Tenth Pick Tournament Round One: Damian Lillard vs. Trading for a Veteran

Published: June 7, 2012

Mason & Jake square off in this Hornets247 Tenth Pick Tournament matchup which pits PG Damian Lillard against the idea of trading the pick for a veteran NBA player.

Damian Lillard

(by Mason Ginsberg)

Why Lillard?

With apologies to the biggest Lillard hater I know (looking at you, Mr. McNamara), the general consensus from every major NBA draft analysis site that I’ve reviewed lists Lillard as the #1 point guard available in this year’s class and places him no lower than 11th overall in mock drafts. See for yourself:

ESPN (Chad Ford) – 1st among PGs, 11th overall in mock draft
Yahoo! Sports (Draft Express) – 1st among PGs, 10th overall in mock draft
Sports Illustrated (Sam Amick) – 1st among PGs, 8th overall in mock draft
CBS Sports (Jeff Goodman) – 1st among PGs, 11th overall in mock draft

Furthermore, let’s take a look at some quotes from Chad Ford’s assessment of Lillard from only 9 days ago:

Lillard put on one of the most impressive workouts I’ve seen in a while. The grueling 1½-hour session had Lillard going full speed for the entire workout… as the sweat poured down his face, he just kept hitting shot after shot after shot.”

There are very few holes in Lillard’s game. He’s got a terrific jump shot with excellent range… he’s consistently measuring out with a 40-inch vertical. On Saturday he was still exploding off the floor for emphatic dunks, even at the end of the workout. Lillard is quick with the ball and has a tight handle.”

“Once they (NBA scouts and GMs) see him in workouts, the few teams that are holding out (on believing he won’t be the first PG taken in the draft) are likely to come into the fold.”

“Above it all, everyone who knows him says that the most impressive thing about Lillard is his work ethic. He is constantly trying to improve his game, and it’s hard to get him out of the gym.”

It was necessary to start things off with that data and evaluation so any biased anti-Lillard sentiments previously expressed by others can appropriately be taken with a grain of salt. Ford accurately explained how good he can be on offense, but just as important is the fact that Lillard’s skill set should help Coach Williams mold him into a very good two-way player on this defensive-minded Hornets team. He is 6’2″ with above average wingspan for his height, and (as Ford noted) he is very athletic and hard-working with very good lateral quickness. If you’re Monty and have those attributes to work with on defense in addition to what he brings to the table on offense, what’s not to love? The guy can play, and there are tons of great basketball minds out there who agree.

Why not Trade for a Veteran?

The reason why the Hornets should opt to draft Lillard instead of trading for a veteran is quite simple and logical. Even with a potential duo of Anthony Davis and a completely healthy Eric Gordon, this Hornets team is still at least a couple of years away from being considered a legitimate title contender; in fact, my opponent even admitted that fact just yesterday (which makes his desire to trade the pick for a veteran a rather peculiar one). Not only do they need to give Davis time to develop from an excellent defender into a top tier all-around player, but they also can’t force round pegs into square holes when looking for the right pieces to surround their two stars (remember Morris Peterson and James Posey?). In fact, just the other day, Mike perfectly explained why trading for a veteran could be a mistake while trying to build a successful franchise via his “rushing the process” point.

Another point worth mentioning is the salary cap implications of trading a draft pick for a veteran. The 10th pick will make an average of about $2 million per season over the next four years, and then would remain under his team’s control as a restricted free agent. By dealing the pick for a current NBA player, not only would the Hornets drastically shorten the time period until the player can become an unrestricted free agent, but they would also be paying that player at least two or three times what they would be paying their draft choice.

Even if the team could somehow find a way to flip the pick for a talented veteran on a reasonable contract, the Hornets run the risk of seeing the prime years of that player pass before the team is truly ready to win a title. The only way that trading the pick for a veteran makes sense is if the Hornets can bring back a player no older than 26 who has already shown an ability to contribute meaningful minutes to a quality team. There, unfortunately, is where the problem lies; teams typically shy away from trading a known commodity in exchange for an unknown one, and therefore the Hornets would likely be unable to get acceptable value in return by dealing that 10th pick for a current NBA player. If my opponent decides to suggest any potential trades, remember to consider them from the other team’s point of view and determine for yourself whether or not they are actually realistic possibilities; for some reason, I have a hunch that they won’t be. Drafting Lillard in that 10th spot is much more sensible, and if he realizes his potential, he could be the final piece of a 3-man Lillard-Gordon-Davis core that looks eerily similar to Oklahoma City’s current Westbrook-Harden-Durant big three.

Trade for a Veteran

(by Jake Madison)

When I wrote the first draft of this piece I wasn’t going to focus on Lillard a whole lot. Instead I was going to sell you on why trading for a veteran player was the best choice without any specific examples. Then I read Mason’s argument and I realized that including potential trades is fun. So lucky you, dear Hornets247 reader, for you will get everything in this post. Let’s start with what Mason said…

Mason doesn’t really talk about Lillard’s game at all. Instead he gives us a bunch of quotes. I’m more interested in specifics of Lillard’s play. I wonder if Mason, or even most of our readers, even watched one Weber State game. Are you really going to vote for a player, who very few people here have watched, based more or less only off of his stats and YouTube?

Please don’t. And let me tell you why.

At first glance, Lillard’s numbers look great. But don’t forget he played against inferior competition in the Big Sky conference. Weber State’s best win all season was against Montana–who had a lowly Ratings Percentage Index (RPI) of 77. In the two games Lillard played against big conference, tournament teams (BYU and Cal; hardly dominant teams), he went 9-29 and averaged 14.5 points and only 2.5 assists. That doesn’t scream NBA ready prospect to me.

