New Orleans Hornets Free-Agent Big Board: Volume Two

Published: July 3, 2012

There’s been a lot of movement in free-agency thus far. Are the Hornets a part of it?

It’s been a few days since the start of free agency for those of you just turning on your computers now. There’s been quite a bit of movement around the league which is what we’ll get to soon.

All signs point to the Hornets matching any offer for Eric Gordon, even if it’s up to the max-contract range. Some of you may not dig this, but deal with it; he’s our dude.

Dell made it quite aware right after the draft that they had “plans” for the center position. I don’t know if this is where the Jason Smith card is played or whether The Dealer is being cheeky.

Dwight Howard and the PR Nosedive

The Dwight Howard saga goes on, and I continue to wonder what in the world his management team is advising him to do. He’s made a complete mess of things for himself, for his future and for teams around the league.

Reporters, well respected ones, had word that Dwight called “Blackmail” on the Orlando Magic for forcing him to opt-in on the last year of his contract. Howard has since denied such words ever being transpired.

Not only that, but Dwight has then cut his “wish-list” to one team, the Brooklyn Nets.

Joe Johnson Traded to Nets

Along side all of this, Joe Johnshon’s behemoth contract was traded to the Brooklyn Nets. Chris Sheridan (I know you all love him) reports that this doesn’t necessarily mean they’re out of contention for getting both Howard and Deron Williams.

The Hawks receive Jordan Farmer, Johan Petro, Anthony Morrow and Jordan Williams along with DeShawn Stevenson (sign-and-trade) and a future first round pick.

Deron Williams has met with Dallas as well as meeting with Brooklyn. It would seem that now both teams are very much running alongside each other. The Nets are haemorrhaging their cap room and are unproven winners, while Dallas are the opposite of that.

Hornets Free-Agents

Eric Gordon has been planning meetings around the country. Good for him getting those Frequent-Flyer Miles because that’s really the only purpose for these trips. He’s had dinner with Phoenix last night (probably trying to get free dinners) and they are seriously considering offering him the maximum 4 Year/$58 Million deal.

It’s very tempting to call out Gordon for not wanting to be in New Orleans, but that is absurd because he does. To temper this notion, try and put yourself in Eric’s shoes. He’s never been a free-agent before, and it’s very rare that a player actually gets to go through the process.

Why wouldn’t you want to at least see what’s out there? Get a feel for what the league thinks you’re worth?

Moving on from Eric, there’s been little news on Carl Landry who repeats his desire to remain in New Orleans. The Hornets have a stack of power-forwards and plenty of space at the Center position. It remains to be seen whether Landry returns, but should the Hornets fail to land a quality Center they could opt to sign Landry and work to move pieces on their roster.

Marco Belinelli is also garnering a lot of interest around the league. He’s stated that he wants to play for a winner and that he does not see Europe as an option. The Dallas Mavericks are one of the teams interested, though it wouldn’t be surprising to see teams like Chicago or the Los Angeles Clippers get involved as well.

Hornets Show Interest in A Number of Free-Agents

Dell Demps is trying to see what’s out there on the market and as we discussed before there’s not a whole lot of options. As such, most free-agents that are of decent talent are seemingly being overpaid (or paid a lot of money).

There have been inquiries to the following players as being reported:

  • Nicolas Batum (SF)
  • Nick Young (SG)
  • Goran Dragic (PG)

Many have been hoping that the Hornets make a run after free-agent center Javale McGee. Well, now he has been extended the qualifying offer from Denver and is planning to meet with them soon. Demps has had a keen eye on the talented center for some time putting together a package at last seasons trade deadline only to be beaten by a better one from Denver.

Hornets Free-Agent Big Board

1. Eric Gordon (SG) – RFA

Same as before, Gordon has now met with a handful of teams traveling across the country stealing dinners from GM’s. Demps is probably encouraging him to seek as many offers as possible because maybe Eric might come back with some kind of inside scoop.

Expect New Orleans to match any offer made to Gordon.

