New Orleans Hornets Free Agent Big Board: Volume Four

Published: July 9, 2012

Dell Demps has had a busy few days, where does he go from here?

We’ve all (and by all I mean the fans, organisation, Eric Gordon and his entourage/agents) had a couple of days to settle down and into free-agency. Many pundits have been saying this has been one of the crazier offseasons in recent memory (well apart from The Decision).

Eric Gordon Likely to Return

No secret, no drama right?

Oh boy did things get a little unsettling. So we’ve had everyone here assess the situation and what it means going forward. We have our options, we’ve known that for a while.

The startling thing that most of us didn’t expect, nor did we want, was another high caliber talent not wanting to be in New Orleans. I mean, that’s the root cause for our anger and rage, but I don’t know about you I’m over it.

Whether Gordon is here or not Dell Demps has this thing exactly where he wants it. He has a player that he wants on his roster, that he wants to build around. If the player doesn’t feel the same he has a variety of options.

So let’s move on to how Demps is using options to build his roster.

Hornets Trade for Mr. Anderson

The New Orleans Hornets have signed forward Ryan Anderson to a 4-year $36 million according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Y! Sports.

Anderson brings quality to the front-line for New Orleans, but more specifically he brings shooting. Head Coach Monty Williams has said in the past that the NBA doesn’t have many pure three-point shooters, referring back to his playing days when there was.

Ryan Anderson is such a shooter. Lethal from downtown he’s able to shoot from beyond the arc with great efficiency as well as surprising depth. Michael McNamara highlighted in yesterday’s Podcast that it’s not that Anderson is a great shooter, it’s that he is always moving on offense.

This bucks the trend of perception that shooters mearly stand and wait for the ball to be delievered to them. Mr. Anderson does an excellent job of moving around off the ball helping the ball handler.

His quick release is what allows him to shoot 38 percent from long range (career). And for those craving for numbers then Ryan delivers. He’s improved his efficiency every season he’s played which is staggering because each season he’s also increased his volume. That’s right, as he’s played more minutes and put up more shots he’s increased his efficiency.

(PER has gone from 13.6 to 18.1 to 19 to 21.2 in his first four seasons.)

He’s not just a shooter too, he’s an excellent rebounder. Anderson grabbed 7.7 rebounds per game last season, half of which were offensive.

This man doesn’t lack effort which is why his defensive liability’s are no issue for Monty Williams and his staff because they know Anderson can improve in that area, look what they did with Jason Smith.

What Next? 

There’s some complicated issues to sort through with salary cap space which I’m sure my esteemed colleagues will run through in more detail soon. With the Hornets set to match Eric Gordon and with the signing of Ryan Anderson it’s important that we understand where New Orleans stands salary wise.

Essentially we would have something in the range of $6 million in cap space prior to matching Eric Gordon’s deal. This would mean that if we wanted to sign any free-agents we’d have to do it in that narrow gap which might be done.

This is where we get down to things and the options appear to lessen.

Free-Agent Big Board

1. Eric Gordon (SG) — RFA

Still the prize and we have our eye on him. It’s likely he returns to New Orleans whether he’s kicking and screaming or embracing Monty Williams at the airport. Either way we’re excited to see how things move on with or without him.

2. Javale McGee (C) — RFA

So he’s a lot of people’s dream and it’s becoming a reality that he’s not likely to come to New Orleans due to salary cap reasons. We will always remember you Javale for being right up here on our big-board.

3. Carl Landry (PF) — UFA

Shooting up our boards, Landry is probably someone who’s much more likely to return now that the Hornets have signed Ryan Anderson. The Hornets are in desperate need of a low-post option and Carl is one of, if not the best, option left available on the market.

Remember, Dell Demps doesn’t strike first, he strikes with measure and precision. He could have Landry for a nice price somewhere in the range of $5-6 million a season. Demps would have to try and sign him before matching Eric Gordon. Or he would have to sign-and-trade Gordon to someone like the Suns for cap space (and picks obviously).

4. Ian Mahinmi (C) — UFA

The Hornets need size, as armchair GM Eric Gordon proclaimed and Mahinmi is all that and a bag of potato chips. Ian would be a solid rotation big for Monty Williams especially if Anthony Davis is getting bullied down low (which we all know is going to happen in his rookie season).

