Per Draft Express: Hornets Trade Okafor and Ariza for Rashard Lewis

Published: June 20, 2012

The last remaining Hornet from the Pre-Demps era and the first guy he acquired are gone. Rashard Lewis is soon to follow 

Jonathan Givony of Draft Express is reporting that the Hornets have finally unloaded Emeka Okafor and Trevor Ariza to the Washington Wizards for Rashard Lewis and the 46th pick in this year’s draft. The Hornets have been looking to dump Ariza and Okafor for some time now, and recently there has been talk of them attaching one or both of these bad contracts to the tenth pick in an effort to get rid of them. Thankfully, they simply traded them for one, shorter bad contract instead.

Rashard Lewis is scheduled to be paid 23.8 million this season, but only 13.7 million is guaranteed. The Hornets will likely pay only the guaranteed part, and let Lewis walk. In essence, this trade will free up about 7 million dollars in cap room this season and give the Hornets a 2nd round pick that can either be used as an asset in another deal or to select a foreign player that the Hornets can stash for a couple of years. The big savings in this deal comes next year, where it clears over 22 million dollars off the books for an off-season that will feature Chris Paul, Josh Smith, Paul Millsap, Dwight Howard, Serge Ibaka, James Harden and others as free agents.

The deal also opens the door for the Hornets to bring Chris Kaman back this summer or to select another big man with the tenth pick in the draft. As of right now, Jason Smith and Gustavo Ayon are the only big men under contract for next season. Obviously the Hornets will select Anthony Davis with the first pick, but that still leaves the door wide open for a starting caliber big man to be plucked out of free agency or targeted in the drafted.

Outside of Kaman, Omer Asik, JaVale McGee, Robin Lopez, Brook Lopez, Roy Hibbert, and Spencer Hawes are all free agents that the Hornets could target this summer. As for small forward, it seems as if the Hornets are willing to give Aminu a full year to show whether or not he is the guy that can hold down the position long-term. He is only 21 and showed signs of life late in the season. A full training camp with Williams and the staff could do him wonders.

The Hornets now have nobody remaining on the roster that Dell Demps inherited, as Okafor was the only hold over. Ironically, Ariza was the first player acquired by General Manager Dell Demps when he arrived. With this trade, the deck has been cleared and the Hornets move forward with young guys on cheap contracts, two top ten picks, and the ability to retain Eric Gordon. The foundation is in place and Dell has gotten into an unbelievably flexible position where he can go in any direction he chooses.

Can’t wait to see the next move.


  1. Jo D

    June 20, 2012 at 1:56 pm

    With the hornets planning to waive lewis we will only owe him 14 mil… About what mek made… SO essentially we cut the future years of both contracts and arizas contract this year…
    AND WE still have the amnesty option to use in the future should we choose to…

    • Michael McNamara

      June 20, 2012 at 2:05 pm

      Only guy Hornets can use amnesty on is Jarrett Jack, and they won’t do that. Basically, Hornets will never use this magic card given to them. They could have unloaded Ariza and amnestied Okafor and had the same room next year PLUS an extra 14 million this year. This trade just confirms the fact that Benson didn’t want to use the amnesty. We could have been much bigger players in FA this year if Benson gave the amnesty green light.

      And no- Hornets can not use amnesty on Lewis, as I have seen some people mention. Only a guy that was under contract, on your roster before the new CBA. So, Jack or nobody

      • Jo D

        June 20, 2012 at 2:11 pm

        That’s what I thought… I actually just asked that question in the rivers lillard debate….
        I think we would trade Jack before using amnesty on him

      • Ian H

        June 20, 2012 at 4:27 pm

        Was it more beneficial or cost effective to do it this way as compared to trading Ariza and using the amnesty on Okafor. Did the Hornets gain anything extra this way besides that 46th pick?

      • Jo D

        June 20, 2012 at 4:42 pm

        They gain some money this year and a ton of money next year to be used in the rebuild instead of having it dedicated to players who weren’t in. the future plans beyond their contracts…

        It may not look it now, but if we can land a star this year or next thru free agency… then we are real close to contending at the top of the west…
        It could possibly speed up the rebuild by a year…

      • Jo D

        June 20, 2012 at 4:44 pm

        If we were to amnesty mek, we would owe him for this year and next… This trade frees up all financial obligations to the players involved after this season…

      • SP

        June 20, 2012 at 7:42 pm

        I guess CP3’s coming back!

  2. Everett

    June 20, 2012 at 1:57 pm

    When I first saw the headline on ESPN, I thought we were going big and trading up to get Beal or Kidd Gilchrist. No dice.

    Still, congrats to Dell as well as to the Wizards. I lived in DC for a few years and the Wiz might actually be able to get into the playoffs this year with those 2 guys aboard.

  3. chunk

    June 20, 2012 at 1:59 pm

    i kno yall did a podcast today but another one would be great right now just saying.

    • Mickey Chatman

      June 20, 2012 at 2:02 pm

      I completely agree.

      • Michael McNamara

        June 20, 2012 at 2:06 pm

        Nothing to talk about here. We always speculated they would dump Ariza and amnesty Okafor next year. That is basically what they did, just in a different way

  4. Jo D

    June 20, 2012 at 2:00 pm

    Dell Demps makes another brilliant move to help our rebuild!
    the only thing that could have made this better was tagging on jack in this trade!

