still downright bad if nobody does. Al- Farouq Aminu is a former lottery pick who could easily start within two years. Chris Kaman is a solid veteran on the last year of a contract that he’s more than worth.

More on Eric Gordon from Grantland

Management right now can do a few things. For one, they could try to be good this year. That’s a wild thought, especially considering that they weren’t very good last year and just lost the longtime franchise cornerstone. I’m not saying the Hornets could be great or anything, but realistically if this team added some veteran free agents (Landry, anyone?), they could make the playoffs and give someone some trouble in a game or two in the first round. That would be great experience for a guy like Gordon to have, especially if he leads the team there, and could pave the way for a bigger name free agent to join the squad in 2012 free agency.

Or there’s the other end of the spectrum–

Demps and company could be decidedly terr…. err… developing youngsters. Yeah, that’s it. If they want to “develop our youngsters”, all they would really need to do is trade Okafor and Ariza elsewhere for young raw players, bad contracts and/or picks, then watch as our “developing youngsters” (at least two of whom have about 48 hours total to learn Monty’s system before preseason games start and won’t have time to practice during the season) struggle to win 15 games out of the 66. We’d be terrible, sure, but that’s kind of how you tank.

Damn.

I was trying not to say tank.

Well, now that it’s out there, let’s be real. Gordon by himself isn’t going to get you to 20 wins this season, even if he had an entire camp. Next year’s draft is supposed to be one of the best years. If it’s possible to shed your long term contracts for young talent AND ensure that you get to take at least one shot at landing a perennial all-star to put next to Gordon, I say you do it. There’s the chance Minnesota will compete for a playoff spot this year, and that means that the pick might not result in a lottery pick.

Plus, this is the best year to tank ever! Instead of watching likely losses in person for 41 regular season games, fans would only be subjected to watching 34 times, even counting the preseason.

Competing for a playoff spot is a lot of fun. I really do like to watch young guys play hard and outperform general expectations, but not at the expense of the potential for greatness. Not if it means that we give up the best chance that the team has to truly compete for NBA titles. The Hornets have a young star and the potential to pair him with not one, but maybe TWO more guys on rookie scale deals. They will be developing under Monty Williams and his assistants having never personally known the hardships that the Hornets organization has faced over the past decade.

Let Gordon roll with a team of young guys who may one day be good or may one day be bad, but will certainly be bad this year. That’s how you ensure you get at least one top four pick to pair with Gordon.

It’s ok to be bad as long as you’re going somewhere. In this case we would be.

Whether or not you want the team to try to win as many games as possible this year, it’s a great day to be a Hornets fan.

96 comments
MaskedTalent
MaskedTalent

Beasley and Rubio!!!! they Rubio wants a warm climate, thats here. Beasley just need to be here! Rubio/Jjack Eric Gordon/MBelli Ariza/Aminu Beasley/ Landry Either Okafor OR Kaman thats at least a 40-45 win team. If we trade Ariza for Kevin Martin and or some other piece we will be in the playoffs no questions

Jacob
Jacob

whats with buker or whatever his name is on espn saying he doesnt think gordon or aminu is gonna be with us all season?

Jason Calmes
Jason Calmes

Stirring up stuff. All of that goes away after we get an owner. We are told that the sale to an owner will happen in the first part of 2012. I think this will happen. I could be wrong, of course.

Songy
Songy

Haha well said

Songy
Songy

Yea I'm just impatient and all this talk on espn about him being traded at the trade deadline just has me anxious

Jason Calmes
Jason Calmes

These guys know nothing and predict everything. Someone is right each time, but none of them is right often. Dude might tear a testicle at the open practice and never play a minute this season. Then what? Maybe he marries the new owner's neice. Then what? He'll be restricted, I think, so I'm not sure we are at a disadvantage.

Jason Calmes
Jason Calmes

Never met the man or thought about it. Plus, there's whose season and ownership thing that may factor in a smidge. Let's wait and see, eh?

Songy
Songy

So do u think gordon will sign an extension?

KC NOLA
KC NOLA

Either way it goes I think Hornets should try to trade for D.J Augustin and Michael Beasley if you trade Okafor you send of a solid player(with a huge contract) but you will have money to resign Gordon,Beasley,and Augustin to long term deals because next year Kaman contract will be up along with Landry so that's Kaman/Okafor/Landry off books if they trade for Augustin and Beasley Our solid 3 Augustin (24)/Gordon(23)/Beasley(22) It's all possible

Over Dwayne Bowe
Over Dwayne Bowe

Will the hornets trade Kaman? and for what?

