New Orleans Hornets Free-Agent Big Board: Volume Three

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Published: July 4, 2012

Yesterday was an eventful one for New Orleans with Eric Gordon deciding where he wants to spend the next four years. It wasn’t in the Louisiana region.

Good morning everyone, today we start you off with last night’s big news that involved Eric Gordon. For those of you not aware Gordon plans to sign an offer sheet with the Phoenix Suns on July the 12th and says that it’s the right place for him.

Check out Joe Gerrity’s piece on the matter.

We also will get into what other free-agents have done, namely Deron Williams, as well as an update on the Hornets targets.

Eric Gordon Wants to Go To Phoenix

In a statement released to the national media yesterday, restricted free-agent Eric Gordon liked what he saw in Phoenix and decided it was the place he wanted to be. He intends to sign the offer sheet for a four year, $58 million contract.

In return, Hornets manager Dell Demps plans to meet with Gordon to try and see whether he wants to play in New Orleans. It seems that no matter the outcome the Hornets will match the Suns offer either in a sign and trade, or to keep him on the roster as a key player moving forward.

Reading the statement released by Gordon’s management it seems that there are two things that I take out of it.

1. Gordon saying his “heart is in Phoenix,” is a way to leverage themselves against the Hornets

2. This leverage is a shot back at New Orleans and management’s refusal to give Gordon a maximum contract in negotiations months ago.

It’s my belief, and this is speculation here, that Gordon and his agent were insulted the New Orleans didn’t give him a maximum deal months ago. The chance to go find work elsewhere was a welcomed opportunity. They only problem was that he was restricted. In order to get around this, his agent released a statement that voices his client’s appeasement in another city thereby forcing the Hornets hand into signing and trading him.

The problem with this from Gordon’s perspective is that the Hornets have been planning on keeping him, so this outburst of affinity outside the city of New Orleans is either a bad PR move or one that helps him leave at all costs.

It makes little sense though to worry about this for too long. Gordon has stated that he loves New Orleans and he’s told both Dell Demps and Monty Williams that he wants to be here. Either he’s a blatant liar or he’s forcing the Hornets hand.

I urge patience with this, but at the end of the day the Hornets hold all the cards.

Deron Williams Signs with Nets, No Chance of Howard Landing There

Via Twitter point-guard Deron Williams announced his decision to remain with the Nets and play alongside Joe Johnson and Gerald Wallace.

My esteemed colleague Mason Ginsberg noted that it’s impossible for Dwight Howard to go to Brooklyn with the Nets using the non-taxpayer midlevel on Mirza Teletovic.

Can the Nets compete for a championship? Doubtful, especially with the Heat gaining playoff confidence. Though they should make a run or two in the playoffs.

Watching the Dominos Fall

Outside of Eric Gordon it appears that the Hornets front office is leaning towards patience over haste in free-agency. You can bet General Manager Dell Demps is taking his time.

Filling the Small-Forward and Center positions are a priority. Finding some solid value players after the frenzy will probably be what happens. Here’s hoping they don’t overpay for anyone.

Hornets Free-Agent Big Board

1. Eric Gordon

He’s still here and will be because the Hornets plan to match the Suns offer. Whether they sign and trade him remains to be seen. I think Eric needs to realize that New Orleans is now a bright destination. Sure there are rookies here, but in a couple years’ time this could be one of the better Western Conference teams.

2. Javale McGee (C) – RFA

McGee will stay here just because he’s such a hot commodity. Mark Kiszla wonders whether the Nuggets can even afford McGee which makes me wonder whether the Hornets will put in an offer. If Demps believes in McGee’s potential don’t be surprised if you hear the Hornets trying to secure an interview with the seven footer.

3. Nicolas Batum (SF) – RFA

Despite meeting with the Timberwolves and receiving a lucrative offer Batum stays in the third spot because he’s the most talented small-forward in free-agency. The Hornets will probably remain interested in securing an interview with Batum even if it appears to be back and forth between the Wolves and Blazers.

4. Jason Thompson (PF/C) – RFA (Previous: NA)

Moving up (and out of nowhere because I missed him) is forward Jason Thompson. The Kings are cash strapped and if an offer is just out of reach they may decide to let him go. The problem here is that Thompson appears to have limited room for growth and a heavy investment might be very unwise.

