In the NO Podcast Episode 78: Free Agency Wrap-up

Published: July 22, 2012

Not a lot of basketball being played by Hornets players right now, but Michael and I spend the podcast pouring over the western conference in the wake of a busy Free Agency and answering two questions:

  • Are they better than the Hornets now?
  • Are they someone to worry about in three years?

Tune in, then rank the teams yourself in the comments!

Oh, and this week is a two parter! Come back Thursday morning for more Hornets Podcasting goodness!

Enjoy the Podcast! Want it on Itunes?


  1. Ron

    July 23, 2012 at 1:44 am

    Regarding that GM who refers to his players as “assets”: it that so different than employees being “Human Resources”?

  2. Hornets686

    July 23, 2012 at 4:08 am

    If we could some how get Robin Lopez in a sign and trade for Landry….

    Hornets get:
    Robin Lopez

    Bobcats get:
    Carl Landry

    Suns get:
    Mullens, Diop, 2nd Rounder?

    • Ron

      July 23, 2012 at 1:22 pm

      I think we’ve already forfeited our rights to him.

      • Jason Calmes

        July 23, 2012 at 1:35 pm

        We did, but we can still do a sign-and-trade for those players. We can’t use a Bird exception to facilitate it, however.

      • Hornets686

        July 24, 2012 at 10:16 am

        Looks like I was kinda right! 😉 Were trying to do a sign and trade for Lopez!

        Adrian Wojnarowski: Hornets have worked hard on executing a sign-and-trade for Suns RFA center Robin Lopez, but deal hasn’t come together, sources tell Y! Twitter
        Rumors tagsNew Orleans Hornets, Phoenix Suns, Trade, Robin Lopez | share Share on FacebookShare on TwitterSubscribe to HoopsHype rumors

        Adrian Wojnarowski: Suns want to keep Lopez, but sides still unable to come to terms. As a restricted free agent, Suns can match an offer sheet. Twitter

    • Chris

      July 26, 2012 at 1:38 am

      I think you guys are lost on how worthless lopez is.. its funny how other teams are so excited getting a guy whos feet are cemented to the court. He provides Intimidation being 7 foot and his crazy hair and the faces he makes.. watch him for a couple games and you will realize he reminds you more of side show bob.. guy is worthless.. cant move his feet, cant rebound, cant be used in pick and rolls, slightly above avg blocks a game which i guess isnt too bad but considering he is 7 foot and should dominate, its pretty weak. Hes worthless..

  3. dbeard06

    July 23, 2012 at 10:11 am

    42 said in the HornetsReport blog “Landy for Dwight?!?!?!?!?!” Then he went on to say “I see how this could come together.” Could 42 please explain his theory? I don’t see DH coming here, but maybe we can be involved in the trade somehow?

    • Jason Calmes

      July 23, 2012 at 10:15 am

      Sarcasm. Read the other posts.

      A guy said people were talking Landry to Bobcats rumors like a Howard deal.

      Enter my sarcasm bases on him saying a player’s name with Dwight’s in the same sentence.

      Orlando first and then we can talk was another post. Diop there to make salary work.

      All sarcasm.

      Forget Dwight.

      • dbeard06

        July 23, 2012 at 10:48 am

        Ok, gotcha! But is there a way we can get in on the DH trade to possibly pick up another 3 or a 5 (which we still don’t have)? If DH goes to Houston, there is no need for them to keep Montiejunas!

      • Jason Calmes

        July 23, 2012 at 11:58 am

        Cap space can do wonders and we ‘can’ get in on any trade as a facilitator. It all depends on the deal.

      • Nate

        July 23, 2012 at 12:20 pm

        Initially when the Nets were supposed to get Howard and the Cavs were in talks, I thought Cleveland was getting a ridiculous deal in receiving Humphries and 2/3 picks in exchange for Luke Walton.

  4. lsutigers33

    July 23, 2012 at 10:23 am

    Clippers are better than hornets 5 yrs ago. Bledsoe is better than you give credit and odom and crawford off the bench is strong.

  5. Al

    July 23, 2012 at 10:48 am

    Let’s see, applying all offseason moves, draft, any coaching changes, I would rank the Western Conference as follows:
    1. OKC 8. DAL 15. SAC
    2. LA 9. MIN
    3. SA 10. UTAH
    4. LAC 11. GS
    5. DEN 12. NO
    6. MEM 13. PHX
    7. POR 14. HOU

    • Al

      July 24, 2012 at 8:39 am

      Wow, 9 thumbs down, and no explanations or discussion. Nice.