MaskedTalent
MaskedTalent

Kaman for Beasley and Ricky Rubio..... unlikely but I would be down with it

KC NOLA
KC NOLA

I think the hornets can trade Kaman or Okafor to T-Wolves/ Bobcats / Rockets. Before and After the draft the Twolves were trying to find a veteran big man. They drafted D.Williams so they were looking to shop M.Beasley. I think the best trades would trades work as this: Hornets/T-Wolves trade: Okafor and future 2nd round Draft picks to T-Wolves Beasley and Anthony Randolph(former LSU center) to Hornets This trade would be perfect for both teams T-Wolves would get there Big Man to team up with Kevin Love and Hornets will add more young but good players. Beasley and Gordon (both 22 with 3-4 years of experience) could be another CP3/ D.West . Beasley average 19pts 6rebs 2ast and Randolph average 8pts 4rebs 1ast (in a 4 man rotation in Minnesota) The Hornets line up would be Jack/? Gordon/Bellini Ariza/Aminu/Pondexter or Beasley at staring SF Beasley/Landry Kaman/Randolph Then trade Ariza to Bobcats for Augustin Roster looks better because hornets cover 3 youth maybe 5 youthful experience players to grow (Augustin/Gordon/Aminu/Beasley/Randolph) The line up would be Augustin/Jack Gordon/Bellini Beasley or Aminu/ Pondexter Landry or Beasley Kaman/Randolph Add a Willie Green or Nate Robinson and Jason Smith or Travis Outlaw And it's a great look

KC NOLA
KC NOLA

Sorry I ment @Jo D lol

KC NOLA
KC NOLA

@J Do Randolph is 6-11 230 so i think he can hold his ground (besides D.Howard there's not a Dominating center in NBA) and in time he can get to 245-250 he is a good rebounder and blocker

Jo D
Jo D

2 comments on this... One... Randolph is a stretch 3/4... Is far too skinny to play center... And he played the same at LSU... I used to be a fan of willie green... Before he was a hornet.. I hope he catches on somewhere else.

Bob licht
Bob licht

who thinks Gordon stays with us long term?

Jacob
Jacob

ha completely agree. i can only imagine us in like 4 years!!!! yeaaaaaaaaa buddyyyy!! austin rivers and anthony davis is gonna be the next dwight howard

Monty'sDoghouse
Monty'sDoghouse

Can't wait to see Marco Belinelli start over Eric Gordon though! The Doghouse is back. Woof!

Monty'sDoghouse
Monty'sDoghouse

I don't get how anyone could be mad at CP3. Dude flat out gave us advanced warning he was on his way out and ALLOWED us to move on without the false hope that LBJ gave Cleveland. Thank you for saving basketball in this city and thank you for that CP3. Clippers will be my 3rd favorite team now (1. Hornets 2. Kings 3. Clips). Not gonna miss him but you can't hate the guy unless you're just being incredibly shortsighted.

Blake Berger
Blake Berger

Will Gordon sign an extension, and how long will he be with us?

KC NOLA
KC NOLA

@Jason I can understand the point about CP3 and D.West wanting to leave because of no owner ship. I remember when d.west said it in a article about him an Chris parting ways and the reasons why (it was on NOLA.com if I remember correctly) but let's be honest D.West left because he knew CP3 wanted the glamor life. Look at the teams they both wanted to go to, do you really think the Pacers will contend for a title shot (NO!!!) there roster has depth but it had a lot of depth last year and they had the SAME problems the hornets had a star in GRANGER( Hornets CP3) and a slum at the SG position and a lot of supporting cast. But the hornets were a better complete team then pacers were last year. So what was the reason to leave a team you said you started trusting again and to go to a team where you would be in the same situation as you were with the Hornets? As for CP3 I respect his decision I actually like the trade because the hornets can become a "OKC Thunder" type team which is exciting. But I would rather CP3 be honest n say he wanted the bright lights and glamour life look at all the top 3 teams he said he wanted LA lakers, LA clippers, and NY Knicks but not other contenders like Dallas or Orlando or Boston or Portland all of them were Playoff teams. To me CP3 went to the same type team but with a better PF I mean look at the roster CP3 is the only consistent thing but Caron Butler and Trevor Ariza stats are around the same, Billups is a little up grade but at 35 how much does he really have left is unknown, Blake Griffin is hands down the biggest up grade in the excitement but look at the stats BG avg 22pt and 8Reb but West is 19pts and 7Rebs so it's an excitement up grade and age upgrade but around the same amount of output. And believe it or not Okafor is a better over all center then Jordan because Jordan is still a work in progress and Okafor is established to give you a quiet 10pts and 10rebs. So if you look at it like that CP3 went to a younger and highlight team but the production is lookin the same so he as the same chance to get a championship as he did in NO he's just on a bright lights and glamor stage...think Bout IT it's the same situation for both of them if they would have stayed in N.O. Better yet at least in N.O. The hornets has proven success from the previous year but was one player short of moving on in playoffs and they would have added the other pieces(a SG and more depth) if CP3 and D.West would have stayed....but again I'm happy with this trade and hope then can trade for Augustin and get 2-3 more good bench players like Jack for depth.