Three other stats concern me. The first is Lillard averaged only 4 assists per game. That would be fine if he wasn’t a point guard. At Weber State, Lillard was a scorer who often times missed open teammates or simply couldn’t make the pass. There are concerns if he can become a distributor in the NBA. The second is 15.5 field goals attemps per game. That tells me that Lillard is a shoot first point guard. The Hornets will have a core of Eric Gordon and Anthony Davis and I don’t want someone taking shots away from either of those two. Gordon in particular is more effective with the ball in his hands. Lillard is more likely to shoot than pass to the Hornets star shooting guard.

Lastly, and this goes hand in hand with the Eric Gordon point above, is his 3-point shooting percentage. Lillard only shot 40.9% from deep this past season. It’s not terrible but it is far from elite. Gordon is most effective playing with another guard who is a strong 3-point shooter. Think Stephen Curry of the Warriors (hint hint).

Defensively, Lillard has trouble when his opponent takes him off the dribble. In those situations he yielded a bad 1.09ppp according to draftexpress.com. He gives up an even worse 1.19ppp against players coming off screens which causes me to worry about how great of a pick and roll defender he can be.

Now that we got that out of the way, let me explain why trading for a veteran player is the best choice.

One thing I’ve noticed while reading the comments on the site, twitter and talking with fans is the concern about a prospect’s risk factor. Go read the comments in the debate of Perry Jones III and Terrence Jones. People are worried about Jones III’s risk. Well, there is risk associated with every pick other than our main man Anthony Davis. How about the Hornets eliminate that factor all together and trade for an established player? Other than injury, there is almost no risk. The Hornets know exactly what they are getting. It’s risk mitigation.

It’s also the option I think is most likely to happen. Hugh Weber has talked a lot about the team targeting “young veterans,” players 26 and younger who have been in the league for a few seasons. In the trades below, that is exactly the type of player the Hornets get in return. The Hornets want to add to the core of Gordon and Davis; not maybe add to it if the drafted player pans out. The only way to guarantee, barring injury, is to make a trade. And I’ve got some great and realistic options for you.

I’d be nice to say the Hornets will trade the 10th pick for Dwight Howard, LeBron James, or use it in a sign and trade for Deron Williams, but that is just not happening. But below are three trades in reverse order of my preference, however I would be thrilled with any of these.

The Rockets trade Kyle Lowry and the 16th pick for Jarrett Jack and the 10th pick

This move paves the way for the Rockets to resign Goran Dragic and move up in the draft. The Hornets get a point guard in Lowry who posted career high numbers and was playing near an All-Star level before he got hurt. He’s also only 26 years old and has a great eight years worth of experience. Lowry also has a very team-friendly contract for the next two season. The Hornets pick up their point guard of the future and only have to move back 6 picks in the draft where they will still have the chance to pick one of the players in our tournament.

The Bucks trade Brandon Jennings, Larry Sanders and some cap filler for Trevor Ariza and the 10th pick

The Bucks make this trade because they know Jennings won’t resign with them long-term and getting Ariza and the 10th pick is a solid return. A Jennings/Gordon paring gives the Hornets a dynamic scoring backcourt similar to Tony Parker and Manu Ginobli.

Take a look at how similar Jennings is to Parker throughout their first three years.

Jennings 17 5.4 2.4 81
Parker 13 5.1 2.3 71

Jennings is also ahead in 3-pointers made and percentage, steals and rebounds. The only advantage Parker has is field goal percentage. Hornet’s fans have been desperate for scoring and the Jennings/Gordon pairing will certainly bring exciting offense with it.

Jennings has had some maturity issues, but one thing I’ve noticed so far in our 10th pick tournament is that most everyone thinks Monty Williams can help any player mature and develop. There is no reason to think that won’t happen with Jennings.

The Warriors trade Stephen Curry and Andris Biedrins for Trevor Ariza and the 10th pick

This is my favorite and works out very well for both teams. The Warriors have a huge need at small forward which Ariza fills, the unload their worst contract and now have two lottery picks to use or trade.

Curry, 24 years old, is the perfect type of player to pair with Gordon. The Hornets would end up with an elite backcourt to pair with Davis. For this trade, the Hornets would have to amnesty Emeka Okafor which would also free up some cap room. Biedrins salary, while big, isn’t killer so the Hornets can just wait for it to expire while Anthony Davis develops.

By trading for a veteran the Hornets are adding an established player to the core of Davis and Gordon. And I promise you, that whether they add Curry, Jennings, Lowry or someone else, it will be far better than a big three including Lillard.

[polldaddy poll=6293975]



  1. champsworld504

    June 7, 2012 at 7:22 am

    Um, let’s see: Steph Curry sprains his ankle every other day, no thanks. Biedrins is more worthless than Hilton Armstrong. Brandon Jennings paired with Eric Gordon would give us a small backcourt that would get us killed. Jennings plays NO D! None. He shouldn’t even have a D in his name. Kyle Lowery maybe because we get rid of Jack and his “slip and fall in the clutch” self. Keep the pick, draft Marshall, Lilliard or Ross and respect the process.

    • mazonmafia

      June 7, 2012 at 10:42 am

      Agree with everything except your knock on jjack. We need his vetern leadership! Not that he should have the ball in his hands in the final minute (leave that to EG) but he is a great leader, team member, and will play well as a combo guard with the 2nd unit. He will also help the transition as Lillard goes from weber st to the nba.