    • Chris

      July 26, 2012 at 1:26 am

      There really isnt any needed explanation.. looks like a pretty good guess off of talent and previous years with the new additions.. although if the lakers click as a team with their new look, I think they will beat out OKC

      • Chris

        July 26, 2012 at 1:27 am

        Thumbs go against you when they see their team so low..

  6. Nick Malone aka yankeesman77

    July 23, 2012 at 11:49 am

    So this is basically the team we are riding with this year. In order of importance.

    Anthony Davis
    Eric Gordon
    Ryan Anderson
    Austin Rivers
    Al Farooq Aminu
    Grevis Vasquez

    And everybody else?

    I’m a hornets fan but it just leaves me with wanting something more well rounded. We don’t have a center, we need to bring Landry back for low post scoring. We don’t really have a veteran point guard that can help Austin Rivers through this process which we traded to GS for nothing.

    I’m just frustrated and hate losing when this team won’t even be that bad of a lottery team to even get a top 5 pick. Maybe they will if EJ is injured again.

    I’m depressed that this off season resulted in just about nothing except for bringing in Ryan Anderson and dumping just about everyone else. We haven’t even signed AR and AD to rookie contracts yet!


  7. Nate

    July 23, 2012 at 11:52 am

    1. OKC – still strong (till they have to decide between Ibaka/Harden)
    2. SAS – always underrated (Duncan’s last run)
    3. LAK – Nash doesn’t make improvements when Kobe doesn’t give up the ball.
    4. LAC – Good free agents willing to take a paycut. Paul is in same situation.
    5. DEN – Still developing. VERY deep.
    6. MEM – Same as always. Good team, better with Randolph than Gay.
    7. MIN – Make playoffs with healthy team. Rubio tops in assists, makes All-Star.
    8. NO – If Gordon stays healthy, maybe 6-7. Davis gains experience, 20 lbs with Team USA, has monster rookie season (top 3 in blocks), I wear black pipe-cleaner to connect eyebrows while watching from home.
    9. UTA – Mo’s not enough.
    10. DAL – Good squad. Just good. Dirk mulls trade or retirement pending on next offseason.
    11. GS – Bogut stays hurt.
    12. POR – Rebuilding effort. Needs more than Aldridge/Batum. Lillard becomes next Iverson. (shoot first, ask questions later), 2nd in ROTY voting.
    13. SAC – Chemistry issues. Robinson comes in 3rd ROTY voting.
    14. PHX – So many issues. Where to start?
    15. HOU – Lin is an island.

    • Chris

      July 26, 2012 at 1:29 am

      How can you say nash doesnt make improvements when kobe doesnt give up the ball..? it workds perfect.. kobe isnt a point gaurd.. he makes the plays, doesnt create them.. and nash’s last 2-4 years have been all about his assists and making plays happen.. hes not the shooter/scorrer he was years back. He can still hit the shot better than 99% of the NBA but he would rather have 20 assists and 2 points if it was up to him..

  8. Josh

    July 23, 2012 at 12:20 pm

    Thanks for the podcast. Here are my Western Conference standings.
    1. Oklahoma City Thunder-kept core and will get back Maynor and added Jones III.
    2. Los Angeles Lakers-added Steve Nash, Antawn Jamison, possibly O’neal with core
    3. San Antonio Spurs-kept core and expecting improvements from Leonard, Green
    4. Los Angeles Clippers-lost Young, Evans but added Crawford, Odom, and Billups
    5. Memphis Grizzlies-lost Mayo, picked up Wroten, Bayless, get back Arthur, Selby
    6. Denver Nuggets-good young core and added Fournier, expecting Chandler back
    7. Dallas Mavericks- got Cunningham, Collison, Kaman, Mayo, Crowder with Dirk
    8. Minnesota Timberwolves-added Roy, Budinger, Steimsma and D-Will lost 15lbs
    9. Utah Jazz-got Williams, expect improvement from Burks and Kanter
    10. Golden State Warriors-get back Bogut and Curry, added Barnes and Jack
    11.New Orleans Hornets-Davis, Rivers, Anderson, and get back Gordon but lost vets
    12. Sacramento Kings-added T-Rob, Brooks but don’t flow as a unit
    13. Portland Trailblazers- added Lillard, Leonard, Freeland
    14. Houston Rockets-added Lin, Asik, Lamb, White, Jones but have a lot of questions
    15. Phoenix Suns-lost Nash and Hill, got Marshall, Dragic, Beasley; not much talent

    At the 4:53 note, Ryan sounded like Buzz Light Year (“I agree.”). I just wanted to point that out.

