Acquiring Vasquez the final piece in the offseason puzzle

Published: December 24, 2011

Analysts like to dissect each trade individually, but moves are usually connected to other moves, so looking at each one individually in a vacuum is somewhat pointless. On the surface, the Quincy Pondexter for Greveis Vasquez trade seems somewhat debateable, but if you take a step back it is easy to see how this small move brings everything together.

While Eric Gordon and the Minnesota pick were the highlights of the Chris Paul trade, the player that can turn that trade from a good one to a great one is second year forward Al-Farouq Aminu. He can be the next Shawn Marion or the next Julian Wright, and the sooner the Hornets find out, the better off they will be. In order to find out, the Hornets need to get Aminu consistent minutes and that just got a heck of a lot easier without Pondexter taking reps in games or practices.

Meanwhile, the Hornets had a glaring need at point guard after refusing to accept Mo Williams back from the Clippers in the Paul trade. Vasquez gives the team a young guy to develop at a very reasonable price of 4.5 million dollars over the next three years. Vasquez isn’t a pure point, but there aren’t many of those in the league anyway. He is an oversized point guard who could look really good next to an undersized shooting guard who, like Vasquez, can play on the ball or off of it depending on the situation.

Add Ayon into the mix (he technically is a rookie) and all of a sudden you have prospects to develop at positions 1-4, two likely lottery picks, and two frontline players in Kaman and Landry who should be hot commodities at the trade deadline. Whether or not these guys will reach their potential is a separate issue, but what is clear is that Dell Demps is giving this franchise every opportunity to succeed by paying attention to the pieces that this specific puzzle needs.


  1. ur_gmas_daughter

    December 24, 2011 at 5:40 pm


    December 24, 2011 at 5:43 pm


  3. Jason

    December 24, 2011 at 5:57 pm

    Not at all happy with this trade. Pondexter was developing well, wanted to be here, and was working hard. At some point, too many trades is a bad thing and players need to feel that they are more than trading blocks.

    Vasquez fills a need. But is he going to be a long term member of the team at PG. If we Demps thinks he’s our starting PG in 2 years. I’m fine with it. But you don’t trade a potential starting SF who seems to be happy living in New Orleans for a Back-up PG.

    • 504ever

      December 24, 2011 at 6:14 pm

      Agree, Jason.

      The only way this trade makes sense is if the Hornets were so desperate to get Aminu minutes that they were willing to take back (significantly) less value than they sent, which I think is Michael’s point.

      • Jason Calmes

        December 24, 2011 at 6:27 pm

        The ONLY way?

        Monty has never just sat a player before? Never?

        Think costs and benefits.

        Memphis was the desperate one with their injury situation.

      • 504ever

        December 24, 2011 at 7:04 pm

        Yeah but 42, I am talking about from the Hornets perspective.

        Also, we could have waited and, I believe, used our SF excess to get more later in the season.

      • Jason Calmes

        December 25, 2011 at 12:32 am

        There are lots of ways to look at this, for sure. I see us not having depth at guard and a talent in Aminu.

        I may be proven wrong, but I think we’re going to love The Chief. I was higher on Q than most, but when it comes doen to it, Aminu was going to pass him on the depth chart and his value would diminish.

        Again, I may be wrong in the end, but I like the moves these guys are making to build the team they want (not the one we want). Look at the Thornton deal now, and the Jack deal. We got our replacement PG and PF early on, plus won some games last year. Thornton got more than we would give him, we were after Gordon in the CP trade bonanza (same position), and made a case for the best PF we could have gotten.

        I see me as learning how they are operating, good or bad, rather than judging.

    • QueenBee

      December 24, 2011 at 7:08 pm

      Quincy won’t be starting on any NBA teams.

      • QueenBee

        December 24, 2011 at 7:08 pm

        Not as a full time starter anyway.