2. Javale McGee (C) – RFA 

One of Denver’s higher priorities this off-season it remains to be seen how much money McGee will command. It’s likely that the Nuggets retain Javale, though they’ll have to start thinking how they will give both he and his team-mates fair market value.

3. Nicolas Batum (SF) – RFA (Before: NA )

Shooting up the board, Batum has done so because New Orleans is very interested in acquiring a starting small-forward. The numbers being offered to Batum from the Minnesota Timberwolves are in the range of $45-50 million over 4 years.

That’s very heavy for a guy who’s averaged 10 points per game over his career. Expect Portland to match the Wolves offer, even if it is a little crazy. Batum does have a meeting with the Hornets scheduled. 

4. Jeff Green (SF) – RFA (Before: 7 )

There is a reason that Green has come up the board and it has little to do with his demand for a $9 million a season contract. While that is a ridiculous amount for a guy coming off a serious medical procedure, the crop of small-forwards is so small that he’s here until the Celtics or someone else gives him his money.

5. Ersan Ilyasova (PF) – UFA 

Ersan stays here and he’s drawing interest from Milwaukee, Cleveland, San Antonio and Toronto. Expect him to slide down the board soon.

6. Spencer Hawes (C) – UFA 

Hawes remains at six and awaits offers from various teams. If the Hornets plans for McGee fall through, expect them to plug the hole with Hawes. That might not happen if Spencer demands Omer Asik money.

7. Carl Landry (PF) – UFA (Before: 8 )

I think we will find ourselves with a number of power-forwards next season. Hopefully Jason Smith can fill the role of center, though I wouldn’t hold your breath on that working out. Landry is a great player and if he signs it’s because we can get him for good value.

8. Nick Young (SG) – UFA (Before: NA )

The Hornets have shown interest in Young and they also did at last seasons trade deadline. It’s quite odd considering that New Orleans’ backcourt is more crowded than a Russian prison.

9. Brandon Bass (PF) – UFA (Before: NA )

A returning LSU player would be a nice touch to new ownership. Bass proved in the playoffs that he can be a reliable big-man. He’s come a long way since the Byron Scott days of riding the pine.

10. Goran Dragic (PG) – UFA (Before: NA )

Another player who New Orleans has shown a keen eye towards. For the same reasons as Nick Young, it’s unlikely that the Hornets actually sign him for a contract that’s manageable.

Missing the cut

Omer Asik (Before: 3), Roy Hibbert (Before: 4 ), Courtney Lee (Before: 9 ), Rudy Fernandez (Before: 10 ), Willie Green, Shannon Brown, Lance Thomas

Volume One


  1. NOH2313

    July 3, 2012 at 12:20 am

    I love Jeff Green as much as the next guy (he’d be a great fit on this team), but 9M a year for him? No thanks. I also found it interesting how confident you were in Denver being able to retain McGee. I’m not sure that’s going to happen with them having to deal with Lawson’s contract next year. Lastly, I really don’t want Hawes. He’s a big body, but he’s so average for a big man in every category other than shooting. I’d hate to overpay for him, especially on a longer-term deal.

    Oh, and I’m looking forward to resigning EJ and ending this madness once and for all.

  2. Chuck

    July 3, 2012 at 12:35 am

    Out of curiosity why is Dragic #10 behind Landry and Bass when as you said we have a stack of power forwards and a need at point guard? What is this big board actually measuring, guys who we are likely to get or guys who we are interested in?

    Also not to be an ass but could you check your spelling, grammar and capitalization and stuff before publishing? Thanks

    • Jason Calmes

      July 3, 2012 at 12:42 am

      He’s Australian.

      I’m looking over the post now, your Chuckness, but I’m not editing out his native tongue. Adjust or skip the post if that’s the issue.

    • Jason Calmes

      July 3, 2012 at 12:45 am

      New rule.

      If you just complain about how someone isn’t doing a 100% job for you for free, your comment is getting deleted.