The Hornets need to make sure they don’t make too many long term investments.

5. Spencer Hawes (C) – UFA (Previous: 6)

Hawes moves up a spot because he could be a good value guy as he’s gone relatively unnoticed so far. That should change though once free-agents are swept up.

6. Ian Mahinmi (C) – UFA (Previous: NA)

The Million Dollar Man, Ian Mahinmi could be an excellent pickup for New Orleans if they plan on preserving cap-space for next years free-agent class. Even if they do pick up a center this offseason they could (and should) consider signing Ian as a valuable backup.

7. Carl Landry (PF) – UFA

Here is another player flying under the radar. This should please the Hornets because they could use Landry heading into the future. His toughness and leadership will be needed next season and he could help spell Anthony Davis.

The Celtics are a team that has shown interest.

8. Courtney Lee (SG) – UFA (Previous: Missing Cut)

The Houston Rockets withdrew their qualifying offer to Courtney Lee making him an unrestricted free-agent. This is great news because it’s rare that a 40-percent three point shooter who can also defend comes onto the market.

Maybe he gets to expensive but the Hornets should definitely inquire about his services.

9. Jeff Green (SF) – UFA (Previous: 4)

It appears that a Celtics and Jeff Green deal is imminent according to ESPN.com’s Chris Forsberg. It will be a one-year $9 million deal.

10. Nick Young (SG) – UFA (Previous: 8)

Nick Young slips down a little bit, but because teams like the Lakers, Bulls and Clippers are interested it means that his price will be relatively cheap. The Hornets may need another guard (who knows how the next month will play out) and Young is a terrific scorer and shooter.

Missing the Cut

Goran Dragic, Ersan Ilyasova, Brandon Bass, Lance Thomas, Shannon Brown.

Previous Editions

Volume One

Volume Two

31 comments
Hollis21
Hollis21

Things getting interesting for Phoenix. We know the Nash deal. Suns signed Beasley. Well, they added back Goran Dragic on a 4 year deal last night. Seems even more likely to me they'd part with Marshall if Hornets made the S&T Gordon for Marshall, Gortat, Unprotected First Round which is good enough for me. Love Gordon and wish him the best (don't get why some are so salty) but he's had some injury issues and I'm afraid to be stuck with a guy missing a lot of games of a long term deal (Hey Peja). I feel that value would suffice. Get a center while Davis bulks up. Marshall is a good prospect (although he and Rivers could be pretty rough on D) and that 1st round could be a nice pick. Time will tell.

bywas2008hornetfan225
bywas2008hornetfan225

A lot of ppl are mad at eg 4 sum reason. I'm relieved! If u don't want to play to win and u want to make your "brand" better, for money (althouh acceptable) gtfo. We don't need anymore on the fence players. I don't kno if I want to stay here types. Do we look like orlando?

504ever
504ever

Hawes is set to re-signed with Philly so he is off of the list. Also, a favorite of mine, Thabeet, has agreed to leave Houston to sign with the Thunder! The reasonably priced Centers are going fast. Come on Dell. Do something here.

504ever
504ever

Nash in a sign and trade to the Lakers for two future 1st Rounders (2013 & 2015) and two future 2nd Rounders (2013 and 2014), using up the Laker’s Lamar Odom trade exemption. What does that say about Gordon’s trade value, which is obviously higher than the value of the 38 year old Nash?

Jason Smith
Jason Smith

You guys sound way too bitter. For starters what's the list of best SG's in the league? 1. Wade, 2. Kobe, 3. Manu? That's the list...then its Eric Gordon. Which of these guys is young enough to build around? Well that's JUST Eric Grodon. Gordon is a max contract player, plain and simple. He's a huge injury risk, but his injuries have been varied so its not like a chronic knee issue. I'm not saying we should sign him to a max contract -- but I think its clear that he is one. Beyond that, we should also chill with the insults. I have no problem with a player wanting to take the extra $2M a year even to play with a worse team. From his perspective, New Orleans has been an organization in disarray since he's been here. Sure, its getting better and we are rebuilding, but the thought of going to Phoenix, which is a well run organization is probably exciting. He also might just want to live in Phoenix more. All those things considered, you can also see himself thinking Kendall Marshall, himself, Gortat, Lopez isn't a bad core. They get a few more players and they have a solid team. Players dont usually realize that some of those players might not be there in order to make the deal go through.