5. Nazr Mohammed (C) — UFA

After being released by OKC one would think the 34 year old might be thinking about retirement. That could happen but if it doesn’t Mohammed could contribute for the Hornets. It’s doubtful that he might consider coming to an “up-and-comer” like New Orleans, but stranger things have happened.

6. Jordan Hill (PF/C) — UFA

After being in serious talks with the Wolves and Lakers, forward Jordan Hill has a surprising amount of options at his disposal. The Hornets are not mentioned in any rumors, though that could be because his asking price is steadily going up.

7. Elton Brand (PF/C) — Amnesty 

After being amnestied by the Philadelphia 76ers a variety of teams are rumored to be placing bids for the veteran forward. The Hornets are one of them. His low-post game would be much needed for New Orleans since there are no options currently on the roster.

Remember though, if the Hornets are over the cap, they cannot place a bid in the amnesty procedure.

8. Ryan Hollins (C) — UFA

Many people joke when we mention Ryan Hollins’ name, but truth be told the crop of centers is drier than the Simpson Desert (look it up). He may not be pretty, but with shrinking cap space he may be one of the only guys left.

9. Jason Thompson (C) — RFA

So he’s now off the market after the Kings stole him for $6 million a season. Good for them. He’s a solid player for that amount of money and they really need to solidify their frontline. The Hornets could have looked here, but they opted for Ryan Anderson instead.

10.  Spencer Hawes (C) — RFA

The 76ers dished out for Hawes and now he’s off the market. It’s a shame because he’s a talented big man who has range.

Missing the Cut

Courtney Lee, Lance Thomas, Greg Steimsma, Jason Collins, Eddy Curry

Previous Volumes

Volume One

Volume Two

Volume Three



  1. Taquito

    July 9, 2012 at 9:07 am

    Eddy Curry?!

    • James Grayson

      July 9, 2012 at 9:17 am

      If you want a ring, call Kitchen Curry.

  2. sting

    July 9, 2012 at 9:10 am

    I’m confused. I thought the Hornets had all kind of cap space. What Happened?

  3. Taquito

    July 9, 2012 at 9:16 am

    i still hope we bring Thomas back like an energetic, Ryan Bowen type player

    • James Grayson

      July 9, 2012 at 9:22 am

      You’re right Taquito, I love Thomas’ game. He’s been working hard this offseason and if Joe’s interview is anything of a glimpse into his future then we should be very excited. Not because he’d be a big-time player, but because he might develop into a nice role player.

      I’d like to see how he’s developed his jump-shot. We know he’s got stronger this offseason (adding 17 pounds of pure American muscle) so let’s hope the jump-shot is there to match.

  4. Everett

    July 9, 2012 at 9:43 am

    What happened to Jason Thompson, wasn’t he on here last week? We still need a center.

  5. SP

    July 9, 2012 at 9:46 am

    With the addition of Anderson, how much money do we have to play with over the next two years in free agency (also assuming we match the phx offer for EJ)?

    Side note: Mahinmi would be an excellent pickup for us and IMO would solidify our front court. With the direction the league is headed, a four-man bigs rotation of Anderson, Davis, Smith and Mahinmi will get the job done.

  6. Andrew

    July 9, 2012 at 10:31 am

    i think, according to, that the Hornets currently have $28 mill worth of salaries (THIS DOES NOT INCLUDE THE POTENTIAL Eric Gordon if Hornets decide to match, the rookies, and Ryan Anderson!), so lets do the math:
    $28+ $7.5 mill from all rookies = 35.5
    $35.5 + 9 mill of Ryan Anderson = 44.5
    $44.5 + 16.5 mill of Eric Gordon if hornets offer max contract = exactly $61 mill for this season, luxury tax is a little over $70 mill so if Benson wants to spend…just do the math!
    For next season the horrid Rashad Lewis $13.7 mill buy-out comes off the book and $5 mill of jarret jack also comes off so 2013 would = a little over $42 mill….not bad i quess

    • 504ever

      July 9, 2012 at 3:03 pm

      Hoopshype figures are fine for our purposes, but you left out the salaries for the Lance Thomases and Dysons of the world. They could be around $0.750M each and we need at least three of them.