  4. Tyler

    December 24, 2011 at 5:59 pm

    Let’s not forget people, Dell and Monty did not draft Quincy last year. The organization was still being ran by Jeff Bower and Co. So loyalty shouldn’t even be in question. I was confused by this move when I first saw it, but now it makes even more sense. The goal of the team is still to win now while developing young pieces for the future. We basically traded a 6’6″ SF for a 6’6″ PG with handles and the potential of getting better. His size alone at the position is intriguing and creates match-up problems for our opponents. The move is a good one for our depth in the backcourt and our 2nd unit. Hopefully Al develop smoothly and become an efficient scorer and defender for us soon.

  5. hornetsfreak

    December 24, 2011 at 6:33 pm

    wait, is this trade final?

  6. Trey

    December 24, 2011 at 6:36 pm

    I agree with Jason who said hes not happy with this trade. I was hoping for pondexter to have a breakout season for us….
    But in other news Merry Christmas Eve Everyone!! 🙂


    December 24, 2011 at 6:43 pm

    So Monty did all that work with pondexter for…?

    • mako

      December 25, 2011 at 2:26 pm

      Wouldn’t you spend some time and work with someone you care about in some kind of father to son relationship way? Things like trades aren’t JUST happening. We see it that way, we are suprised. I believe they both saw it coming. Quincy is just moving on… so as the Hornets.

  8. dalshearer

    December 24, 2011 at 6:43 pm

    Not bad. Vasquez will likely be a great fit. I trust fully in GM Demps to make the right moves and Coach Monty and his staffs ability to develop their young players.

  9. Scott

    December 24, 2011 at 6:45 pm

    I think its a pretty good trade considering we had 1 old PG and 3 SF, 2 of which are second years. Now we have our PG for the future, and our SF for the future picks up a lot more minutes off the bench. My thought is Kamen wil be moved for a 1st round pick at the deadline so we’ll have positions 1-4 locked up for the future, 4 valuable veterans in Ariza, Okafor, Landry,and Jack to help us win now and 3 first round picks in one of the deepest drafts in recent memory. The future for the Hornets is very bright right now. If only we had an owner…….

    • CarnbY

      December 25, 2011 at 7:23 am

      I don’t know much about Vasquez, but I’m under the impression that he’s more a back-up PG of the future than starter…

      • CarnbY

        December 25, 2011 at 7:24 am

        edit: *for the future, not “of” the future. Although, if he is a McFly/Teenwolf I guess that would help 😛

  10. Jason

    December 24, 2011 at 7:00 pm

    I don’t understand why have 3 SF’s is a huge deal. This means we are def committing to keeping Ariza. We had the choice of trying to move him near the deadline. It’s also not clear that Aminu is better than Pondexter. In a vacuum this trade makes sense for us. But in reality, as a small market team, we really need to be careful about taking care of guys that are committed to our team and want to work hard for our coach. We should have kept Brandon Bass years ago, and we should have kept Marcus Thornton. Its too early to tell about this trade, but Vasquez definitely is an experienced PG that could have a future in the NBA and in theory could back up Eric Gordon at times at the two as well.

    • t-bizzle

      December 28, 2011 at 11:37 am

      The marcus trade pissed me off… and look at him now… $0.02

  11. J

    December 24, 2011 at 7:02 pm

    Vasquez has not played a game for the Hornets yet and some of you are ready to rush to judgement.In due time this trade could payoff.

  12. J

    December 24, 2011 at 7:06 pm

    Aminu wants to play defense Pondexter was not going to play defense i rather have a player that wants to play under Monty’s system than someone that wont.Besides Dell didn’t draft Pondexter Bower did.

  13. babyboi5

    December 24, 2011 at 7:07 pm has confirmed that Nate Robinson has been released from the Thunder. I think we should go after him to solidify our PG spot. I wouldn’t mind having him on our team. Lil dude plays with heart and he can score. The crowd would get behind him-easily become a fan favorite.

  14. Tyler

    December 24, 2011 at 7:15 pm

    Our 3 SF’s are Trevor Ariza, Al Farouq- Aminu and Dajuan Summers. It is going to be a lot more interesting to see how the future of the position play out when Mr. Summers return healthy from his injury.