    • Tim

      June 20, 2012 at 4:05 pm

      Completely agree. Whomever is disliking your comment apparently didn’t suffer through watching J.J. blow balls consistently all year. The only other good thing that came out of last season besides these amazing draft pics….was his ability to pad his stats on an understaffed and undertalented team. We have a great future ahead of us, and there is no room for a shoot-first (Poorly) and pass second, selfish point guard. Any of the Rook PG’s at the #10 spot are a better option then Jack. Trade this guy asap.

      • Josh

        June 20, 2012 at 9:46 pm

        Jarrett Jack has an expiring $5 million deal. Why do y’all think he is part of our future? It is good to have him for a year to keep the team together and fill a void.

      • 504ever

        June 20, 2012 at 9:51 pm

        Jack still has value in this league, think D. Fisher, and $5M expiring contract. Also, when you dump Jack your back-up point guard is Dyson, and Dyson isn’t a back-up yet.

      • Mr. West

        June 20, 2012 at 11:51 pm

        Who exactly would you guys wanted Jack to have passed it to last year? He was shoot first because without his scoring we might not have cracked 80 points on a regular basis. Guy shot a reasonable percentage and averaged 6.5 assists… What more can he do? People are spoiled by Cp3.

  5. Mickey Chatman

    June 20, 2012 at 2:01 pm

    I say keep Lewis for this year, draft Rivers with the 10 pick and get a good center like Hibbert in free agency. we now have serious pieces to attract some good free agents. I feel like this organization is getting a new identity within days.

    Hibbert/J Smitty

    • Josh

      June 20, 2012 at 2:05 pm

      If we kept Lewis, we wouldn’t be able to sign any free agents. It’s a much better idea to buy him out.

    • Jo D

      June 20, 2012 at 2:08 pm

      Well multiple sites are reporting he will be waived…
      Soo thats prob in the bag…

      my gut tells me that the chances of taking a center at 10 just skyrocketed…
      But if we were to take rivers, Vazquez would start

      • Jo D

        June 20, 2012 at 2:12 pm

        Plus we still have jack 🙁

      • Mickey Chatman

        June 20, 2012 at 2:16 pm

        I gotta be honest……I like JJack but I don’t feel like he will be good for the growth of the team…..I say we should shop him too.

      • Drew

        June 20, 2012 at 2:27 pm

        If we take Leonard or another big man at 10 then that will allow Davis to make a slow transition to playing full speed. If we go Rivers, then Davis will need to jump in early. we need to go big at 10.

    • Mason Ginsberg

      June 20, 2012 at 2:19 pm

      You realize that Rivers is not and never will be a PG, right? He has no court vision and creates only for himself. He’s the opposite of a PG.

      • Jo D

        June 20, 2012 at 2:23 pm

        I think this is the first time I agree with mason…

      • Jo D

        June 20, 2012 at 2:33 pm

        Rivers is everything I hate about jack… the difference is jack irritates me for 10-20 possessions a game… Rivers would irritate me every second he plays…

      • Everett

        June 20, 2012 at 3:02 pm

        Another huge difference between Rivers and Jack is that Rivers actually has the skill and athleticism to justify his arrogance.

      • Zombian

        June 20, 2012 at 3:55 pm

        Respectfully, I disagree. I think maybe we’ve been spoiled by having the best pass first point guard in the game. Jack isn’t the player of the future, but he was the leader for our team last season and there’s no reason he can’t be the interim leader until Gordon and Davis prove themselves.
        Everyone complains that Jack took too many shots last season but go back and watch the games. Who would you rather have take the shots than him? He probably had the best offensive advantage in his match up. Those shots would be taken by someone and I’ll remind you that no one else on our team could score.
        Two years ago Jack led our bench and played a major role in crunch time. He is perfectly paid for his game and we’ve seen what happens when you have a team of only young players time after time. Its not pretty. Jack is okay with coming off the bench if need be, he understands and plays well with Monty. Jack is perfect where he is.

  6. nolahog

    June 20, 2012 at 2:17 pm

    Ariza was my favorite player. I will miss him terribly.

    • Taquito

      June 20, 2012 at 2:22 pm

      DWest and Ariza were my favorite, his defense will be missed, Aminu needs to step up

    • NoJoke

      June 23, 2012 at 2:07 pm

      My only problem with Ariza was shot selection.

  7. Michael McNamara

    June 20, 2012 at 2:21 pm

    Ideally, the Hornets go BPA at #10, get Gordon for less than the max, and just fill out the roster with one-year contracts. Enter next offseason with Vasquez, Gordon, Davis, 10th pick, 2013 pick, Smith, Ayon, and Henry or Aminu plus over 25 million in cap room.

    Be patient for one more year Dell. Be patient

    • Ian H

      June 20, 2012 at 4:32 pm

      Especially if that 2013 is another lottery pick that can be packaged with an asset to get another quasi Allstar or secure a top 3-8 pick next year.

    • SP

      June 20, 2012 at 8:35 pm

      What if Dell could somehow land Deron?

      Hard to say whether he’d be interested in playing with a rookie, but of all the teams I’m hearing DWill could sign a max deal with, this sounds just as appealing…

      Dallas has an ageing roster and it’s hard to say which way they will go next season, but signing with them could make for a pretty grim stretch of Deron’s twilight years.

      It also doesn’t seem that the stars will align for Deron and Dwight to land on the same team, and Brooklyn have absolutely nothing going for them aside from a much needed re-brand (which NO will probably do next year too)…

      Obviously depends on what we have to pay for EJ, but we could have the room and then if I’ve crunched the numbers correctly, another 10-15 to play with next season?