  7. NOS-3RD GEN

    July 9, 2012 at 11:36 am

    I’m sorry but we shouldn’t resign and overpay EG and why do people call him EJ? The reason why is because he is not worth it,injury prone(#1), not about team effort(#2), not really a leader when it comes to confidents in teamates(#3), and he really don’t want to be here(#4), Unfortunately This will eventually be another Peja Stojakovic situation dealing with E.Gordon, but the positive sides are: if he gets injuried then Rookie A.Rivers will have to step up to help the hornets(#1), and if he stays healthy we will have a good chance to make the playoff (the highest #4 seed)(#2), he is a top 5 scorer iin the SG division (when healthy). Bottom line he’s health is too much an issue for us to handle. we need continue to move forward with building with Draft players/young Vets like OKC Thunder. another reason why is because its too hard for us to attract great (not Good) talent. Also Hornets should acqurE Stiemsma. he’s defense I’m told is great.
    I’m very confused how is it that this one acquisition and (POSSIBILITY) Eric Gordon’s contract puts us at a 6 mil cap space.All I do know is that Hornets Organization needs to step it up?

    • Andrew Smith

      July 9, 2012 at 1:00 pm

      People call him EJ because he’s Eric Gordon Junior, also the Clippers called him hotdog

  8. Mikey

    July 9, 2012 at 11:39 am

    I’m gonna throw two more names out there, neither of which should excite anyone, but I think they could both be options for Dell/Monty:

    Kyrylo Fosenko
    Aaron Gray

    Both are big-bodied guys that have 6 fouls per night to their name. Aaron knows the system already, and Kyrylo played for Jerry Sloan, so you know he’s a hustler. These guys can be had on the cheap too.

    • Taquito

      July 9, 2012 at 11:42 am

      Grey agreed to a 2 year contract with the Raptors, id love to get Stiemsma, which would give us the whitest front court in the league with Anderson and Smith

      • Mikey

        July 9, 2012 at 12:57 pm

        So he did; just read that. Well, I guess you can now add a guy like Greg Steimsma to the list.

        I still have nightmares of watching Hilton Armstrong attempt to play basketball, so any of these guys is an upgrade.

      • Andrew Denenea

        July 9, 2012 at 12:57 pm

        Pekovic and Love might have them beat.

  9. Chuck

    July 9, 2012 at 11:54 am

    Why no Stiemsma? It’s at least out there, according to ESPN:

    “Naiditch says his client prefers to stay with Boston, however he’s hoping teams like Portland and New Orleans will drive up his price.”

    Not that this is the most optimistic news about us signing him…

    • James Grayson

      July 9, 2012 at 10:10 pm

      He’s outside of the cut. He’s in the same range as Lance Thomas in terms of talent and urgency to sign. I think the Hornets could go after him, but I’d be wary about his asking price.

  10. sting

    July 9, 2012 at 12:27 pm

    Why not take a shot at Greg Oden.

    • Mason Ginsberg

      July 9, 2012 at 1:07 pm

      Oden has said that he plans to sit out this upcoming season to get back to being totally healthy.

  11. NOS-3RD GEN

    July 9, 2012 at 1:00 pm

    Same reason why E.Gordon shouldn’t be paid all that money. Injury Prone!!!! but if we can pay the minium then for 2-3 yrs then its ok to me!!!

  12. Ron

    July 9, 2012 at 1:13 pm

    Where does he go from here? Disney World!!

  13. tmb1978

    July 9, 2012 at 1:16 pm

    I like Hollins and Stiemsma. I think we need an active big man to take the heat off Davis and Anderson and let them run free.

  14. fred

    July 9, 2012 at 1:44 pm

    This is off-topic, but when are the hornets announce there summer league roster? Who is in the summerleague team?

  15. Mr. West

    July 9, 2012 at 1:58 pm

    I want a welcome to NOLA Ryan Anderson banner at the top of the screen, por favor.

  16. Pelican Poster

    July 9, 2012 at 2:18 pm

    No mention of Kwame Brown? I know he is one of the biggest busts of all time, but he is a big, athletic body who can play pretty good post defense and block shots.