      If we grab Lillard, he will not be able to start immediately. Jack can be a solid stop-gap at a reasonable price. We will appreciate the expiring contract next year as well.

      • champsworld504

        June 7, 2012 at 12:34 pm

        yes, the veteran leadership. Can’t draft that you’re right. But what do we do w/ Vasquez. He got better w/ more PT.

  2. Chris

    June 7, 2012 at 7:34 am

    Coming through on a few websites including espn insider, that The Hornets will entertain trades for #10 including Ariza or Okafor. With the talent in this draft class I would bet Dell Demps will get some proposals to think about. Out of your ideas Kyle Lowry seems most likely but as it was made aware that the Hornets tried to get Jennings at the trade deadline, if the Bucks do approach the Hornets with Jennings been the player involved I think Demps will do whatever he can to make it happen.

    • Joe Gerrity

      June 7, 2012 at 10:48 am

      That “news” that the Hornet would entertain offers for their pick is flat out pointless.

      Of course they are entertaining offers…

      What kind of GM wouldn’t entertain offers?

      • Chris

        June 7, 2012 at 11:46 pm

        I Never said it was news. I had already see Dell Demps interview from the Draft workouts before that.

      • Joe Gerrity

        June 9, 2012 at 1:48 pm

        Sorry, didn’t mean to come across as rude to you. Just think it’s funny that someone somewhere decided to write a story on that.

    • nola hustle

      June 7, 2012 at 12:25 pm

      agree that that is meaningless. we know dell works the phones constantly.

      my thing is all of you who are proponents of “dumping” trevor or even including him in a deal such as above, who is our new 3?

      the only time you play aminu big min at that spot is when you are trying to lose 66.6% of your games or more

      • macs21

        June 7, 2012 at 10:59 pm

        That Houston trade would be awesome. It also seems reasonable as Lowry apparently wants out if Dragic re-signs.

        J Jack is a serviceable back up and if they could net a high upside guy who is unlikely to be there at 16 I could see it happening..
        Personally I’d swing that trade even without the 16th pick. Lowry was a beast before he got sick/injured last year.

  3. @tomfoolery28

    June 7, 2012 at 7:39 am

    I’ll take the vet over Damian Lillard any day of the week and twice on Sunday. When was the last time Weber State produced anyone legit? Lillard is just another decent athlete that was good in a weak conference.

    • SP

      June 7, 2012 at 11:10 am

      That could be right, but Lillard is actually a phenomenal athlete who has shown consistent growth at the collegiate level. To put things in perspective, Russell Westbrook recorded a vertical leap of 36 inches at his combine, if Lillard really does a 40, he’ll be jumping out of the gym!

      One thing I’ve found with college players is that the more time they spend playing college ball, the more pro-ready they’ll be once they get drafted. Collison has a long career at UCLA, came to the Hornets and was efficient as soon as his number was called.

      Lillard’s saying the right things, doing the right things and he’s the one guy I can really see coming back to haunt us if we don’t take him.

    • nola hustle

      June 7, 2012 at 12:33 pm

      i think the truth is somewhere in between. he is more than an athlete, he is a shooter.

      while jake downplayed his shooting #s his 3 pt % above barnes, beal, j lamb, t. ross, waiters, rivers and marshall
      (**** note to marshall haters- his 3 pt % is at or above the rest of that group!!!!*****)

      it’s harder to predict whether he will emulate jeff teague, brandon jennings, westbrook, or antonio davis when he hasn’t played against competition.

      in his favor he has the work ethic to make something of his athletic ability which is why I seriously doubt he is still on the board when we pick. I am thinking he goes to portland at 6 if they keep the pick or toronto at 8

  4. Steve

    June 7, 2012 at 7:55 am

    As a Hornets fan, I’d love any of those trades. Looking at it objectively, no way we’re offered any of those guys even if we take on bad contracts. Maybe Lowry, but I doubt we get a pick back.

  5. Eli

    June 7, 2012 at 8:02 am

    The Lowry trade is most realistic, but he is also the oldest at 26. When the Hornets are actually ready to make a legitimate championship run, he will be around 28-30. We’d have to break up the big 3 shortly after and then what? Start another just when Gordon and Davis are in their prime?

    The Jennings trade isn’t too far-fetched. He would be a nice pickup, but he has many of the same flaws youy pointed out about Lillard. He’s a pass first pg, doesn’t play much defense, and his 5.something assists aren’t that great. Furthermore, he has made it known he wants to play for a big market team, which doesn’t include New Orleans.

    Curry is probably the best option of the three, when he’s healthy. Do we really want to have 2 injury prone guards? And that trade was probably the least realistic of the three. Do you really think the Warriors want to hand over their starting pg spot to Charles Jenkins or Nate Robinson?

    Of the three trades, i’d rather do the Jennings one.
    I’m not for drafrting Lillard.
    I’d be happy with either Jennings or a different draftee.

    • 504ever

      June 7, 2012 at 11:18 am

      Look at the Hornets roster. Outside of Okafor(29), Jack(28), Aminu(21), and Henry(21) (none of whom may be long term pieces here) everyone is age 23-26 except just turned 27 year old Ayon.

      Now look at the Celtic’s roster and the age of two of their big three: Allen and Garnett. It’s 36. There is no way Lowry’s age (26) is a problem.

      The question is about the skill of each player, and Lowry gets an edge because he is a known commodity in the NBA.