  8. NOLA_Fredo

    June 20, 2012 at 2:24 pm

    I never thought Benson would okay the amnesty. Paying off Okafor just to go away just isn’t the kind of business decision I think he would agree as smart. So this is a nice back-up plan.

    I doubt there’s much interest in Lewis’ contract, even as trade fodder.

    And any chance the Hornets could use the #46 pick + next year’s first to move up into latter part of first round and take Fournier?

    • Jo D

      June 20, 2012 at 2:27 pm

      I doubt we trade the 2nd and next years first for a late 1st…
      Maybe just next years first… but I doubt three hornets would do that… Not much of a talent drop off from 25 -46 in this years draft…

      • Jo D

        June 20, 2012 at 2:30 pm

        The Thunder have been rumored to be wanting to get rid of their first round pick because they don’t want to have anymore guaranteed contracts with Harden and Ibaka needing to be resigned soon…
        They may look to just sell their pick… Like the hornets did a couple years ago… thats your best bet

  9. Jo D

    June 20, 2012 at 2:24 pm

    Zeller and Terrence Jones look a lot more realistic now than they did an hour ago

    • NOH Domination

      June 20, 2012 at 5:14 pm


    • Mike W

      June 20, 2012 at 8:08 pm

      I’d like a higher risk higher return pick like Leonard. However, it would be fun to see Zeller for at least one reason, watching him and AD beat their men down the court for easy transition points.

      • Matt O

        June 21, 2012 at 1:30 am

        Zeller will be a bust. He can run yes, but his upside is minimal. Improvement wont be there. We are better of with Kwame Brown.

  10. kempleton

    June 20, 2012 at 2:33 pm

    WOW! Lewis with 22.7 million in the final season of his contract. We will have incredible flexibility next summer if we keep him.

    • kempleton

      June 20, 2012 at 5:37 pm

      So if we amnesty Lewis now, we will pay him 13.7 mil. This means creating 9 mil extra cap space for this year.

      If they were already thinking of amnestying Okafor, and they had no intentions to keep Ariza, we are in a much better situation now!!!

      Also, Ariza and Okafor had contracts for 2 more years and we could amnesty only one player. Now, both are gone, clearing 23 mil cap space that may be used by next summer. (if not used this summer)

      Next move? Trade Jack + pick #10 + pick #46. Move up in the draft to #5 or #6! Can Barnes or Robinson slip to #6? Would you get Drummond at #6 is he is available there?

      I expect other moves next Thursday! Wow!

      • lsutigers33

        June 20, 2012 at 7:46 pm

        Drummond has an outside chance of slipping to #6, but I doubt we have enough to package to get there.

        For all those JJ haters, we take a big risk at PG if we trade him. Not sold on Vasquez.

  11. Michael McNamara

    June 20, 2012 at 2:35 pm

    • coach44

      June 20, 2012 at 2:53 pm

      First off, I trust Dell implicitly and I can’t wait to see what he does next. What a change from cowering in the closet with the lights off when Bower was the GM. Michael, from 1-100, the chance of Paul returning.

  12. cloud520

    June 20, 2012 at 2:36 pm

    Sign Ramon Sessions.
    JJack to Denver for Wilson Chandler (Since we will need a 3)

    • Jo D

      June 20, 2012 at 2:59 pm

      The free agent class next year is superior… Chandler has a 5 year deal… Sessions wants a long term deal…
      Doesn’t make sense… We aren’t in win now mode… We want to rebuild

    • Everett

      June 20, 2012 at 3:11 pm

      I think Sessions is worth going after. If you can tie him up in a medium term deal for around $6 million a year (about what Kyle Lowry makes), I say take it. You don’t need a CP3-caliber point guard to win a title. CP3 and Deron Williams have been the 2 best PGs in the league for a while now and neither has made it to the Finals.

  13. Jo D

    June 20, 2012 at 2:39 pm

    If I did my math right… Which I may have messed up…
    Assuming we get gordon the max… fill out roster like michael said with one year contracts…
    We would have enough cap room for TWO max guys next year
    CP3 + D12???
    Many others are possibilities too

    • Jo D

      June 20, 2012 at 2:43 pm

      Speculation only

      T jones

      I think I need to change my underpants!!

      • NoJoke

        June 23, 2012 at 2:10 pm

        A man can dream.

    • Michael McNamara

      June 20, 2012 at 3:22 pm

      No, we couldn’t offer max deals to both CP3 and Dwight. One or the other. If we dont bring back Vasquez, Aminu, and Henry- we can get 30 mil under cap, assuming Gordon signs a max. That is enough to give max deals to players with less than 6 years experience like Harden and Ibak, but not Dwight and CP3- they would start at close to 19 a piece

      • Jo D

        June 20, 2012 at 3:44 pm

        Gotcha… The experience part slipped my mind…
        However, how did guys like Tyson, Amare, Wade, Bosh, and james sign max contracts after 6 years while starting around the 13 14 mark??

      • Jason Calmes

        June 20, 2012 at 3:46 pm

        They aren’t max guys, James and Bosh and Wade

        They could have been, but they aren’t. Wade makes less because he didn’t have to move.

        I think it’s 7 years to get the larger percentage, and now there are the options to get larger contracts earlier.

      • Jo D

        June 20, 2012 at 3:57 pm

        Still doesn’t explain tyson or amare getting the max

      • Jason Calmes

        June 20, 2012 at 4:02 pm

        It does. Max changes based on years in the NBA. Tyson made $13m this year which isn’t the max. Carmelo and Amare have the max for their tenures.