cro_CP3
cro_CP3

I love the trade, NOLA got everything out of the Clippers, CP3 + BLAKE GRIFFIN is really thrilling, espn top 5 for sure, Our Hornets will be good this year IMO under Monty, we have a really nice frontcourt and backcourt, a really good shooting guard in Gordon: Jack EG Trev Aminu/Landry (he'll sign) Mek Kaman Belli Green (he'll sign) and 9 d leaguers, NOLA will sign some fa's too Really good team, they got better players than Denver did in the Carmelo trade, why? Because CP3 is dope... I'll still follow our best player in franchise history, he made memories and great things here, especially last year and in 2008, CP3 we love you no matter what, thanks for the memories I love the trade, great day to be a Hornets fan, we'll miss you CP3, thanks for everything, win a ring champ, hope you play a entire playoff series here, you will see what you've missed, the loud and proud NOLA fans watching you play http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w6ILXw8Lzf4 ;(

Jason
Jason

Two thoughts: 1) I'm really annoyed with people who are hating on CP3. Not on this board, but in the general public. All this nonsense about him losing a step. Sure, he might get hurt again, but don't tell me he isn't a top 5 player in the NBA. All people look at is numbers. The Hornets, who weren't slated to make the playoffs, won 50+ games last year and CP3 was flat out sick in the playoffs. Aside from Dirk, I'd say he had the best playoffs and he only played in 1 round. I'd take CP3 over Rose any day. All that being said, I'm happy with the trade. 2) I hope leadership is realistic about our goals. Its either to win a title down the line, and in which case, we should trade Kaman now, try to move Okafor/Ariza, and really play our young guys and hope we lose as many games as possible in the mean time. If thats our plan, we really need to commit to it and I'm in favor of it. I think its good for us long term. That being said, we sold a ton of tickets and we may want put a good product on the floor. In that case, we need some help. Kaman and Okafor put together a formidable 4/5, with Landry playing a good bench scorer role. Aminu and QPon fight over the 3, with Gordon solidly dominating the 2. I don't trust Jack as a starting PG, so this is where we certainly need help. I'm in favor of adding some experienced pieces if we can get them cheap, like Michael Redd. I actually think this team could have been a top 4 team if we had resigned David West and if Kaman stays healthy. Still, we desperately need a point guard.

MelDee
MelDee

you people moved on fast.

KC NOLA
KC NOLA

You have to move on, I mean let's b honest CP3 didn't want to live in New Orleans, I don't buy the "playing for the Champion line" for the fact the Hornets have a new coach and GM which managed to get to the playoffs in the 1st year.If CP3 would have stayed, D.West would have stayed so you have the same line up in year 2 and they would have been able to go after Jamal crawford or Arron Affolo or Shannon brown (those players would have came to play with CP3 and would have been an upgrade at the 2spot) So championship contender the Hornets would have had a SOLID TEAM PG CP3/Jack SG Crawfod or Affolo or Brown or Hamilton /Bellini SF Ariza /Pondexter PF West/Landry or even Big Baby Davis C Okafor/ (maybe a Dalembert) So the hornets would have had a SOLID team if CP3 really wanted to stay in NOLA I think he just wanted to take the Reggie Bush route (all for the bright lights and glamour)

Jason
Jason

I disagree. There was an article where David West explained where he and CP3 were coming from and I whole heartedly agree. We sometimes forget that this is their job, and its about a lot more than winning and losing games. A lot of it is personal. We lost CP3 the minute we didn't resign Pargo and we traded away Chandler. CP3 and David West went to war for those guys. That was the their team that beat the Mavericks and challenged the Spurs. They never felt the same way about playing in New Orleans again. Granted injuries derailed some things, but they flat out didn't trust management. And it sounded like they did trust Monty and Dell Demps, but without knowing who the owner would be moving forward, its really hard for someone to trust the most important stage (CP3) and the last stage (D-west) of their career to a franchise that honestly hasn't been able to deliver. Too many bad contracts sunk this ship. CP3 + DWest + Chandler + Ariza, and a guy like Eric Gordon and this team would have been title contenders year in and year out. We never gave CP3 a solid SG or a great SF. We had a change to try and get Iggy last year, but never made it happen. I kept waiting for Peja's expiring contract to deliver something big and it never did. It just wasn't meant to be, but don't hold this against CP3 or DWest. Their hearts will always be in New Orleans.

