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



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