      Drafting Lillard and a trade (for Lowry) are two of my top four choices. I wish they weren’t paired off so early.

  6. nikkoewan

    June 7, 2012 at 8:04 am

    Voted Lillard. Can’t see any team (outside of HOU) accepting any of those trades (epsecially GS).

    • nola hustle

      June 7, 2012 at 12:37 pm


      actually lowry was great last year making it tough if that trade were on the table ( I think they want much more in return for lowry)

      I’m just feeling like starting something fresh, having a year where we get two future centerpieces who learn our team culture and system from our vets this year before we start trying to seriously upgrade in 2013 and 2014 seasons

    • SP

      June 7, 2012 at 7:22 pm

      Agreed, I wouldn’t mind some of them, but if we couldn’t get Stephen Curry for CP3, I don’t think we’re getting him for a late lotto pick…

  7. Drew

    June 7, 2012 at 8:05 am

    No way the other teams do any of those trades.

    • 504ever

      June 7, 2012 at 10:55 pm

      I disagree.

      Lowry for our 10th is a strong offer and, if the Rockets won’t give us a 1st rounder for Jack, I will suggest we can get a 2012 1st rounder for him elsewhere. Remember Jack basically cost us our 2011 1st round pick (21st). (We traded our 21st for Bayless, and then traded Bayless and cap space for Jack and cap space.)

      It would be interesting to see what Jack’s value is, and if the Hornets gain value when trading Jack. It may work out, especially with Fisher doing well as a back-up in OKC and with Jack an expiring contract. But even getting a 2012 1st rounder in the 22-26 range could pay off in this draft.

  8. James Grayson

    June 7, 2012 at 8:41 am

    Jake, I’m sorry, but none of those trades are realistic. Maybe the Bucks trade, but the Hornets are robbing those teams blind.

  9. NOLA_Fredo

    June 7, 2012 at 8:55 am

    Voted trade for vet but that’s as much to do with the fact I’d rather Ross or Marshall over Lillard. Lillard might turn out to be great, but I think with that #10 pick, I’d rather take someone who might fit with whatever other pieces we get as we go along. I think Lillard will need the ball a lot to get his stats and that’s not how I want the Hornets to play.

    As for the trades, I’d love Curry or Lowry. Don’t want Jennings — but that’s more because I think he will test free agency and don’t need another potential roster issue that quickly.

  10. Adam McCreary

    June 7, 2012 at 8:55 am

    You’re both wrong… Kendall Marshall!

    Lillard is a score-first PG from a tiny conference (which you could argue if he made some kind of elite tournament run… but he didn’t).

    Kendall Marshall has elite court vision and a solid 3-point shot and, though he can’t really create his own shot, he has years of practice dishing to NBA-caliber players from UNC.

    • Joe Gerrity

      June 7, 2012 at 10:49 am

      This series is tournament style. Kendall Marshall will be talked about when his matchup occurs.

    • David

      June 7, 2012 at 10:54 am

      How is he going to dish it to our players when Eric Gordon will be the one dominating the ball on the PnR 80-90% of the time???

      • nola hustle

        June 7, 2012 at 11:56 am

        that’s why marshall is the choice, you’re not seeing this correctly. ej will be running pnr. if it breaks down, kick to marshall who can make something happen in a short time. not sure by your responses if you watched much unc, but marshall does not need to dribble out the clock, he makes snap decision, sharp passes, keeps the ball moving

        jennings and seemingly lillard need to handle and dribble more.

        by the way, marshall’s best skill is getting the ball up the court uberpromptly in transtion something that will be a huuuuuge part of our strategy as we’ll be running our a defensively oriented semi half court challenged squad anchored by a shot blocker /. break starter / break finisher

      • David

        June 7, 2012 at 1:07 pm

        If they pick and roll and it gets kicked to the wing, you want a knock down shooter on a close out And/or a guy who can put it on the deck and create his own shot at the rim. Kendall Marshall can do neither of these things. Wasted pick.

      • nola hustle

        June 7, 2012 at 1:20 pm

        first of all he can can hit an open shot, has shown improvement doing so, and can continue to do so (always cited as the easiest part of one’s game to improve).

        second, you forgot option 3, put it on the deck and create for someone else. keep the ball moving.

  11. AJ

    June 7, 2012 at 8:57 am

    any way the 10th pick with someone else for rondo sure doc would love to have his son

  12. mojart

    June 7, 2012 at 9:04 am

    wat IF lillard has a russel westbrook ceiling?for me its rivers or lillard for the 10th pick

    • nola hustle

      June 7, 2012 at 12:04 pm

      not sure if he has that ceiling but he may be that type of player. i personally don’t enjoy westbrooks game that much at this stage of his career (if he wises up different story)

      he dominates the ball at times when he shouldn’t with questionable shot selection, is that what lillard will do (at least need to dominate the ball)? I don’t think we’re looking for a player who dribbles a lot and looks primarily to create own shot (jennings same story). Monty seems to be building a roster (thankfully) and implementing a system more similar to spurs featuring more ball movement and less isos. lillard could be a great fit with his outstanding shot if he does not need the ball in his hands all the time because he won’t get that. i admit we will have a need for scoring but to me this year will be about establishing a lockdown d identity and work ethic and we’ll add more scoring as needed next year.

      • TrinchMan

        June 9, 2012 at 3:03 am

        Tony Parker started off as more of a scoring pg and has developed into a better distributor. Lillard has a high bball iq and a good workethic, so he’ll be able to improve his decision making. Lillard also is more athletic and a much better jump shooter than Tony Parker was when he came into the league.