  15. Tyler

    December 24, 2011 at 7:24 pm

    Nate Robinson doesn’t fit into Coach Williams’ philosophy.

  16. Jo D

    December 24, 2011 at 7:32 pm

    Sad to see Q-Pon go. I just met him the other night at the game. Got his autograph and all. But I like this trade. Vasquez is quite a talent. With the help of Monty, he may even develop into a solid starter for us in the future. But for now, he should bring excitement to our second unit.

    Side Note: other transactions would have to happen… But by midseason we might be fielding the most diverse second unit… Vasquez, Belinelli, Aminu, Smith, Ayon

    • Jake

      December 24, 2011 at 8:12 pm

      Is this final?

    • sundance

      December 24, 2011 at 8:31 pm

      Bring back Mbenga!

      • Jo D

        December 24, 2011 at 11:17 pm

        Trade is finalized.
        Mbenga… No.

  17. Tyler

    December 24, 2011 at 7:33 pm

    Could it be possible the Hornets develop Mr. Vasquez into a legit combo guard? (i.e. 6th man)

    • Jo D

      December 24, 2011 at 7:48 pm

      Unless another move is made, you can count on our 6th man being the non starter of Caveman Kaman and Mek…
      He has the potential to be a sixth man in the future… If he maximizes his potential, think Jordan Crawford(who started his career as a tall scoring point guard)

      • Jo D

        December 26, 2011 at 8:54 pm


  18. Jacob

    December 24, 2011 at 9:00 pm

    Vasquez is a high energy guy which the hornets can use, he plays defense well and knows how to distribute the ball his only flaw is his shot selection, if he matures in that respect and also forms his shot a little bit better then he will be a good point guard, good pick up in my opinion.

    • Eric

      December 24, 2011 at 10:09 pm

      I’m sold cool video


      December 25, 2011 at 1:20 am

      Notice, the Grizz have young athletic wing players that hustle!

  19. Hornetsky

    December 24, 2011 at 9:23 pm

    This move basically fills our need and gets rid of redundancy. Demps is doing his job well.

  20. L_REAZY

    December 24, 2011 at 9:55 pm

    Excellent Pick-ups!

    Dell Demps, MAN, you’re great!!!

    …. just one-move-after-another ……

    Ayon will become a solid player … Vasquez is already 3-times better than Pondexter … he was phenomenal last season (regular season & playoffs)!


  21. Tcc91

    December 24, 2011 at 11:15 pm

    Great trade. We swapped my two favorite nicknames. Q-Pon for General Greveis.

  22. Pluto D

    December 25, 2011 at 12:17 am

    Can we just play already? This is too exciting.

    Young players aaaaahhhhh i cant wait to see gordon and aminu!

    Monty is going to turn aminu into a BEAST. Freakishly athletic, he could be a serious defender and transition monster!!!

  23. MontyForMayor

    December 25, 2011 at 12:24 am

    I think another thing we can take away from this trade, is that Vasquez is originally from Venezuela and speaks Spanish.
    Maybe it’s just speculative, but is it possible that Vasquez was brought in, in hopes that he’d buddy up with our other newest acquisition, Gustavo Ayon?
    Either way I like Vasquez, but hated having to give up Q-Pon. In my opinion Quincy won’t be a regular starter, at least not in the next 3-4 years, but is a viable option with a team that needs a scorer on the second unit. We need a starter/backup pg if we’re sticking with Jack.


    December 25, 2011 at 1:13 am

    I don’t like the trade!
    If we had to trade QPon for a backup PG, we should have trade him for a young quality PG and not some project type PG!

    -BAD MOVE-

    • Jo D

      December 25, 2011 at 1:30 am

      When you trade need for a need… You have limited options…
      Vasquez and Pon are practically equal players at this juncture in their careers

    • Jo D

      December 25, 2011 at 4:07 am

      I guarantee after Vasquez’s first poor game as a Hornet, there will be people clamoring about this “terrible” trade.
      I hope he comes out and eventually becomes a key contributor on this team just so the pessimists can eat their words.
      But if we aren’t going to allow him time to develop (this is his second year), can we atleast let the guy register a minute of court time as a Hornet before we judge him?