      If you want to complain and not have the posted deleted, point to an error nicely and constructively. Don’t assume ignorance of the author; assume and easy mistake people make when taking time from their jobs, duties, and families to give you the best Hornets coverage around for free. Be part of the solution.

      You isn’t you, Chuck; you is everyone.

      The end.

      Except for:

      Also not to be an ass but could you check your spelling, grammar and capitalization and stuff before publishing? Thanks

      should be

      Also, not to be an ass, but could you check your spelling, grammar, and capitalization and stuff before publishing? Thanks.

      Wow . . . all those errors just right there.

      And that is me being an ass.

      • Chuck

        July 3, 2012 at 1:05 am

        Specific things I was referring to are hyphenating and/or capitalizing “power forwards” or misspelling “Sheridan.” Would my pointing those two out individually really have sounded less like an ass?

        I honestly didn’t mean to be disrespectful to James, and I didn’t realize I was never allowed to correct someone or make a suggestion. I just assumed that someone who writes semi-professionally (and possibly professionally, I don’t know if James does or not) wants to put the best product out there, but I’ll refrain from doing so from now on.

        I appreciate and respect the work you guys put out here, for free, everyday. I really do. Especially Jason, with the incredibly condescending way you respond to every comment. It’s a gift.

      • Jason Calmes

        July 3, 2012 at 1:32 am

        Yes, it would have.

        And you can correct. You didn’t, however. You just complained that free great stuff done for free wasn’t good enough. And you have had a rotten attitude from when you started commenting, so don’t play sweet and innocent. I’m not as stupid as I look, and your fellow readers aren’t as stupid as I look either.

        All this was addressed in my last comment. Be part of the solution or your failed attempt to help will be deleted along with whatever else you said in the comment.

        As far as my gift of gab… Thanks. It is a gift, and I’m much better at it than you think.

        This site is the best around because of writers and readers. I want you to be one of those best readers, but you have got to add, not subtract.

        Done with this for a while.

    • rjktan

      July 3, 2012 at 12:52 am

      Pot Kettle Black…. I didn’t find any major errors in the piece that detracted from the content.

      I did however spot a few in your brief response that you might want to amend. But to avoid being an arse, I will skip the details 🙂

    • James Grayson

      July 3, 2012 at 1:12 am

      Thanks for pointing out my spelling errors, seeing as though most of them are from Australian-English to American-English and vica-versa.

      We don’t have a need at point-guard, I’ve said repeatedly that our backcourt is full this season, why invest heavily in a position that’s already set.

      Dragic is on the board because we’ve shown interest in him. Landry is on the board, higher, because he’s a big-man who is likely to return if he can be had for a decent price.

      This board is a combination of what we are likely to get, what we’ve shown interest in and the talent available. It works as if Demps was in his office trying to judge what to do.

      See Volume One for a reference.

      Thanks for the comment.

      • carpo

        July 3, 2012 at 7:01 am

        In Australia they speak English, as in the one invented by the English and the namesake of the English that is spoken in America. That could be part of the confusion.

      • Jason Calmes

        July 3, 2012 at 7:26 am


        hemorrhaging or haemorrhaging (see American and British spelling differences) (from wikipedia)

        And you should know that the Australians have actively changed their language to make it less Britishy, as the Americans did.


      • nola hustle

        July 3, 2012 at 12:03 pm

        i’m gonna ignore the grammar debate and focus on the pg debate. I think that’s a mixed bag.

        on one hand I’m completely fine with keeping jack this year for his locker room intangibles although i’m no big fan of his game

        on the other I’d like to start thinking about the point of the future (see rivers as more of sixth man). nothing obvious on that front right now, but if no fa are jumping out at us then perhaps a trade but i feel the position needs to be addressed at some time in near future.

        thing dragic is nice player but probably wants too much $$$$

        as I say every year at this time I think we should bring bolester mccalebb home, he would be my first choice

  3. Ken

    July 3, 2012 at 1:21 am

    I can’t imagine the hornets would not have at least one true center on its roster this season. Therefore, how about Ian Mahimi? He played ok for Dallas, is young and shouldn’t cost much.