  13. Jason Calmes

    June 7, 2012 at 9:05 am

    Keep in mind that these are the only two players under consideration. That is the nature of the tournament. If you prefer X elsewhere in the bracket, that player will be dealt with there.

  14. LSUhornet17

    June 7, 2012 at 9:07 am

    No way any of those trades happen. Completely unrealistic. We could offer Lance Thomas and the 10th pick for Andrew Bynum, but it’s not happening.

    Also, against the highest seeded NCAA tourney team Lillard played all year, St. Mary’s, he dropped 36 points.

    • nola hustle

      June 7, 2012 at 12:05 pm

      the mighty st. mary’s you mean

  15. LSUhornet17

    June 7, 2012 at 9:17 am

    Also, I don’t understand listing a 41% 3P% as a weakness. That’s just doesn’t make any sense. Anything above 40%, esp for a volume shooter, IS elite. Oh, and that dead-eye shooter you mentioned, Steph Curry, shot 38% from 3 his junior year at that perennial NCAA powerhouse, Davidson.

    • HoumaHornet

      June 7, 2012 at 11:49 am

      Dang Jake. LSUHornet killing you with the stats.

    • nola hustle

      June 7, 2012 at 12:41 pm

      i was just typing that same thing posted above, he’s head and shoulders above the other lottery picks in 3pt%, only doron lamb (of uk better out of all 1st round prospects)

      that is by far the attribute that makes him most attractive especially when to me it is all about who would be the best fit playing alongside gordon

  16. Steven

    June 7, 2012 at 9:25 am

    You have to be kidding me with those trades.

    The Rockets aren’t taking on an older, less talented PG to move up a half-dozen spots in the draft.
    The Bucks aren’t giving up Jennings for the 10th pick and Ariza’s sub-par contract.
    The Warriors wouldn’t even trade Curry for CP3, but now suddently they’ll dump him for an unknown 10th pick? Good luck.

    Voting Lillard, not because I’m a huge fan, but simply because I don’t see there being a trade that will be worth the Hornets’ while with the focus of building for the future in mind.

    • 504ever

      June 7, 2012 at 11:31 pm

      You don’t think the Rockets want to move Lowry after what he said about McHale (and Dragic)? Want a veteran PG who will be content as a back-up, to maximize the wins for their somewhat aging roster before they break it up? Want to trade Lowry’s $6M/year for two years for Jack’s $5.5M/year for one year? Don’t all of these aspects of the trade help the Rockets sign Dragic to be their starting PG long term?

      Now look at the Rocket’s committed salaries for 2013-14 here: http://hoopshype.com/salaries/houston.htm. It only $10M for Scola (and whatever they sign Dragic for) if they move Lowry! Plus they have a total of $7M in team options on four players, and $1M qualying offer on a 5th. That’s five guys at cheap prices, plus our 10th and their picks at 14 and 16. They would already be a year into rebuilding mode in the summer of 2013, and well below the tax line. They could be (big) players in the 2013 free agent market or take on a bad contract to get another quality young piece in a trade.

      To me, this trade makes at least as much sense for the Rockets as the Hornets.

      • Steven

        June 8, 2012 at 8:31 am

        I don’t think the Rockets are immediately resigned to moving Lowry based on his comments. Either way, you don’t deal a 26 year old point guard coming off of an all-star caliber season for a slightly above average point guard who will be 29 by opening night next season just to move up 6 spots in the middle of the first round. If nothing else, the Rockets could get a much better offer for Lowry elsewhere since quality point guards will be hard to come by this offseason, especially one in his mid-20s with a favorable contract.

      • 504ever

        June 8, 2012 at 6:20 pm

        As I posted elsewhere, it could be our #10 for Lowry and we trade Jack for someone else’s 1st Rounder.

  17. Tim

    June 7, 2012 at 9:42 am

    Lillard. The trades are dumb. Bring him in and trade somewhere else for a package that MUST include Jack. Imagine if OKC had traded away their draft picks over the past few years for mediocre players on losing teams. Dumb.

  18. Ken

    June 7, 2012 at 10:03 am

    This is a deep draft so the Hornets should keep the pick. They should follow the OKC model. OKC did not try to rush things. They kept drafting good players and made the trade for a veteran (Perkins) as the final piece. The Hornets should hold off on trading for a veteran until they are ready to contend.

  19. Kirk758

    June 7, 2012 at 10:14 am

    So what if e put up those numbers at weber state. Kobe Bryant put up his numbers at a high schoil and he turned out great

  20. Michael McNamara

    June 7, 2012 at 10:36 am

    People are VASTLy underrating the value of the 10th pick in this draft. Not only is the draft deep, but the new CBA makes guys on a rookie deal worth their rate in gold.

    Would you rather have, let’s say Marshall or Lillard, for the next five years at a total of 15 million or Lowry over the next five years at a total of 40+ million (his two years, plus an extension). Same goes for Brandon Jennings.

    Saying you don’t want those guys or any vet in particular, is one thing- but saying that there is NO WAY the other teams would do those trades is incorrect.

    • mazonmafia

      June 7, 2012 at 11:01 am

      Good point! Exactly why I value the 10th pick in the draft and think we should use it for Lillard or whoever the coaches feel should be picked there. We should not trade into handicapping our FA market when we have the potential of a stud young player AND the money to sign a star FA next year.

      Also, keeping ariza is not the worst thing in the world. His contract isn’t awful especially for a 26 year old defender. OKC is the team to beat for the next several years and having a lengthy wing to play D is a must!! Again, he is only on the books for two years.