  25. Nick Malone aka yankeesman77

    December 25, 2011 at 1:47 am

    We were really lacking with having a backup for jarett jack at the point and while I wasnt a fan of giving up Quincy, this was a necessary move to make. Vasquez can be an explosive backup option that can dribble and handle to the hoop if need be. He is a fiesty player that can demonstrate and frustrate opposing guards so i like this newest addtion to the family. once again Dell Demps is doing what h needs to do to make this team a heck of alot better than our previous administration. i believe in Dell Demps.

  26. CarnbY

    December 25, 2011 at 5:32 am

    Crap, thanks for ruining Christmas Dell!
    Ok, maybe that’s a little strong, but I like Quincy… I liked DC, I liked Buckets, DWest is my fav. player… who’s on this team again?
    Is Squeaky still on the team btw?

  27. J

    December 25, 2011 at 9:17 am

    If Vasquez throws an alley oop to Ayon it would be called “The Latin Connection”

    • Jacob

      December 25, 2011 at 1:46 pm

      The twin Hispanic connection

      • Jacob

        December 25, 2011 at 6:11 pm

        The Hispanic hookup

  28. David

    December 25, 2011 at 10:09 am

    General Greveis!

  29. MaskedTalent

    December 25, 2011 at 10:23 am

    So….Is it gonna be this?

    Kaman/Okafor/Jason Smith

    Idk what the opening line will look like…but I do want Vasquez starting…eventually….and Okafor and Kaman on the floor at the same time at some point this season….The only positions I think we’re still weak at is the1 & 2 because…Marco…it just depends on which Marco shows up. and same with Mr.Jack.

    BUT I AM EVEN MORE EXCITED! Qpon was cool. But He wasn’t going to get time…sorry, it wasn’t happening. and Vasquez(BOLD PREDICTION) will be our starter in the playoffs hooking up with Gordon VERY OFTEN! MANNNN I CAN’T WAIT!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I feel great about OUR HORNETS! LOVIN THIS!

    • Jo D

      December 25, 2011 at 12:13 pm

      Ayon will play the 4 or the 5… He doesn’t have the outside game for the 3… Offensively or Defensively

      • MaskedTalent

        December 25, 2011 at 5:23 pm

        Yeaahh I was going to correct that but…. Yeah. You’re right.

    • 504ever

      December 25, 2011 at 1:44 pm

      I think the depth chart will look more like this (notice the large gap after the 2nd teamers):

      Starters 2nd Team Garbage Time
      Jack, Vasquez, C. Johnson
      Gordon, Bellinelli, T. Johnson
      Ariza, Aminu, Thomas(?)
      Landry, Kaman/Smith, Ayon/Thomas/Summers(once healthy)
      Okafor, Kaman/Smith,

      Let’s hope we don’t see the 3rd team for the wrong reasons.

  30. nikkoewan

    December 25, 2011 at 10:42 am

    i can’t understand why people are mad at this trade? It’s an EXCELLENT trade.

    Both players are not going to amount into anything more than role players in the future, that is certain. Both are projects of the same potential. Lemme break it down to make it easier for you guys.

    QPon is 6’6″, Vasquez is 6’6″. QPon weighs 225, Vasquez weighs 200. Vasquez is a PG, QPon is a 2/3. Both of them played approximately the same number of minutes last season ( QPon got 11.1/game for a total of 734 in 66 games, Vasquez got 12.3/game for a total of 860 in 70 games.)