  14. Eli

    June 20, 2012 at 2:55 pm

    I didnt like the trade too much at first, but the more I look at it, the more I like it. I thought we couldve gotten a better deal for mek and ariza, but this deal makes a lot of sense. We’ll have a lot of cap room, and we should have a decent pick in next year’s draft, so the future looks brighter than ever!

  15. GecGreek

    June 20, 2012 at 2:58 pm

    we need someone at SF. Will Demps do a trade up/down?

    • lsutigers33

      June 20, 2012 at 7:59 pm

      I would love to see a vet like G Hill come in and give some help to Aminu at SF.

  16. tmb1978

    June 20, 2012 at 3:05 pm

    I like the trade, but I would have liked to amnesty Okafor. Oh well, the rebuilding has officially begun. We’ll have one all-star player, maybe two, and be able to add a SF via free agency. I would stand pat with the guards we have now and one we’ll pick up at #10. No sense eating up cap space with unwanted players.

  17. Chuck

    June 20, 2012 at 3:08 pm

    This is a stone cold coup. So glad I’m not a wizards fan right now

    • Jason Calmes

      June 20, 2012 at 3:29 pm

      Here’s the gist of what I was told: The Wizards must be in win-now mode (which I interpret as make the playoffs), and these two play well enough and limit salary growth long term.

      • Chuck

        June 20, 2012 at 3:36 pm

        I…I guess so. Can Okafor and Nene play together? Neither of them has any moves outside of 7 feet, do they? And who on that team is going to score? Unless Bradley Beal is the next Ray Allen right away, I still don’t think they have a playoff team…

      • Jason Calmes

        June 20, 2012 at 3:40 pm

        I raise my eyebrow. That’s just the message, paraphrased.

        To me, it may be a precursor to more moves. I’m struggling. Maybe time will show us the why.

    • otherMark

      June 21, 2012 at 8:16 am

      It’s spelled “stone cold soup,” and in summertime, nothing is more delicious! Also, from the wizards perspective, they turned about 50% of a player into two actual basketball players.

  18. Andrew Denenea

    June 20, 2012 at 3:13 pm

    One question who is the team leader now? Must fall on our best player if he returns EG Most of these guys under contract could still be in college. We almost have to bring a veteran back(kaman/landry). I kinda wanna take a run at Jeff Green but not to much money cuz of the heart surgery. Landry could be our sixth man of the year…

    • Matt O

      June 21, 2012 at 1:36 am

      Jeff Green would be solid at the 3.
      Jack – Gordon – Green – Davis – Kaman/Myers Leonard?

  19. Nithenz

    June 20, 2012 at 3:15 pm

    not sure if im happy or not…. time will tell. Getting this flexible will be great for next year and beyond ( If we can attract good FA) but losing Ariza is something i cant understand. He was the right price to me if you asked, and we cant have a roster full of rookie contract guys, you also need veteran showing the way and Ariza as a young veteran was perfect for that (won championship, plays defence, 26 years old). Who is going to show the work ethic now? Rashard “give me zillions of dollars to sit at the end of the bench” Lewis… good he wont be around past July…

  20. Mason Ginsberg

    June 20, 2012 at 3:18 pm

    This trade could keep other teams from throwing offers at Gordon. With so much cap space, the rest of the NBA may assume that the Hornets are willing to match any offer, making it a poor idea to tie up cap space in a player that they probably won’t get while the best free agent alternatives are snatched up by other teams. It will be very interesting to see how it all plays out, but ultimately, this trade likely increased the odds of Gordon remaining a Hornet.

    • Hollis21

      June 20, 2012 at 3:35 pm

      I hadn’t thought about it in that perspective. That is a great point that can’t be ignored. Obviously, offers will still come his way, but some teams may back away so they don’t get tied up waiting for his decision and miss out on other good FA’s.

      • Mike W

        June 20, 2012 at 8:17 pm

        Under the new CBA I believe NO has only 3 days to match any offer made to Gordon. Under the old CBA it was 7 days. So, I think it’s more likely that RFAs like Gordon will receive attractive offers. And, Gordon’a agent could make it very clear to NO that he wants to play elsewhere and do what you can to get something in return. If not, he plays out the final year of his contract. But, who would want to watch that soap opera? We’ve already seen it with Carmelo and CP III and Dwight.

      • da ThRONe

        June 20, 2012 at 9:01 pm

        I would also like to add there’s not a lot of quality FA’s this offseason. So Gordon will get a big offer. If for no other reason but to force us to match it.

    • Matt O

      June 21, 2012 at 1:39 am

      …. at a lower than max price? I think 12mil per year is about as high as I would go for an often injured player with star potential!

  21. Hollis21

    June 20, 2012 at 3:32 pm

    I got a text alert about the deal. I felt it was decent. Nothing groundbreaking, but it didn’t need to be, nor was it expected to be. I like the money this saves for this year and next year. Just have to hope our free agency class isn’t a Drew Gooden/John Salmons combo (Bucks) or Ben Gordon/Charlie Villanueva combo (Pistons) because it’s going to be detrimental. I feel Dell is too smart for that and I trust that he will be a strong player in the next couple offseasons.

    Having money for next year’s loaded class, plus Davis, Gordon (hopefully), pick 10, and some decent role players, could be the key. If we added one of the top names with the core group, had another good draft selection in 2013, look out. The pieces are falling in place. We just have to hope to stay injury-free (not easy for the Hornets, it seems) and hopefully avoid any major bust (easier said than done).