    • LSUhornet17

      June 7, 2012 at 11:02 am

      Even if I thought that was a chance of these trades happening, which I don’t, there’s not way that these would be the best offers available for these teams. Golden State just traded Ellis to build around Curry and they are going to trade him to get rid of Biedrins’ 9 million dollar contract, the 10th pick and the right to pay Ariza 8 million in 2014? I don’t see it, even if they decide they’re done with Curry. Same goes for Houston. They are going to get rid of Lowry, coming off a career year with a great contract, so they can downgrade at PG and move 6 spots up in the draft? Doesn’t make sense. Jennings is the most likely to be traded as he has already publicly said he wants to play in a big market (that’s not New Orleans), but I seriously doubt if Milwaukee is shopping offers, they’re going to stop on the one where they get to pay Ariza 8 million a year. We are not going to get the best player in a deal AND dump Ariza’s terrible contract. It’s not happening.

    • nola hustle

      June 7, 2012 at 12:09 pm

      if your’e looking at it in terms of assets, it is highly debatable that this pick even in this stacked draft is a better asset than brandon jenning making two.5 a year this year and next. not many #10 picks play as well as him.

      then again that’s theoretical as I don’t see the bucks making that deal without getting more in return ( i guess that answers my own rhetorical question)

  21. da ThRONe

    June 7, 2012 at 10:57 am

    Don’t even need to read this debate. I’m taking the player everytime. Trading for other players isn’t the way we’ll be successful building. I like the players on the list I’m just looking at it from a standpoint of are we likely to keep these players long term. History says no.

    God I hope we don’t rush this needs to be a rebuild not a reload. Our gun is broken not just empty.

    • nola hustle

      June 7, 2012 at 12:06 pm

      true, I think we’re looking at 2014-15 season as when we’d like to seriously begin contending.

  22. Jordan J.

    June 7, 2012 at 10:58 am

    I’m PRO Lillard 100%. Here’s my defense:
    -Lillard was one of the best high school players in California but was overlooked because he played for a smaller school (what a coincidence), so he went to a smaller college where he’d have an opportunity to shine and play right away.
    -Shooting .409% from deep on 230 attempts is pretty amazing. Add in the fact that many of those threes were WAY beyond the college three point line and tell me that his three point shooting isn’t at least CLOSE to elite. Curry shot .387..
    -His low assists totals can be attributed with two things: He was called upon to be a scorer for his team (which he was 24.5 PPG), and he wasn’t exactly playing with HOF teammates (Only two other teammates averaged double digit figures. Scott Bamforth averaged 14 PPG and Kyle Tresnak averaged 10)..
    -When you’re on a team with weaker teammates, teams tend to key in on you. You don’t think Lillard was fighting through double teams and immense pressure all year because of his lack of a supporting cast? Even so, he put up 40 points twice and 30+ 5. His game is misunderstood. He can pass, but he HAD to score.

    Lowry trade is the only one that could go through, but Jennings is an inefficient score first PG (How contradictory to call Lillard a high volume shooter and then suggest Jennings) and Steph Curry’s ankles are make out of paper mache (though the trade was ludicrous anyway.

    • nola hustle

      June 7, 2012 at 12:50 pm

      i agree that his deep shooting range and accuracy makes him very attractive. can he accept that as his primary role or does he need the ball in his hands? if that is his primary role, shouldn’t we be after someone bigger and more defensive oriented (ala mario chalmers) if we mainly want a shooter to pair with gordon (e.g. is he booby gibson?)

      he seems to me to be very similar to brandon jennings. do we see his ceiling as higher?

  23. Pat

    June 7, 2012 at 11:08 am

    How about a sign and trade deal Eric Gordon for Dwayne Wade. The Hornets get a sure fire All-Star and Eric Gordon goes to the Heat because after Miami loses to the Celtics someone in their big three has to go and Wade seems odd man out.

    • nola hustle

      June 7, 2012 at 12:43 pm

      we’re building for the long term not the present. look at okc and sanantone model.

      can you imagine how much pouting dwade would do, he’d break records

      • nola hustle

        June 7, 2012 at 12:43 pm

        break the record currently held by lamar odom that is

    • Michael McNamara

      June 7, 2012 at 12:52 pm

      I actually agree that there is some good logic here.

      IMO, Anthony Davis will have two different mini careers in one. The first 4-5 years will be a learning process where he will make the playoffs, but not the Finals. Learn to win, etc.

      Then, he will hit his prime and be a part of a championship contender year after year.

      If Davis isn’t winning a title over the next four years, give me Wade over Gordon any day. Show Davis what a true champion is, get to the playoffs right away, take the pressure of being the savior off him, etc.

      I would do Gordon and Okafor for Wade and Joel Anthony, then draft Sullinger at #10 rather than give Gordon a max deal and risk him missing 60 games next year again.

      • nola hustle

        June 7, 2012 at 1:25 pm

        and how many games does dwade suit up for? I think we overstate gordon’s injury risk and understate his potential in general. many “experts” have him right behind kobe and dwade at the league’s best 2’s. I don’t think you give that up for a guy who doesn’t want to be here (yes i know that’s often said about ej) unless that is something that both miami and dwade actually want for some reason, then you’re talking.

