Off-Season Targets: Guards

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Published: July 1, 2012

Eric Gordon is a restricted free agent, but who else will the Hornets target?

Free agency has been open for less than 24 hours and already rumors and names are flying all over the place. Today we’re going a little more in depth on the available guards. Armed with plenty of cap space, expect the Hornets to pursue a guard (other than Eric Gordon). Here are some of the names you’ll be hearing about.

Free Agents

 

Eric Gordon, New Orleans Hornets, SG, Restricted, 20.6 ppg, 3.4 apg, 2.8 rpg, 45.0 FG%, 25.0 3FG%

Since free agency has opened, it seems every team has expressed interest in Gordon. However, noise around the league is pointing to the Hornets matching any offer he receives. This means that Gordon will most likely command a max contract of 5 years for 74.3 million.

The biggest issue seems to be whether or not Gordon, and his injury history, is worth a max level deal. But given all the interest in him throughout the league, it seems as if this is a non-issue. And given all the other options (the Pacers, Rockets, Nets, Suns, Trailblazers), the Hornets seem to be the most attractive team.

2. Goran Dragic, Houston Rockets, PG, Unrestricted, 11.7 ppg, 5.3 apg, 2.5 rpg, 46.2 FG%, 33.7 3FG%

Ryan and I have covered Dragic in greater detail previously. Dragic was one of the players that the Hornets acquired in the vetoed Chris Paul/Lakers trade, so it’s clear Dell Demps likes him. Dragic stepped into the starting spot for Houston when Kyle Lowry went down with an injury and played lights out. As a starter he averaged 18 points and 8.4 assists per game. Dragic is also a slightly above average defender and has held opposing point guards to a PER of 12.7 according to 82games.com. It seems like the Rockets want to keep him, but if that fails there will be plenty of suitors–expect the Hornets to be one of them.

3. Nick Young, Los Angeles Clippers, SG, Unrestricted, 16.6 ppg, 0.9 apg, 2.1 rpg, 40.3 FG%, 36.5 3FG%

At first Young seems kind of redundant with Austin Rivers on the team. But with the news that Demps has inquired about the former Clipper, let us at least consider the possibility.

With the idea of Gordon and Rivers sharing the same backcourt, the Hornets seem to be of the thinking that they do not need a traditional point guard running the offense. If that is the case, and Rivers is to come off the bench, then I could see a starting backcourt of Gordon and Young. It’s not my ideal backcourt, but the Hornets could do worse if they get Young at the right (read: cheap) price. He can also lead the 2nd unit while Rivers adjusts to the NBA.

Young is a scorer and has shown the ability to attack the rim. He is also a career 37.8% shooter from deep which should help space the floor for Gordon and Anthony Davis.  Defensively he needs some work but certainly has the size (6-foot 6) and athleticism to be successful. He is also often inconsistent. Working within Monty Williams’ system should help fix both, but there will still be times where he can hurt the team.

4. OJ Mayo, Memphis Grizzlies, SG, Unresitricted, 12.6 ppg, 2.6 apg, 3.2 rpg, 40.8 FG%, 36.4 3FG%

In the event that Gordon leaves, it’s very possible that the Hornets make a run at Mayo. The former USC guard was one of the top sixth men in the NBA this past season. At times he can be a bit of a head case, but it should be nothing that Monty’s discipline couldn’t fix.

5. Marco Belinelli, New Orleans Hornets, SG, Unresitricted, 11.8 ppg, 1.5 apg, 2.6 rpg, 41.7 FG%, 37.7 3FG%

Belinelli has been a bit of a polarizing figure for Hornets’ fans. There are games when he is on fire from deep and other games where you forget he played. Monty is very high on him so don’t be shocked to see him in a Hornets uniform next season.

Others:

 

Deron Williams New Jersey Nets, Lou Williams Philadelphia 76ers

I know it’s fun, but try not to think about these three. While it would make sense for Deron Williams to come to the bayou to lead the Hornets’ young core, it’s just not happening. For the other Williams, I just see him commanding too much money on the market for the Hornets’ liking–especially since he would be taking away minutes from Rivers.

Trade Targets

 

As Michael pointed out previously, the Hornets have very few assets they can use to trade for a guard (unless there is a sign and trade with Gordon). Given that they have plenty of options already on the team, I doubt the Hornets make a run at anyone in particular. But, Dell Demps has shocked us before, so expect to hear about both Kyle Lowry and Brandon Jennings as potential targets.

Amnesty Candidates

 

The Raptors are trying to get someone to take Jose Calderon’s expiring contract off their hands, but, in case they are unable to find a trade, they may be forced to use the amnesty clause on him. If that is the case, the Hornets would be able to put a claim on him for as little as the league minimum. Calderon would not be the long term solution at point guard, but he would be more than serviceable. An excellent distributor, Calderon averaged 8.8 assists per game last season. For the right price, he would be a great compliment to this Hornets’ team.