    It’s an exciting time to be a Hornets fan. No doubt about it. Got an owner. Great coach in Monty. A GM I trust in Dell. Potential franchise changer in Davis. Draft night needs to hurry up!

    • NO-CHI

      June 21, 2012 at 10:50 pm

      I watched 3 of those guys (not Villanueva) in Chicago. They were pretty good… whenever Kirk Hinrich or Derrick Rose were on the floor. They need a decent point guard to regulate their offense, (otherwise, they just heave shots up) for them, something clearly lacking both Detroit and Milwaukee. (Brandon Jennings has fallen off the map, it seems like.) I wouldn’t mind getting Salmons or Ben Gordon (at the right price) if only to relieve pressure off of Jack, Gordon, and Anthony Davis.

      Both can create offense, and could work in a 3-Guard lineup, and last I checked, are unstoppable on offense when their shots are falling. (I mean, really unstoppable.) I wouldn’t mind seeing another outside shooter besides Marco, (who really struggled when he was the only outside guy, unlike either Gordon or Salmons do.)

      (Side Note: Both have to buy into the system, or they’re useless.)

  22. Spencer

    June 20, 2012 at 3:39 pm

    I had an argument the other day with one of my friends who loved Trevor Ariza and was arguing that the Hornets can’t lose him. (Granted he wasn’t thinking of the financial situation and only of his defensive presence. This is also coming from the same guy who argued that maybe we shouldn’t take Davis #1. Needless to say, I won that argument) I for one am so glad to see ourselves ridden of these two burdens, and I am in 100% rebuild mode now. I think our chances of drafting Zeller at 10 just went through the roof too with Okafor officially leaving. Especially since none of those veteran guys available look very appealing except Roy Hibbert, but I thought it was pretty certain that Indiana was trying to keep him. Am I wrong?

  23. Zombian

    June 20, 2012 at 4:04 pm

    Who is this Eric Gordon guy everyone’s talking about?
    Dell did this so he can go max on Belli.

    • Zombian

      June 20, 2012 at 4:04 pm

      Oh and as for the Wizards? smh

  24. Hollis21

    June 20, 2012 at 4:10 pm

    Here’s another question. I haven’t paid too close attention to 2nd Round mocks assuming our night would end in the first round. Who are some guys available that you would like? Kris Joseph, Kevin Jones, JaMychal Green? Take Furkan Aldemir and wait a year? What you guys thinking?

    • Jo D

      June 20, 2012 at 4:17 pm

      Scott Machado..
      Tomas Satoransky…

      • Hollis21

        June 20, 2012 at 7:18 pm

        If Scott Machado is there at 46. I would be pretty excited for that! I viewed him as a guy who would go at the top of the 2nd. But, man. If he fell, that would be great. Especially if pick 10 wasn’t Marshall or Lillard and therefore it’d work out.

        I need this draft to hurry up and get here!

    • NOH Domination

      June 20, 2012 at 5:19 pm

      Robbie Hummel!

  25. cp3pdx

    June 20, 2012 at 4:18 pm

    I will never forget the impact Trevor Ariza made on our defense. Watching him battle the Kobes and the Pierces one-on-one (after 2 years of watching James Posey’s Corpse attempt the same) as our top perimeter defender was one of my favorite memories of the past 2 years. It is gonna take some BIG TIME growth from Aminu to fill those shoes this year.

    • Thomas

      June 20, 2012 at 5:22 pm

      To me… it’s easy to forget because of his insane ill-advised ball-shooting habits…

  26. Aaron

    June 20, 2012 at 4:45 pm

    Good deal for both teams, way better for the Hornets. Hornets re-sign Gordon and Kaman, and all of a sudden the rotation is Vasquez, Gordon, Aminu, Davis and Kaman with a decent bench and the #10 pick, so that’s just genius.

    However, people are discounting the Wizards’ end of it. Both guys become free agents when Wall, Booker and Seraphin are in their qualifying offer year, and they got two professional basketball players for one expiring contract. That’s a good deal from where I’m sitting; they have a puncher’s chance at the 8 spot and a correctly oriented cap situation.

    • VeezyV

      June 20, 2012 at 5:12 pm

      We don’t need Kaman

  27. Jo D

    June 20, 2012 at 4:47 pm

    Fun Fact
    Hornets Asst GM is the brother of Wiz Director of Player Personnel..


  28. Marco Rosamano

    June 20, 2012 at 5:17 pm

    I like Kostas Papanikolaou with the 46th pick. Looking at his stats he’d make a good battle with Henry for the SF spot.

  29. Ian H

    June 20, 2012 at 5:18 pm

    I haven’t heard it discussed or mentioned but Chris Broussard wrote today that Deron Williams could be on Hornets radar. Do we have a legitimate shot at him? I would love CP3 back but him and Gordon are a very undersized backcourt but Gordon and D-Will not so much. I would absolutely love that signing and he would bring physicality and enhance AD’s game in pick and roll tremendously.

    • NOH Domination

      June 20, 2012 at 5:26 pm

      How odd would it feel to have him after years of everyone in New Orleans hating him due to the Chris Paul rivalry and how much he destroyed CP everytime they played?

      • Ian H

        June 20, 2012 at 6:23 pm

        Everytime they played!!!! He owned Chris. I don’t think the Hornets would make a run at him but I wouldn’t mind seeing him in a Hornets uniform.