Michael Wise
Michael Wise

The hortnets will get marshall in the sign and trade and maybe gortat.

Josh
Josh

I still believe that these are the guys we should go after: Roger Mason Jr. or Willie Green Shawne Williams (when bought out) Jason Thompson Brendan Haywood (if amnestied) JaVale McGee Carl Landry or Brandon Bass (if we don't sign a center) Eric Gordon

David
David

The only way we get decent value for Gordon through PHoenix is a 3 way deal. NO gets: Gortat, Marshall, Iman Shumpert NYK #1, PHX #1 NYK get: Steve Nash PHX gets: Gordon, Toney Douglas, Jerome James, Josh Harrelson I'm pretty sure that is the only deal that would be acceptable to me. Nothing less. Anything less and we'd better off either keeping him to play for us, or matching and trading him next year with 3 years left on his deal.

Mike Wr
Mike Wr

If NO can get this much back from PHX and NY, ownership of those two franchises should fire their GMs and the league should name Dell exec of the year. Gordon is worth 2 #1s, Marshall, Gortat, and Shumpert. Dream on.

Jo D
Jo D

I would want 2 firsts from phx... Maybe a second rounder too... I would also only be happy if we signed Mayo as a replacement... We need a go to scorer..

Joe P
Joe P

Rivers in a couple of years?

John Page
John Page

There is also the risk that Eric Gordon turns into Joe Johnson and we have a good, under-performing team. What is up with Atlanta anyway? With the talent they have, what is their problem?

Joe P
Joe P

Eff Eric Gordon. He never seemed to want to be here. The next couple of years are rebuilding years anyway. Gordon is usually injured, and isn't a particularly long perimiter defender. He is a really good scorer, but I'm not sure he has a mean streak. I hope Demps signs and trades for whatever the Hornets can get. EG isn't ALL that. Save that money for players who want to be here, and maybe can play more than one spot on the floor, and probably won't be injured all the time.

James Grayson
James Grayson

Eric is a fantastic talent and because this free-agent class was so dour he got paid the maximum. The problem with Gordon has always been injuries. When he has played he's been very good. A great scorer, underrated passer, excellent defender. Is he worth a maximum contract? Well I think he is, if he's healthy. But he's not which is why he probably shouldn't be, but that's how economics works. Supply and Demand. There's limited Supply for a talent like Gordon and his price goes up with great demand. If Gordon plays for New Orleans for the next four years I expect people's tone to change. We can still be mad at him for what he said about Phoenix though.

Joe P
Joe P

If Gordon said, "I love New Orleans, and this organization, and I'm going to do what it takes to bring a championship here, but I can get the max," fine, work something out with an injury clause, and maybe a year less or something, because he loves it here, and wants to bring a championship to the Hornets.

Al
Al

I know your mad at the guy, and that's okay, but cmon man. The guy is an awesome perimeter defender, very underrated. And his offensive game is even better. It's okay to be upset, but at least be honest, he is ALL that.

Joe P
Joe P

I got it. He's a top talent. But he's not a top 10 player. He's not a mean dude who will kill to win. I was excited when he came from LA. But he doesn't want to be here and he's often injured. We shouldn't think of him like CP. CP is all that. CP was worth paying max to and trying to change his mind. EG is really good, but probably not the franchise.

Mark
Mark

All this talk about NBA salaries makes me sad about my own (lack of) paycheck.

LaNative
LaNative

The Hornets will match his offer but they will seek to trade him especially if the meeting between he and Demps indicates that he doesn't want to be in NOLA. Demps will find a team or teams with valuable pieces and/or draft picks that would make more sense for the Hornets than the Suns. I agree that the Suns are desperate. A contingency plan had to be in place for this scenario but only time will tell. I would really hope that the Hornets would go after OJ Mayo...he's a good scorer and fearless.

James Grayson
James Grayson

After yesterday's news I've come to terms with the situation. I'm still mad at the way Eric Gordon's management handled the situation, especially taking a jab at Hornets management. But now I feel like we made the exact right decisions all the way through this process. Rather than give Eric a 5 year extension (which is $21 million more than the Suns offer) during last season, Dell waited and it's paid off big time. Now we hold all the cards and Eric Gordon's management can get their way out, but the team he goes to will have nothing. I hope Demps strips them dry of any and all of their assets if Gordon goes to that team. That way Gordon can be the "big-dog" and we can build towards championships. I'm sure Eric will enjoy sitting at home in May. Or he can play for us and we can be super excited!