    He sucked as the #1 overall, but I would not mind him coming off our bench to bang with the few true bigs left in the league on a cheap contract. No help on offense, but thats not what we need out of a bench C. Also we already brought him in at some point.

  17. 504ever

    July 9, 2012 at 5:55 pm

    I do not believe Carl Landry is on our list for two reasons. He plays at the crowded PF position, and his salary will eat up all of our remaining space under the tax line, precluding us from signing a Center.

    • James Grayson

      July 9, 2012 at 10:08 pm

      You’re right, but the way I see things there aren’t any centers out there that would value signing a long-term deal with, they’d all be one year players (outside of McGee of course).

      The Hornets desperately need a low-post option so maybe it’s Landry, maybe it’s Elton Brand for a season.

      I’m hoping the Hornets keep their cap flexibility heading into NEXT offseason.

      • 504ever

        July 9, 2012 at 11:10 pm

        Brand for a season works for me, if that is the best we can do.

      • TrinchMan

        July 10, 2012 at 8:44 am

        Elton brand is absolutely terrible now, hes so old and seems to move in slow motion now. Id rather develop our younger talent with those minutes we’d be wasting on Elton Brand.

  18. Hornets686

    July 9, 2012 at 5:56 pm

    Suns get:
    Eric Gordon

    Hornets get:
    Robin Lopez
    Kendall Marshall
    Suns 1st Pick 2013
    Lakers 1st Pick 2013

    Give us a young back up center, and maybe out PG of the future… In 2013 we hoepfully when up with 2 lottery picks again and the later Lakers pick. Then sign Courtney Lee or OJ Mayo

    Lee or Mayo/Rivers/Jack

    • Thaboss

      July 9, 2012 at 6:26 pm

      I think people will be insane to give us all that for Gordon…We will get all those draft picks. Not one of those players are Dominating so why even Put Marshall on our team starting out. I don’t see it working. It looks good on paper.

    • James Grayson

      July 9, 2012 at 10:07 pm

      If that trade were to become a reality the Suns would have to make sure those picks are lottery protected. If they’re unprotected there’s no way they would do that in a million years.

      The Suns know that Eric doesn’t want to go to New Orleans. They had a similar situation a few years ago with Joe Johnson, only it was Johnson wanting out of Phoenix.

      Any trade involving Gordon to Phoenix is going to involve a combination of Marshall, Gortat, ONE first-round pick and then cap fillers (like Dudley or Warrick).

      Not going to get all of those assets.

  19. da ThRONe

    July 9, 2012 at 6:24 pm

    Honesty I would have rather not gotten Anderson and just traded Gordon. We see how the disgruntle player thing works out. Also as solid as Anderson is he’s a best the 4th best player on a contending team. He’s somewhere inbetween role player and impact player IMO that doesn’t warrant the deal we gave him. Much like Gordon he has the potential to earn his money I’m just strongly against paying for potential. It’s just seems like such a low percentage way to build a team.

    I think now we are more in a win now mode. Whether that was the purpose of signing Anderson or not I think as of now we are on the clock. Which I just don’t see us being successful in time to keep everybody happy.

  20. Tyler

    July 9, 2012 at 9:47 pm

    Ryan Anderson was a GREAT signing to the team! Can’t wait to see who Dell has on his radar next!

  21. Analyzer

    July 9, 2012 at 11:49 pm

    I think Landry was paid $9 mil last year, so we don’t even have room for him now after Anderson’s signing. If we are going to get a center, the handwriting is apparently on the wall for a Gordon sign-and-trade to open up room for more bodies. I’m fine with that so long as we get Gortat or Lopez, Marshall, and their #1 pick for 2013. Then in 2-3 years we will be rolling…

    • Jason Calmes

      July 9, 2012 at 11:56 pm

      We will have his bird rights if we don’t have to renounce them.

      Let’s see how this all plays out.

  22. fred

    July 10, 2012 at 1:17 pm

    What about dj mbenga, he is definitely cheap!

  23. Marz9

    July 11, 2012 at 12:13 am

    I think the hornets should bring back Aaron Gray he cheap!

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