  30. CharmedHive

    June 20, 2012 at 5:21 pm

    Ok..question. Why is everyone suggesting that we should resign kaman, when he was about to get traded halfway through the season because he wanted out. Who says he would want to resign here? Sorry, just confused. I don’t want any players on our team that don’t want to be here. Anyways, I like this trade and am soo excited for draft night!!

    • Thomas

      June 20, 2012 at 5:24 pm

      Who said he wanted out? As far as I can tell, the Hornets were trying to trade him because we wanted another young player with the draft pick. Kaman probably understands this as do most old vet professional athletes. Also, he seems to be enjoying Louisiana for all the seafood and hunting.

      • Tim

        June 20, 2012 at 5:29 pm

        Kaman likes it here. And as Thomas said, he was just rolling with the punches. He’s a really smart dude and understands its also a business. Follow him on Twitter…he’s effin hilarious. But yeah…I hope we keep him. He’s good.

    • Zombian

      June 20, 2012 at 5:47 pm

      Echoing what Thomas and Tim said, he was a big potential trade piece for a team getting ready to make a deep playoff run. He is a 7 ft former all star and was on an expiring contract.
      Kaman has gone above what most players have to say about how they like where they are and seems to really enjoy NOLA.
      That said I don’t know how I feel about us signing him.

      • Thomas

        June 20, 2012 at 6:03 pm

        agreed. Wouldn’t mind keeping him. Wouldn’t mind seeing him go.

      • Tim

        June 20, 2012 at 6:12 pm

        Dudes…rewind and review. Whether or not you think that we totally pulled an obvious tank job, or just a slight one by benching players etc. I think we can all agree that we did to a certain extent. That said, games where Kaman started, he’d have like 10 points and 5 rebounds towards the end of the 1st quarter before we benched him. Had we given Kaman full-on starter minutes, he was easily a 20 pt, 15 board center. Add A.D. to the mix and it’s gonna get ugly under our basket. I’d very much like to see that.

    • Zombian

      June 20, 2012 at 6:44 pm

      For some reason I can’t respond to Tim’s post but I’ll say this about Kaman
      A- dude’s USG% went way up. We let him go to work offensively because we wanted to trade him and had no one else scoring aside from jack. nad
      B- He’s not a great defender.
      C- Throughout the year his shots kept getting further and further from the basket. That’s not the kind of thing I like from my 7ft player.
      All that said I trust Dell and Monty and assume that he likes the fit better for Kaman and wants him back (cause I don’t see who else we’re looking at for big man depth)

    • Josh

      June 20, 2012 at 9:57 pm

      “Who says he would want to resign here?”

      Chris Kaman said he wouldn’t mind signing here (not that I want him).

  31. da ThRONe

    June 20, 2012 at 5:47 pm

    I think the significance of this trade is being overblown. Good trade for us no doubt though.

    • Jason Calmes

      June 20, 2012 at 7:49 pm

      It’s overblown. I’m still trying to work out the costs and benefits.

      I will tell you one benefit. We’re making trades right out of the gate, and the message should be that Dell has a mandate and should be taken seriously at the bargaining table. Not seriously as in “Check your wallet and your socks,” but as in he is as empowered as any other GM, maybe more.

      There’s a PR side, and I think that is clearly a win for us independent of the finances and on-the-court evaluation.

  32. Jo D

    June 20, 2012 at 5:59 pm

    I think the 10th pick tourney should be re done… As the immediate needs have changed now that 2 projected starters have been shipped out

    • Josh

      June 20, 2012 at 10:00 pm

      Who cares about needs? That is what free agency is for. We can just sign minimum players on 1-year contracts.

  33. Jae504

    June 20, 2012 at 6:06 pm

    Deron Williams..The Grass is Very Green over here!

  34. nolahog

    June 20, 2012 at 6:09 pm

    What’s everybody’s favorite Okafor and Ariza moments during their time with the Hornets?

    For Ariza, I’d say the three he hit against Miami at home last year during our winning streak at the first of the year.

    For Okafor, I’d have to say the screen he set on Gerald Wallace with the Blazers last year. My girlfriend and I were at that game, and she still talks about that play to this day.

    • Chuck

      June 20, 2012 at 6:16 pm

      Marry her

    • Tim

      June 20, 2012 at 6:26 pm

      • Zombian

        June 20, 2012 at 6:40 pm

        I will always remember that play. Great celebration Aaron Gray. Good Job, Good effort.

      • StefanC

        June 20, 2012 at 6:53 pm

        Oh and this clutch block:

    • Jason Calmes

      June 20, 2012 at 7:41 pm

      I can see why . . . and agree with Chuck!

    • NoJoke

      June 23, 2012 at 2:24 pm

      I remember that Ariza three……Good times.

  35. Jae504

    June 20, 2012 at 6:34 pm

    And all the Hate for JJack is absurd

    • ImSorryMonty

      June 20, 2012 at 8:34 pm

      Concur, it is quite illogical and unreal. 6-7mil for a 18-19 PER PG that players love playing with, is great in the community, and is the antithesis of all that is wrong in the super-team era? Comeon man! Can we see what the guy can do with real talent around him before burning him at the stake? You guys drive me up the damn wall sometimes.

      • kempleton

        June 21, 2012 at 10:31 am

        Why do you guys think that we hate Jack when we put his name into a potential trade? I personally do not hate Jack. On the contrary, I like him! But I like the Hornets more!