Juan
Juan

thats what i was thinking...if that trade i proposed would go thru we would need a 2 that could flat out put the ball in the hoop! cuz offensively we wouldnt have much, if you keep rivers coming off the bench! Nick young, OJ Mayo... somebody

Juan
Juan

do you guys think that a Sign and trade for Kendall Marshall, Gortat, and Dudley/Childress/Warrick (to make the #s work) is realistic and/or benificial... We get our pg of the future, a C who would fit in nicely with Davis and then we the we would take on one of those contracts and get an athletic wing (childress/warrick) or a shooter at the 3 in Dudley! I dont want to play fantasy bball here im just trying to think of realistic possibilities! As you can tell im not extremely high on EG (due to the injuries) and i am really high on Marshall!

James Grayson
James Grayson

We would probably want draft picks too. My idea for a deal is Marshall, Gortat and an unprotected first round pick. If the Suns are ballsy enough to offer Eric Gordon a maximum contract I want them to pay for it with their unprotected first and really put their cojones on the table.

rjktan
rjktan

12-13 mil maybe, MAX??? I don't think so. But if I was Gordon I would bargain my position up to a number I am happy with then decline signing the Suns offer sheet. I mean really would you want an extra 1-2 mil in your pocket but be on a team that isn't going to make the playoffs for most of your career?

Mike W
Mike W

"....Either he’s a blatant liar or he’s forcing the Hornets hand." Pretty strong comment. Knowing about Gordon, his family and reputation, I believe he's just trying to force the Hornets' hand. It's certainly not a case of being a blatant liar. I think you are absolutely on target when you say that Gordon and his agent were disappointed that the Hornets didn't step up months ago. Perhaps, they didn't have the ability to do more because the NBA still owned the team. Once Benson came on board, NO should have immediately offered a 4 year max to Gordon. The handwriting was on the wall, and Demps overplayed his hand. Of course, NO may have been planning all along to do a sign and trade with Gordon rather than paying max.

James Grayson
James Grayson

I'm all about strong comments! Need to be bold and convicted in your statements. I think he could have been lying if only to be nice and not be rude to Monty and Dell. I mean let's just say Eric always intended to leave. The Hornets invite him in to some of the workouts, he obliges and Demps/Monty say how much they want him here. What does he say? Does he say, "Yeah that's great but I'm going to explore my options elsewhere?" -- No because he knows that he's restricted and could very well be playing in New Orleans for the next four years. He told them he likes New Orleans, but prefers it elsewhere. Doesn't make sense to us because the Suns aren't winning any time soon, but Gordon wants to be the big-dog and with Anthony Davis on the roster you can understand where he's coming from. Even if we now know he's not in the slightest interested in winning a championship.

sweetpea
sweetpea

Not so sure that Dell "overplayed his hand;" he's still essentially in the same spot he was two days ago. Phoenix believes that Eric Gordon is a max player? Fine; then let the Suns make an offer to us that reflects it either through their own pieces and draft picks or via a third team that can give us a big at least equal to Gortat. Otherwise, hold on to Gordon and if he really wants out of NOLA so bad, trade him to another team with assets equal to his value, now that Phoenix has set that value. I think Dell is in exactly the position he wants to be, with the exception of Gordon agreeing to a 4 yr 50$ offer.

macs21
macs21

They couldn't offer him a contract once Benson came on board. They had to wait Until free agency opened again (July 1) and why would they bother changing their offer before they know what the market thinks he's worth? If he really wants to play in PHO then it wouldn't matter if they offered him a 4 year max deal even before the suns had made their pitch.

Mike Wr
Mike Wr

Dell has made several mistakes in overplaying his hand. Assume NO is Gordon's #1 choice after Gordon was traded to NO. Fail to diagnose the seriousness of his injury. Fail to sign him in January. With lots of need at other positions, draft a SG with your #10 pick. Let Gordon know you won't pay even $1 more than market. Allow him and his agent to explore the marketplace. Let him know that you're the dealer and have the last draw.

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