  24. Eric

    June 7, 2012 at 11:16 am

    We have seen the importance of perimeter defense in the NBA. With Lillard’s work ethic and physical tools, Monty should be able to develop him into a very good defender for his position. Imagine a Lillard, Gordon, and Aminu trio defending the perimeter. There has been the argument that the way to go is with Marshall or Rivers since Davis can negate their weakness on defense. However, we have failed to mention that it is safe to assume that Davis will get in more foul trouble with either Marshall or Rivers on the court simply due to their guy being able to constantly beat them off the dribble. Yes, Davis will help in this respect. However, it is foolish to think that it won’t hurt Davis as well. Point is that Davis will likely pick up more fouls with Marshall on the court than Lillard and I assume we all want to keep our super mega star on the court. Am I right?

    I think we need a shooter to team up with Gordon and Davis and Lillard has shown the best ability among the guys that are expected to be available with the 10th pick of becoming an elite shooter at the next level in my opinion. His foul shooting numbers have always been impressive and he shot 40% from 3 pt range this past season. For the people that think it would be wise to select Marshall instead, then we would have to find a shooter at the small forward spot. However, I think Aminu is crucial to this team’s success in the long term which is why it would be beneficial for us to select a point guard that can shoot and score. We are going to have to go up against Durant and the Thunder in the Unibrow era and I think Aminu’s length is going to be a critical component in guarding Durant or Lebron for that matter in Miami. Davis could match up against Durant at times as well but Aminu would be the guy getting the majority minutes against Durant. Just something to consider. Carry on folks.

    • David

      June 7, 2012 at 2:18 pm

      Finally someone makes some sense. I can only imagine what all these guys who are downplaying perimeter defense are going to be saying when marshall gets “Derek Fisher-ed” by the JJ Barea’s of the world and Davis has 7 boards when he fouls out because he’s been chasing our PG’s guy all over the court. Instead of just forfeiting the ideas of perimeter defense and knockdown shooting, why don’t we just try to find a better player to do both!

  25. LaNative

    June 7, 2012 at 12:05 pm

    I like Lillard’s scoring ability and his upside. We all know that Monty wants a defender with the ability to score. Any pick coming in will need time to develop and IMO there’s no better young coach in the NBA than Monty. He will preach and teach defense to Lilliard who has an unbelievable work ethic/eagerness to learn plus he has the natural God-given ability to score which we so desperately need. Plus Monty seems to have a way of getting his point across to anyone who is sincere about being their best in the NBA. The Hornets should take the OKC route – building and developing with Gordon, Davis and Lillard and finding the pieces that complement them.

  26. Josh

    June 7, 2012 at 12:25 pm

    I’d take Lillard in a heartbeat. We are still rebuilding. Trading for a vet is the worst thing possible. Stephen Curry is another injury-prone player, Kyle Lowry didn’t like McHale as a coach, and Brandon Jennings wants to be in a big market. The only bad things about Lillard are Weber State and how he fits with the Hornets. I think that we would give him a lot of minutes to see how good he is. If he is good but doesn’t fit, trade him at the deadline. If Gordon gets hurt again and Lillard becomes a star, keep him. It’s not like we can’t trade him. Remember, talent is greater than fit. It is up to Monty and company to see how players fit.

  27. Karlos

    June 7, 2012 at 12:31 pm

    I don’t like Lillard. But those trades are sooo awful that I rather take him.

  28. Brandon

    June 7, 2012 at 12:34 pm

    I see that the hornets are willing to trade the 10th pick, ariza, and okafor in a package. Soon as I head this I thought of getting:
    Pau Gasol or
    Danny Granger or
    rudy gay and zach randolph (would have to add next years first round) or
    dorrell wright and david lee
    the jennings and lowry trades seem alright

    • Michael McNamara

      June 7, 2012 at 12:47 pm

      I think some of you misunderstand this “rumor”

      Essentially, what the misinformed guy from NBA.com was implying is Hornets would give away the tenth pick if someone took Okafor or Ariza. So….

      Okafor and #10


      2021 2nd round pick

      That is the rumor, NOT a package where we get a ton of value in return. Hornets fans need to understand, Okafor and Ariza have negative value- meaning that if they are a part of any deal, the Hornets will get less back than if they were not in the deal.

      • Brandon

        June 7, 2012 at 1:57 pm

        i see now. It’s more of a dumping contracts situation.

      • mazonmafia

        June 7, 2012 at 3:21 pm

        I just dont understand that. Maybe i’m missing something but why oh why would we do that?!? I understand doing that in years past because we were over the cap but next year we will have plenty of cap space!! And the year after is the final year of their contracts. There is no reason to ‘dump’ these players. Are we shooting for getting the #1 pick again next year?

        Okafer and ariza arent on 5yr deals. Its two year deals and yes they arent good contracts but they arent awful. So we lose are 10th pick and then have to spend that same 14mil we would pay okafer to sign who? Spencer hawes or Kaman? That doesnt make ANY sense. Why not draft some talent (when have we had better than the 10th pick in recent history?) in a deep draft and wait til 2014 when the hype of expiring contracts will provide much better trade value? We arent winning a championship next yr so no need to dump contracts and over spend this off-season. Thats what a year from right now is for.

        PLEASE let this be only a rumor!!!

      • Michael McNamara

        June 7, 2012 at 3:41 pm

        The logic is that if you dump Okafor and the pick, you spend that 15 million on a free agents (s). So, would you rather have Sullinger and Okafor or Illysova and Asik? That is the question

      • mazonmafia

        June 7, 2012 at 11:23 pm

        I would take sullinger (rather lillard) and okafer. And I dont know if we could sign both those players for $15mil. Besides the fact, just b/c we have the CAP space doesnt mean that we automatically aquire the FAs. And if we do, that means we are probably over paying for them.