GecGreek
GecGreek

we should do media day again

KC NOLA
KC NOLA

I agree with JO D ...I think the hornets should push for D.J. Augustin (he's a New Orleans native,Brother Martin Alum) Hes a young player who can be a poor mans CP3 and to team up with Gordon is instant highlights. DJ can also become the fan favorite (since he's the local kid) while Gordon can be the Franchise player ....DJ Augustin is our pg answer in my opinion so let's trade for him now and sign him and Gordan for long term extensions

Noah
Noah

Does this mean we can light our Paul jerseys on fire like they did for Lebron? that seemed pretty fun!

PP3istheMVP
PP3istheMVP

i honestly did consider burning the shirt i have with his name on the back but my friend talked me out of it. I was looking forward to posting it on youtube like all the Lebron fans too...

Jason Calmes
Jason Calmes

Free country. Be safe. Didn't see many takers on the other thread where you asked this. I don't think anyone is THAT upset with Chris, however.

Jo D
Jo D

Personally, would love Andre Drummond and Thomas Robinson... However, if we take a PG Marshall would be nice.. Another guy to look at Myck Kabongo out of Texas... He should rival Marshall for the top pg in that draft class... And also Kabongo is simply the funnest name in the draft... Say it... Ka... Bon....Gooooooo... Also I think we could pick up a solid pg in free agency... Sessions, Felton, Augustin(res) all good options... I would also like to mention that while we have nearly zero chance at either of them... Two young players I would love for the Hornets to grab... Paul George... JaVale McGee... It should also be noted that if we want to hold onto Eric Gordon, he will be a restricted free agent... Which means he essentially has very little leverage... Also if he makes out known he wants out... Sign and trade... And in that trade scenario we would have ALL the leverage... I hope he wants to stay, but we hold the cards...

NOS-3RD GEN
NOS-3RD GEN

I like the fact that you agree with me that we get Javale McGee. Eric Gordon already have it set that he don't want to be in N.O. I hope monty and Demps can change his mind. right now he is our Main Star now!!! We still have a lot of work to do Gentlemen and if they're ladies on here then Ladies. theres no time to celebrate yet. we still need more value for players. I still say we focus on getting C.Landry, a PG, and back-up PF(possibly Yi. we also need an insurance policy at center w/ alexis ajinca.

Jason Calmes
Jason Calmes

Dude, let the guy get on a plane and eat a bowl of gumbo before you assume he hates this place. Relax.

Brandon
Brandon

Let me get this right Jack/FA EG!!!!!!!!!/Bellinelli/Terrico Ariza/Pondexter/Aminu FA (Maybe Landry)/Aminu/FA Okafor/Kaman Personally, Id rather keep Kaman over Okafor. For the draft, the bobcats will hvae the first pick. I think we are looking at like pick 7 and 12. Jared Sullinger and Kendall Marshall

Hornetsky
Hornetsky

Oak is more durable than Kaman. We could use them on the court at the same time.

NOS-3RD GEN
NOS-3RD GEN

its good as long as we still sign Landry

sweetpea
sweetpea

Eric Gordon ... one of the sweetest outside jumpers in the League, finishes at and above the rim way better than Chris Paul, deadly use of crossovers to penetrate the lane. I love this guy's game. I think alot of people who are criticizing this trade don't understand just how great Gordon's upside is. If he jibes with Monty's system they'll get the picture a couple of weeks into the season. Let's get a good owner, re-sign Landry, and use our draft pick smartly next year ... maybe EG10 will stick around.

504ever
504ever

Why don't my posts, post?!

Joe Gerrity
Joe Gerrity

If you're ever coming from a new IP address, they have to be approved by us.

504ever
504ever

Same location as the majority of my posts and anything one sentence long got approved. Anything longer in this thread has never shown up. None were controversial in any way. Is there a glitch on your end?

Jason Calmes
Jason Calmes

Send an email next time it happens. That's the only way we can really be sure. We can't fix unrepeatable 'problems'.

Jo D
Jo D

Why have I not gotten my email with a p/w... Tried registering about a week ago...

Jason Calmes
Jason Calmes

I'm with win. Winning games is more important to me than winning a title. Maybe that's heresy, but it's the way I feel.

Michael
Michael

I respectfully disagree, but I think your perspective is quite reasonable. And people who are for rebuilding need to be aware that it is a lot easier to enter rebuilding mode than it is to grow out of it. My thinking is that this season's already largely shot anyway, given that we are entering the free agency period late, won't have time to get our new players to gel into Monty's system, and there's also a pretty strong draft class next year. So I think, for this year only, winning should be a low priority. Ideally, next season, we add some young talent through the draft and have had a chance to position our roster better to win. I don't have any illusions of greatness for next season, but a trip to the playoffs would be a success. And then hopefully we build on that going forward, with lots of wins to go around. That's if everything goes according to plan...