Previous Off-Season Targets: Centers

Coming up next: Forwards

25 comments
Marco Rosamano
Marco Rosamano

What's your take on the Nets Hawk deal? From a layman's perspective, the Nets must be out of their minds. Giving up all that talent to take Joe Johnson and his enormous salary, and the Nets is Dwight's preferred destination. This would seem to make that impossible. I just can't fathom the deal.

JP
JP

I am sooooooooooo excited for the future !!!!! So many young talented players like Ayon on top of the studs from the draft and i know we all heard Skip Bayless say 3 years and we will be the next OKC competing for the Championship with one of the best front offices in basketball

mojart
mojart

cp3 decline the clippers extension today.....hope he want a reunion and go back to big easy....as far as FA goes...javale mcgee and nic batum are my only target if im dell....now if EG really wants out of NOLA...i wil call the pacers and try to do a sign and trade with hibbert... i don't know why is EG interviewing to other teams!

rjktan
rjktan

Asking price for Batum is wayyyyyy tooo high. I would rather roll a full pre season of Aminu and Henry with Monty than overpay for Batum. If Monty is sure he can teach McGee then I am all for it, but again his not max worthy.

BDavis
BDavis

Like they said, he's still looking at the Knicks..LOL! Nah, CP3 is just waiting to sign later with the Clips for more money is all.

jose walter gonzalez
jose walter gonzalez

I wish you effin wankers would stop knockin on Belinelli...the man plays hard every night and will occasionally hit the big timely shot...he's a team player and not concerned with his stats...he brings a certain element to this team that is hard to quantify... and B) the only free agent the Hornets need to be pursuing is ROBIN LOPEZ....now tell me he ain't the best fit for the hornets, I dare you !

rjktan
rjktan

Outside of EG10 I wouldn't want any of those guards. Our money should be spent on a SF and a CENTER.

Chuck
Chuck

Let's not confuse "not concerned with his stats" with "not talented enough to put up stats." Belinelli just isn't that good. Yes, he's a hard worker and that's all well and good, but he's just not that good and he'll just take minutes from Rivers and Gordon. There are plenty of hard working guards in the league, doesn't mean we have to sign all of them

macs21
macs21

He's not very good at basketball though.. That's a concern for me when putting together a basketball team

NOS-3RD GEN
NOS-3RD GEN

I Jus hope we can nab a player with the heart and determine factors that's want to be here to REP this .City not For the money.

ImSorryMonty
ImSorryMonty

I really don't want Dragic at 9-10mil a year (which is what he will likely command). I would rather spend that money on size up front (a la McGee) or save it for next offseason. We are more than serviceable at PG between Jack/Vasquez/EG10. Call me crazy, but if we throw max money at EG10, I want him at least facilitating 50% of the offense like LBJ, Wade, Kobe would, not having the ball monopolized by an inferior, albeit still pretty good, talent. People are going to be pleasantly surprised at EG10's passing ability.

Tyler
Tyler

Nick Young would be a good addition to the team.

sundance
sundance

I would guess not even Davis gets the ball if Young and Rivers are on the floor together.

Paul
Paul

I don't want Deron Williams. If he got Jerry Sloan fired in Utah, he wouldn't hesitate to pull the same stunt here if he were unhappy.

NOLA_Fredo
NOLA_Fredo

Dragic at an affordable deal might not be a bad idea. However, I second Josh's sentiment that the only guy in that list worth major money that I would want is EJ. I don't think Williams would come here -- he's in "Win Now" mode and that is not where we're at.

Josh
Josh

I really only want Gordon out of those players.

BDavis
BDavis

Hey Josh, question! And seriously I'm not being a smart a$$. Is your want just based off talent. Do you think Gordon really wants to play with us, or it's about the check. Lamar Odom situation showed the extreme dark side of trades and we expect these guys to be professionals cuz they are paid very well, but Gordon was traded to us and I honestly think he was very un-happy about it. You really want somebody that deep down doesn't want to be here?

Josh
Josh

@Ron-I do agree, but that was after he was the face of the franchise and we were not able to make it deep in the playoffs

Ron
Ron

@Josh: CP3 did and said all the right things about the Hornets, yet actually wanted to leave.

BDavis
BDavis

@Josh thanks man just wanted to know your opinion. I don't know what @ImSorryMonty is talking bout. Apparently he has me confused with somebody else. .....Actually no, he doesn't have me confused with somebody else he is actually right. I don't think it matters money wise if he comes out and says "I 100% want to play in N.O." The six team visits he schedule would ensure that he gets the most amount of money....not his words.

Josh
Josh

My want is not just based on talent. I do think Gordon really wants to play with us. He has talked about Dell and Month positively, he came when the draft prospects came to talk about some of them, and he went to a Saints practice. We have made him the face of the franchise, and he embraces that role. He has never said anything that is derogatory about the Hornets, and you really can't tell what he wants deep inside.

ImSorryMonty
ImSorryMonty

Good lord. Enough with this already. People need to realize that Gordon coming out and saying he wants to 100% play here will hurt his chances of getting offered more money from other teams. He's said about everything you could ask from him and he has been spending time down here throughout the draft process. This is not and will NEVER be an issue with EG10. Injury concerns, though, are a different story.