        Asik cant make a free throw to save his life. Okafer is a much better defender that can move his feet although I like Asiks size and ability to finish at the rim. Illysova is legit but again, i think we would have to over pay to get him.

        The difference would be we would sign two guys to 8-9million for what, 4 years? That cripples any moves we could make to add a max contract player while okafer is off the books in two years. Besides, we could keep okafer and the pick and STILL have room to sign an asik if you really feel the need.

        Amnesty is always an option. Amnesty is there so that you dont have to trade a great pick in order to get rid of a bad contract. You just get rid of the contract, save the pick and sign your FA of choice.

  29. champsworld504

    June 7, 2012 at 1:16 pm

    Now if Doc Rivers wants to draft his son at #10 and is willing to give up Rondo then I’d jump on that ASAP! Take Okafor too and give us 20 and 21 too.

  30. Taquito

    June 7, 2012 at 2:54 pm

    Do not trade Ariza, hes one of the best wing defenders and can go off for 20points any given night, which is invaluable

  31. Jae504

    June 7, 2012 at 3:31 pm

    Don’t knock him because he went to a Small School..Maybe he just wasn’t on anyones radar..The only thing that bothers me is the numbers against the 2 best teams he played all year..Not paying attention to the Assist that much because I’m pretty sure he was required to score more on that team..Never seen him play and I’m a JJack supporter but I’m hearing too many Positive things about Lillard..But he has to impress Dell

  32. Ian H

    June 7, 2012 at 6:23 pm

    Just in my experience watching basketball those 6 foot 4 and under athletic volume scorers, score no matter where they play or the level of competition. They have scored at every level of their life and that doesn’t go away. Marcus Thornton did in JUCO, at LSU, and in the NBA on two different teams. It’s what they do. Especially if you hit over 40% of your 3pointers with 230 attempts. I don’t care if you are playing at the YMCA that is hard to do period. Yes he played at Weber State where he was the “guy” but why don’t we penalize guys who score at Kentucky and Baylor. I would imagine its easier to score when I have 4 McDonalds all-Americans on my team. This kid was the focus of teams entire game plan, and it’s not like he is some big guy so it would be much easier to take him out a game from a tactical standpoint but for the most part he has handled himself accordingly. I say draft Lillard.

  33. ImSorryMonty

    June 7, 2012 at 11:24 pm

    I hate to keep repeating this but Jarrett Jack is FAR more valuable on this team than people give him credit for. You need the type of guys that have the heart and the leadership skills this guy has. He is a recruiter. Guys know who he is. He’s respected. And he ain’t in that LBJ and co. bitch circle either. Mental toughness is bare minimum 25% of the game of basketball and he provides plenty of it.

    • Ian H

      June 8, 2012 at 5:33 am

      I understand why you feel a certain way about JJack, he handles himself like he is a 6 time allstar in the league but his game doesn’t come close to matching his swag. He is a C+ player that isn’t explosive or big enough to play the 2 and not fast or crafty enough to be a legitimate starting point guard. He doesn’t have one A level attribute to his game, at least Vasquez is 6 foot 6 and has much better court vision and willingness to pass. If JJack remained on the team I could handle that buy I wouldn’t be sad if he was traded either. Hornets had a much better winning % with him on the bench injured…period.

  34. Hollis21

    June 8, 2012 at 11:37 am

    This one for me is Lillard. I just really don’t see a realistic trade that is going to do more than get rid of Okafor or Ariza and I would honestly like to keep Ariza. So, in that regard this is one of the easy matchups for me. I’d accept all three of the proposed trades, but I just don’t see the other end accepting it.

    Lillard was the focus of his opponents. I actually watched 5-6 of his games this year. The fact is, he was the guy and the other team knew that. Yet, he went out and scored, alot. His assists numbers were lower because he didn’t have All-Americans on the floor with him and he was asked to score. The guy was doing his job on the court.

    As someone mentioned, volume scorers will typically just keep scoring. And our former guard Marcus Thorton was an example of that. I don’t want to be playing someone who has Lillard coming off the bench lighting it up. While we have a few overpaid free agents and a pick 10 years from now.

    Damian Lillard has my vote.

  35. Vigga Ray Valentine

    June 8, 2012 at 5:34 pm

    Arnett Moultrie or Royce White

  36. J

    June 9, 2012 at 5:48 pm

    One of the stats Jake alluded to is a pretty big mistake. Lillard was .54ppp as a defender in ISO possessions, not 1.09. That 1.09 was when his man took him of the dribble and pulled up for a jumper. That .54 is AMAZING and really backs up his potential as a defender. Now that number maybe more so than his 3 point shot or turnovers may be affected by the less athletic competition.

    Having said that, Lillard is the PERFECT player to put next to Gordon. Fantastic shooter, good one on one defender, ability to create his own shot. Putting him in the starting lineup with our current rotation gives us 5 plus defenders on the floor, which when coupled with Monty’s defensive scheme could make us really nasty. Plus for a team that has been short and unathletic in the past, it gives 3 guys with good length for their positions (Lillard, Ariza/Aminu and Davis). Not sure where the comparisons to Jennings come from. Lillard is bigger, a better shooter and much more efficient with the ball in terms of shots and turnovers.

  37. Joshua

    June 11, 2012 at 9:40 pm

    I love the Brandon Jennings trade, joining a slashing point guard with a pure scorer is genius. Mixing that with the amazing depth of our forwards and centers makes me drool.

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