    • James Grayson

      July 3, 2012 at 1:38 am

      Great idea Ken, he’s a guy who I’ve completely forgotten about. My free-agent list that I had in front of me didn’t have him. Consider him outside our top ten.

      For now…

      • TheKeymaster

        July 3, 2012 at 10:41 am

        I would say Kings C Jason Thompson would be a good cheap option too, as he is still young and put up good numbers in his limited playing time with the Kings the last few seasons.

  4. NOLA_Fredo

    July 3, 2012 at 1:32 am

    Someone is going to overpay for Batum. I hope it’s not the Hornets. Nothing against him. If he was going for 4 years/$30 million, I might be all for it. But $10 mil+ range? No way.

    And while you think EG is just picking up free meals and airline miles, if he comes back with a nice trade offer from a potential suitor, it might be worth it. Right now, everything is up in the air but once the first big domino (Deron Williams) falls, everything else will happen fast.

    • James Grayson

      July 3, 2012 at 1:42 am

      Well as for EG, I’m not sure a trade package is even worth it in my view. This organisation needs at least some traction and signing Eric Gordon would do that.

      The way I see it, if we give him the max, when he comes off it Anthony Davis might be a due a new deal. This way if both work out we can give them fair value in the future.

      Giving Gordon the maximum won’t kill our flexibility moving forward (unless injuries persist).

      There’s a reason why many teams are willing to give Gordon the max, why should the Hornets not be one of them? Most of the trade offers will give us veterans, maybe a first round pick, but we need veterans at the moment, you can’t have a team full of rookies.

      It should be interesting to see how quickly things move once Deron Williams has signed. Like you said, it’s going to be rapid-fire.

      • Jason Calmes

        July 3, 2012 at 1:52 am

        Some people claim we need to prove to free agents next year that we’re serious this year.

        The traction point is just this. At some point, you have to move in. When? Ahhhh….

      • Ian H

        July 3, 2012 at 10:49 am

        It has been referenced on the site for a couple of years now that a star’s best years are from 24-28. Eric Gordon is about to reach that point and people want to move him for Houston’s trash to sit on our bench like they are going to do for Kevin Mchale? No way no how, I would rather take the shot at Gordon and hope he can shake the injury bug or become a D-Wade caliber player and then its worth it. It is not a stretch that Gordon could be a 25-27 PPG scorer in this league especially if Hornets pick up the pace. Those guys don’t fall off of trees. Take a shot at greatness and don’t be content with being good. Match whatever Gordon gets.

  5. mojart

    July 3, 2012 at 3:42 am

    i think dell demps should only focus on mcgee….give aminu a chance…that boy is the 8th overall pick….give him the summer league,a whole training camp and the pre season games to mature and know his role wid the team….batum is not worth 10M per….even greene…i don’t like hawes either….wat if the twolves get pau….how about we make a run with the dude pekovic

  6. nikkoewan

    July 3, 2012 at 5:35 am

    I agree with Mojart. Take a swipe at McGee if not the just sign a big who can someone who wants to prove something on a one or two year deal with a team option like Mahinmi..

    Next year’s going to be fun..

  7. Dariusz Ejkiewicz

    July 3, 2012 at 6:00 am

    I feel that Nick Young wouldn’t feel right for what this management is trying to accomplish. They are bringing in high character guys who have the basketball IQ and off court marketing value. Of course that doesn’t play on the court (marketing) but Nick Young just gives me that gut feeling that he would be a distraction in the locker room.

    I do like Jeff Green. It’s funny how in a ‘class of free agents’ that doesn’t have much potential on one position players can easily leverage that in their asking price. With that said I like Jeff but not for that money, same goes for Nic Batum. Wouldn’t it be wiser to sign someone who was undrafted (Olek Czyz of Duke/Nevada) and give him a chance instead of throwing out money? Maybe an idea like that would pan out. Of course we need veterans and a starter but if you can’t afford someone, why would you overpay heavily?