        JJ is 30 now, He is a professional player and he may play for us or Toronto or Portland or another team. JJ is on the last year of his contract and I really do not expect us to have the cap space to extend him a long-term contract next summer. This means you either let him go, or you have to use JJ in a trade scenario to improve roster. (i.e. moving from #10 in this years draft to #6?) If Hornets are going to be a better team in the expense of Jarrett Jack. Sorry, JJ. I feel you, wish you the best, good luck, bye…!

        And with the current roster, it seems like the only way in moving up in the draft is to trade jack with other picks.

        I also do not hate Ariza or Okafor. However, Hornets is trying to rebuild the team around Anthony Davis and possibly Eric Gordon and there are reasons behind yesterday’s trade, like trying to add another all-star player within a year or so!

        Maybe JJ will stay and bring a heck of a performance to the court every night because he is on contract year. I will be very happy to watch that.

        Maybe JJ will leave and we will be watching a potential all-star player that we drafted. I will be happy with that too.

        In summary, I do not hate Jarrett Jack, I love Hornets!

  36. ImSorryMonty

    June 20, 2012 at 8:00 pm

    Ya’ll do realize we basically used a “double/super” amnesty that basically allowed us to amnesty 2 very mediocre, 1 or 2 dimensional players, for 1/3 the cost right? Oh, and we got a 2nd round pick for our troubles.

    If you don’t absolutely love this trade I question your knowledge of basketball. All of a sudden, D-Will’s name is being thrown around people! Is it likely? Hell nah but we sure as hell weren’t gonna get in that number at all before.

    Put it this way. Okafor and Ariza make an estimated 43 million over next 2 years. Let’s subtract the 13 mill for Rashard.

    Okafor 2 yrs/18 mill
    Ariza 2 yrs/12 mill

    You signing EITHER of those two deals in the offseason? Me? Again, HELL NO. Aminu is literally Ariza with upside. Don’t even get me started on Okafor. I for one am beyond thrilled that I’m never going to have to watch a weak-ass, directly under the rim, blockable, layup, Okafor putback ever again in my flipping Hornets fan career.

    Also, my CP3 watch percentage just went from 20% to 40%. Now we have cap room to add CP AND another star? GTFO! Just GTFO!

    • ImSorryMonty

      June 20, 2012 at 8:03 pm

      Or how’s this? “D-Will. Why don’t you talk to your boy Dwight Howard before you accept a Lakers/Mavs deal. Tell him he’s got a spot waiting for him next to you, Gordon, Rivers, and Anthony Davis. Whatcha think?” Tell me that under that circumstance, those 2 wouldn’t have to think LONG and HARD about that unholy quintumvirate.

    • Michael McNamara

      June 20, 2012 at 8:14 pm

      I think every single person who has read this website, listened to our podcasts, etc. knew that Okafor and Ariza were gone after this year, but my point is that this was not the only way the exact same thing could have been done. In fact, for months- and in my CP3 piece, I have been promoting the idea of trading Ariza for a late first/early second rounder, then amnestying Okafor next summer.

      That gives us the EXACT same cap room next summer as this trade does. It also gives us a year with Okafor, a professional vet who is a good role model for our young vets. And the dead money is actually less in my scenario. The Hornets are going to eat Lewis’s 14 million this year. If they amnesty Okafor next year, they eat his salary MINUS the claim put in on him. Obviously, if one team is willing to pay him 14 million next year, some team would have put in a claim for a few million- let’s say 5.

      So, exact same cap room following year, 5 million dollars less dead money, and a year of Okafor. It’s not a bad trade AT ALL, but let’s not act like this is the only way the Hornets could have gotten to the exact same place.

      • ImSorryMonty

        June 20, 2012 at 8:21 pm

        Yes but you are also crowding a frontcourt and creating further controversy with dead weight essentially. I would rather watch Smith/Ayon/Davis/? rotation continue to improve than watch Okafor continue to decline.

        Further, I don’t think it’s unrealistic to assume the Hornets are higher on Aminu than they are on Ariza period. Do you REALLY believe MM that someone would give us a late 1st, early second for Ariza? Even if you did, that’s essentially close to what this trade got us back for Ariza (a mid 2nd), which in itself is a minor miracle. We would have traded Ariza away for a Trade Exception last year at the deadline and you know that’s true. No one wants a 1 dimensional player that can’t shoot on their wings. Ariza= Thabo with an even crappier jumpshot and less athletic game. We essentially amnestied Okafor a year earlier than expected and got your coveted draft pick for Ariza. And let’s please stop assuming this nonsense that people would jump in line to get in a bidding war over Okafor. Give me one example of an amnestied player getting a bid even close to his real value.

      • Chuck

        June 20, 2012 at 8:31 pm

        Yeah I’m operating under the assumption Dell couldn’t trade them for picks. There have been rumors out there since the draft about him trying to unload them for late firsts/early seconds and nothing happened. Since he couldn’t do that, I think this is a great second option

      • ImSorryMonty

        June 20, 2012 at 8:31 pm

        And as far as your trade grade goes, that is INCREDIBLY flawed logic. By your argument, the only way we can get a B or better was to get good-great talent in return. What alternate reality are yall living in that allows you to trade 2 overpaid players for good-great talent?

      • Michael McNamara

        June 20, 2012 at 8:37 pm

        That’s fine. Like I said, I am fine with the trade. I just think people are more excited than I am because it was unexpected to them. I fully expected Oak and Ariza gone by next summer- so to me, it’s like “Yeah, and ?”