    They basically played even through out the year last year, except Vasquez played INCREDIBLY in the playoffs against the likes of Maynor, with a Collison/Ibaka/Perk big that supports Maynor. If you don’t think he played great, watch the playoffs. For stat geeks, he had a WS/48 of .157, which is more than you can ask of your backup.
    I think playing in Monty’s system, will make Vasquez flourish even more. I like QPon, i think he has the potential to be a spot up shooter/decent defender. But if you think that he’ll amount into anything more than that is being way too optimistic. Vasquez, on the other hand can become the leader of the 2nd unit. I’m not saying he becomes a 6th man, but he can become into something in the mold of Derek Fisher for the 2nd unit i.e. he directs and he leads the 2nd unit, takes and makes shots whenever he has an open shot and play decent defense. That’s more important than getting/developing a shooter/decent defender (which is quite easy to find in this league).

    Add to the fact that we have Aminu, who is more raw than QPon yes, but is younger, longer, more athletic and thus has more potential to become something better. IF Monty could turn Batum into what he is today (a spot up shooter with decent handles and good~great defense), then imagine what he could do to Aminu (who is coachable and is a hard worker, so no worries there). People are letting their feelings get in the way of this being a great trade.


    • Jason Calmes

      December 25, 2011 at 10:56 am

      Looking forward to the team being built rather than the one being dismantled will help in evaluations. That’s why I think you are happier than some.

      Overall… size. We are bigger.

      • nikkoewan

        December 25, 2011 at 11:20 am

        yeah you can say that.

  31. Jason

    December 25, 2011 at 4:53 pm

    I think we are underestimating the value of having some role players on the team. Pondexter seems like a legitimate team guy with high basketball IQ that will work hard. I’m a little worried about giving up that piece.

    Hopefully Vasquez works out. I’m glad we’re done with the trades for a short while and I just want to watch some basketball =)

  32. NEUIL

    December 25, 2011 at 10:56 pm

    What about JJ2 suspension?

  33. p_dizzle

    December 27, 2011 at 11:18 am

    Take it from a long time Hornet fan and long time Maryland Terps fan. Greivis can play. Has decent handles….More of a scoring gaurd than point but can create when he needs….adds size to a very small team…. can create his own shot….

  34. kempleton

    December 27, 2011 at 1:05 pm

    We love to embrace the members of our team and that’s something great but We kinda get attached to our players more than necessary. Why am I saying this now? Because, I think Dell Demps made a fantastic trade by sending Q-Pon for Vasquez. And most of us hate this trade just because we hate to see Pondexter leave.

    So, I have a question for all those who hated this trade. What is your favourite moment of Q-Pon on the court other than his musical performance at the open practice last year?

    He has some potential but I never saw him explode. I remember watching Vasquez under Maryland uniform and I can say that he had impressed me as a Terps player. I believe Vasquez might have a very bright future and I am glad that We have him on board!

    Just check out some of his accomplishments during his college career:

    06-07:9.8 points, 4.7 assists and 3.3 rebounds
    07-08:17 points, 6.8 assists and 5.7 rebounds
    08-09:17.5 points, 5.4 assists, 5.0 rebounds and 1.4 steals
    09-10:19.6 points, 6.3 assists, 4.6 rebounds and 1.7 steals

    2010 Bob Cousy Award given by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame to the nation’s best collegiate point guard, for which he edged out Evan Turner (Ohio State) and John Wall (Kentucky).

    Only player in ACC history to compile at least 2,000 points, 700 assists and 600 rebounds.

    Unanimous first-team All-ACC selection and the ACC Player of the Year in 2010. Vásquez was named a consensus second-team All-American in 2010.

  35. ellis1966

    December 28, 2011 at 9:05 am

    I like the trades and think we had to get a PG ;so that’s what we did. Coach and GM are doing the best for the team. It looks to be a rebuilding year (duh!) but I think we might be better than most people give us credit for. What I think Coach is doing, are what I believe he is trying to do, is have a strong defense and much improved inside (post up) game. I also think we need a bench something we have never had!

    I hope we use all our players and that is something the hornets have never done. Play everybody and we should not have players that never play not even for a minute. The hornets have had players that sat on the bench and never played or played so little no one noticed. I know this is not real world NBA nobody does this but I do know that other teams play more players because they have a strong bench. WE NEED A BENCH that would be a plus for this team.

    Coach Monty play everybody if they can’t play get them off the team!!!!!!!!

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