    Eric Gordon getting the miles and free dinners made me laugh. Inside scoop sounds just like Dell made him spy around the league on what teams have to sell. That’s an interesting trick!

    In my opinion you got the list right, we do need to resign Gordon to whatever is given to him around the league. And we desperately need a center, Javale would be a perfect fit. I wouldn’t oppose heavily about Hawes but if guys like Asik are getting the big bucks that’s really a missunderstanding.

    I have a feeling though that even with the new management some things are not going to change. We won’t overpay anyone, this team is still going to spend the money ‘the right way’. Or I’m just trying to think so that there won’t be another Peja mistake, lol.

    Great quality for free 😉

  8. Savagetaint

    July 3, 2012 at 7:52 am

    I really think the Hornets should look at Jason Thompson to help fill the void at center. He’s restricted, but I doubt the Kings match a decent offer for him. By decent, I mean 4yrs/24mil. He will be 26 this year and is solid.

  9. ADubs

    July 3, 2012 at 8:21 am

    It appears Batum’s appointment to meet with the Hornets has been cancelled, since the mega-offer he just received from Minne will likely either be matched by the Blazers or signed by Batum. There really are no good SFs out there, which will make me sad when I watch Ariza this year. Really putting a lot of eggs in the AFA basket, but I’ll cheer hard for him to succeed while we look for a trade option.

    Is there no way Kaman is on any list for us as a free agent Center? What if we don’t get McGee or Hawes? Kaman, trade for a Center (with what or for whom I don’t know), or stick with our rotation of 4 PFs as our only bigs seem like our best bets.

  10. yooooooooo

    July 3, 2012 at 8:39 am

    we need to keep landry as the perfect sixth man that would help anthony davis develop!

  11. joseph

    July 3, 2012 at 9:37 am

    i like mcgee too. i’ll have spelling errors so dont bother correcting it since im already aware.

    we shouldve drafted hanson bc rivers looks like a bust. but since we have him, if we cant get mcgee we should give kaman a 1-yr/overpaid deal and leave our team as is til the trade deadline. i like vasquez and think he could be really good at pg with some seasoning. i think ray allen would be a great add but im prolly dreaming. ive been a hornets fan since they entered the league and am glad we have hope even after trading that deadbeat paul.

    we should give aminu a chance too. i like idea of vasquez-eg-aminu-davis-kaman/smith is upgrade from last yr. hornets lost a lot of close games last yr without eg most of yr. hornets are not far from being a postseason team again.

    • Andrew Smith

      July 3, 2012 at 1:57 pm

      How does Austin Rivers look like a bust already? Summer League hasn’t even started yet, we didn’t even see him practice in a Hornets uniform yet.

  12. NOLA Hustle

    July 3, 2012 at 9:58 am

    would like to see pietrus on this list. Think he would be a great stop gap 3

    one thing I do not want to see if aminu given job by default. but I have trust in monty that he does not dole out playing time that is not earned

  13. @realwhodatnorra

    July 3, 2012 at 10:12 am

    Is kaman and canidate for a sign&trade? Is there any market value out there fir him?

  14. joseph

    July 3, 2012 at 10:58 am

    antawn jamison would be a great fit at sf for us. he can drain the 3 pointer too. he also plays solid defense.

    • Andrew Smith

      July 3, 2012 at 2:01 pm

      Idk about a 36yr old Jamison who’s last contract was 4yr/50,000,000 (So he’s not cheap) on this rebuilding team

  15. nola hustle

    July 3, 2012 at 11:48 am

    also would love to get steve novak, dude can shoot the lights out

  16. nola hustle

    July 3, 2012 at 11:49 am

    danny green is at the top of my list, considering batum looks prohibitively expensive

    • nola hustle

      July 3, 2012 at 11:52 am

      also wilson chandler, why not talk about him, he’d be a perfect fit for our squad?

      • Josh

        July 3, 2012 at 12:38 pm

        Because he’s under contact.