        Dell just did the same thing in a different way. It’s all good. Now, let’s see how he uses this flexibility. If he throws a max deal at Javale McGee this summer, I won’t be a fan. But if he is patient, I think he could build something special

      • Michael McNamara

        June 20, 2012 at 8:39 pm

        Oh, and the immortal Travis Outlaw got a 3 year, 12 million dollar bid on amnesty waivers. Okafor would have gotten at least 1 yr 5 million as evidenced by the fact that at least one team (Washington) was willing to give him 1 year 14.5 million

      • Ian H

        June 20, 2012 at 9:53 pm

        So if you were Dell what is your next play MM? Do you draft at #10 or do you move it for a vet in last year of his deal to continue loading up for next year? Or do you make a legit run at D-Will or package J-Jack and #10 for Kyle Lowry or to move up to #7 or #8 to draft Lillard if you know he is “your guy” and go all the way young with the goal of possibly being great in 2/3 years?

      • Jo D

        June 20, 2012 at 9:55 pm

        I too have been expecting both players to vacate the premises…
        My excitement is purely from the action of it getting done…
        Anytime talk turns to action I get excited…

      • Matt O

        June 21, 2012 at 1:55 am

        Love the idea of Jack & #10 for Lowry.
        Rockets can then package #10, #14 and #16 to move up to where they wanted.

    • Zombian

      June 21, 2012 at 5:45 pm

      Oakafor was a disappointment but I liked him. He played hard and gave a lot for our team. If it weren’t for that albatross of a contract I would have loved to see him stick around. And as for Ariza, that three he hit late in the game against the Heat when we went on that 8-0 start was one of my favorite moments as a Hornets fan. He was awesome to watch. His contract wasn’t near as bad but I can understand how he doesn’t fit on this team anymore. It’ll be sad to see both of them walk out that door and I hope they get some cheers when they come back in the building. Besides that, they’re going to the Wizards. I kind of feel sorry for them.

  37. Chuck

    June 20, 2012 at 8:31 pm

    Correction: since the trade deadline, not the draft

  38. mojart

    June 20, 2012 at 9:26 pm

    draft machado at 46 or satoransky if still available….draft drummond at ten if he is still der….i think ad,robinson,mkg,beal,barnes are the top 5…portland they like lillard a lot….GS wil go SF,TOR they have valanciunas coming so they wil go SG or SF hir….the pistons are the only threat to select drummond at 9….hope they go henson and snatch drummond at 10…..just hoping

    • jmbell

      June 20, 2012 at 9:48 pm

      With Johnny Flynn, and no decent center, I just can’t see them picking anyone other than Drummond if he’s still there.

  39. Mike Wr

    June 20, 2012 at 9:59 pm

    For what it’s worth the ESPN trade machine projects the trade to add 3 wins to WASH and 4 losses to NO. Obviously, it doesn’t account for the value of shedding or taking on new contracts.

  40. ImSorryMonty

    June 20, 2012 at 11:16 pm

    I know everyone is expecting a foreign player at 46 but here are 3 guys I would consider at 46 (2 of them would have to drop on most boards) with their 10 counterparts.

    1) Drew Gordon (PF New Mexico)/ Rivers or Lillard
    2) Jae Crowder (SF Marquette)/ Rivers/Lillard/Leonard/Zeller
    3) Tu Holloway (PG Xavier)/ Leonard/Zeller

    The latter two are proven scorers that could prove instant scoring off the bench. Crowder and Rivers would just be sick. The former I just fell in love with late in the season. Gordon is a winner, a worker, and one slick skilled mofo for how tall he is. He’s only 239 lbs. but his body looked NBA ready to me.

    Projects are ok but those are the type of proven winners in college that could find a niche as a solid rotation player in the pros in the mold of a Michael Redd.

    I am not overly infatuated with trying to chase after the next Nowitzki or Ginobili but I do trust Dell and his out-of-country scouting.

  41. Josh

    June 20, 2012 at 11:50 pm

    Great trade for the Hornets.

    • Josh

      June 21, 2012 at 9:55 am

      Didn’t mean to ping back.

  42. Pingback: Tenth Pick Tournament Semi-Finals: Rivers vs. Lillard Counterpoints | New Orleans Hornets |

  43. Christian

    June 21, 2012 at 9:01 am

    Outside of Kaman, Omer Asik, JaVale McGee, Robin Lopez, Brook Lopez, Roy Hibbert, and Spencer Hawes. We need to go after Brook Lopez or Roy Hibbert. Hibbert is a beast and will continue to improve.

  44. Brazilian Hornet

    June 21, 2012 at 11:27 am


    CP3, see you next season!

  45. Matt O

    June 21, 2012 at 8:27 pm

    Eric Gordon is the key. A team with cap space is going to take a chance and offer him very close to the max. I dont think he is work more than $11m per season.
    If the Pacers were to offer $12m + would Hornets fans be happy with a Gordon for Granger trade? We can then look at drafting #1 – Davis, #10 – Rivers/Lamb, #46 – Miles Plumlee. I think this satisfies all our needs and next season we can make a serious run a Josh Smith and CP3…

  46. NO-CHI

    June 21, 2012 at 10:57 pm

    Now that the Hornets have all this cap room and roster space, I say they go after Kirk Hinrich. Guy is a combo guard, defensive specialist that can guard 3 positions, and is used to coming off the bench even after starting for like 6 years. (He did it with Derrick Rose in Chicago.) He can shoot the outside guard. Think of him as like Jarrett Jack but with Ariza’s defensive passion.

  47. Pingback: Season in Review: Robin Lopez | New Orleans Hornets |

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