      • nola hustle

        July 3, 2012 at 1:06 pm

        didn’t realize. thought i remembered him just signing for rest of season when he came back from overseas. guess we’ll have to trade for him

      • kj

        July 3, 2012 at 1:20 pm

        long time reader first time commenting, 1st off all the material u guys put up is the best MM, Jason the best if u ask me… my question is what do u think our starting line up will be? And what do u think is our ceiling is?

      • Andrew Smith

        July 3, 2012 at 2:04 pm

        I think we’re starting the season with
        ?????(Hopefully McGee)

        & with this many young players our celling is extremely high, but it just depends on how many of our young players reach that celling & when.

  17. Mikey

    July 3, 2012 at 1:28 pm

    Here’s a question. Say Deron Williams says “I want to be a Maverick”. I would think the Mavs would amnesty Brendan Haywood if that were to happen. Where would Haywood be on the big board then?

  18. NO-CHI

    July 3, 2012 at 1:42 pm

    Could the Hornets possibly take a look at running a two Power Forward Combination like Boston did with KG and Bass? And Miami basically did? And go after someone who can work with Anthony Davis and Carl Landry. (Obviously the guy has to be the taller than 6″8 or have an attitude like Chuck Hayes.)

  19. kj

    July 3, 2012 at 2:18 pm

    thanks andrew that starting line up looks pretty good if u ask me!!!

    • Andrew Smith

      July 3, 2012 at 5:24 pm

      No problem & Im really optimistic about this line up also

  20. loudlikepat

    July 3, 2012 at 3:15 pm

    I like that starting lineup, but what’s more impressive is our second string lineup

    (pg) Vasquez
    (sg) Rivers
    (sf) Miller
    (pf) Landry (he wants to be a hornet…SIGN HIM
    (c) Jason Smith

    That my friends is a great bench with plenty of experience from all of the injuries last year.

    • kj

      July 3, 2012 at 4:36 pm

      very impresive 2nd unit #cantwait…

    • mojart

      July 3, 2012 at 8:33 pm

      and u still have gustavo, thomas and dyson there…..dats freakin gud of a 3rd unit as well

  21. Magic Mike

    July 3, 2012 at 4:26 pm

    Why is it that you say you dont want to be an ass…and then follow it with a statement that only asses make? If you dont like how the guy writes then dont read anything he posts…

    • kj

      July 3, 2012 at 4:46 pm

      thank u he doesnt have to read it what a db

  22. Magic Mike

    July 3, 2012 at 4:36 pm

    I just saw that batum has delayed his visits with other teams (including the Hornets) and is now negotiating with only Portland and Minnesota

  23. jose walter gonzalez

    July 3, 2012 at 5:42 pm

    ROBIN LOPEZ and possibly another SF would round out the team…..

  24. Robert Eckstein

    July 3, 2012 at 5:44 pm

    Nice list, thank you. It’s my hope that the Hornets do not stunt this rebuilding process by doling out long, over-generous, contracts such as was the case with Peja, MoPete, and Posey. If we were to sign Goran Dragic, what size contract would be looking at (ballpark)? In my opinion, he’s one of the best young point guards in the NBA, and he’s clutch.

  25. Josh

    July 3, 2012 at 5:56 pm

    The only guys I would want are Gordon, McGee, and either Carl Landry or Brandon Bass if we can’t sign a center. I would also like Willie Green or Roger Mason Jr., Shawne Williams (when bought out),Brendan Haywood (if amnestied), and Jason Thompson. The other players are too expensive.

  26. loudlikepat

    July 3, 2012 at 11:13 pm

    I’d say give gordon whatever he wants, get a center, and save the rest of your capspace for next year. Give our returning guys like aminu, vasquez, and jsmith good minutes to develop. It builds chemistry. We could use that extra money next year to entice free agents which will be easier when they see how well we play next year. We already have a great team. Let’s see how this season plays out, and then make big moves.

  27. Pingback: New Orleans Hornets Free-Agent Big Board: Volume Three | New Orleans Hornets |

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