    • Al

      July 23, 2012 at 12:59 pm

      Not much love for Portland here. I think they have a solid team. Missing a top notch Center, but if Przybilla returns he could fill a void. Matthews is much better than given credit for. A core of Lillard, Batum, Matthews, Aldridge is very nice.

      • Josh

        July 23, 2012 at 1:23 pm

        I think Portland has a nice, young team. Lillard, Matthews, Batum, Aldridge, and Leonard with Babbitt, Hickson, Przybilla, Freeland off the bench is a solid team. I just think that the Kings might win a game or two more. They have Brooks, Thornton, Evans, Robinson, and Cousins with Thomas, Fredette, Thompson, and Hayes. I think we have more talent and a better coach. I think Golden State is talented, too. Portland has the ability to be a good team; I just think they may be behind Scramento by 1/2 a game.

  9. Mike P

    July 23, 2012 at 2:32 pm

    Not sure why everyone is panicking over what we “need.” We are not going to be competing for a championship this year. Let our core develop, and once we have a better understanding of what they can and can’t do in the NBA, then we can start grabbing complementary pieces. Flexibility is more important right now

  10. Frank

    July 23, 2012 at 3:23 pm

    Here’s what I have the Western Conference ranked as of now:

    1. OKC Thunder- added length, Maynor returning, and got a steal in PJIII
    2. San Antonio Spurs- Core is still there although there has been a report that Blair was on the trading block
    3.Los Angeles Lakers- IMO this team is way over hyped at this spot. Their bench is really not that great. If they improve their bench scoring, then I see them at this position.
    4. Memphis Grizzles- With the Grizz additions in free agency, I would expect them to compete with the Spurs for the Southwest division crown.
    5. Denver Nuggets- retaining Miller & McGee in addition to a breakout season from Farried, this team is very deep and will possibly be considered a dark horse this season.
    6. Los Angeles Clippers- Jack Sperling made a bad decision to retain Vinny Del Negro even with the addition of Odom, Crawford, and Hill, I really don’t see them go that far in the playoffs.
    7. Minnesota Timberwolves- If they can stay healthy, this team will be interesting to watch.
    8. Dallas Mavericks- although they heavily focused on D-Will, they have some nice additions in free agency, but I don’t think they will have the firepower to compete in the SW division.
    9. New Orleans Hornets- Besides the additions there are a couple of things they need to work on: Scoring, transition, better shot selections, and committing less turnovers. If the team stays healthy throughout, they will fight for a playoff spot.
    10. Utah Jazz- This team is very underrated, but if Burks and Canter improve, I say they will be at least in the 7th spot.
    11. Portland Trail Blazers- On paper, Damian Lillard could be considered a heavy favorite to win NBA Rookie of The Year. However, even with a core of Lillard, Batum, and Aldridge, there are some holes in the roster. Assuming if Kaleb Canales is their head coach, its pretty safe to say that they still need to rebuild.
    12. Phoenix Suns- Although a lineup of Dragic, Beasley, Gortat, Dudley, and Frye is enticing for anyone to put them in the playoff position, I don’t think they don’t have enough depth to compete with the elite teams in the West.
    13. Golden State Warriors- Health is big key for their starting lineup. If Barnes shines for the Warriors, I think they will be fighting for the last two playoff spots.
    14. Sacramento Kings- A young team with a lot of potential, but the lack of established veterans will keep them in the lottery for the 6th straight year. There needs to be a change in their front office in regards to their roster.
    15. Houston Rockets- Lin will shine in Houston, but they are officially going a complete roster overhaul this season in order to attract the 2013 free agent class. Expect Martin to be traded before the trade deadline.

  11. da ThRONe

    July 23, 2012 at 4:14 pm

    I would go like this

    1. OKC
    2. SAS
    3. LAL
    4. MEM
    5. LAC
    6. MIN
    7. POR
    8. SAC
    9. DAL
    10. DEN
    11. UTA
    12. GSW
    13. NOH
    14. HOU
    15. PHX

    Couple of comments
    -I love what the Kings have and they are my dark horse playoff teams. I think Cousins will be viewed with Bynum and Howard as the best centers in the league once the season is over. I think Thomas will not only start, but will continue to play well. I think Robinson will get ROTY. The challenge will be can Smart get them to play as a unit.

    -I agree I see the Suns as the worst team in the West. That team was build around Nash creating for everybody. I don’t ever see Dragic filling that hole neither Marshall(although I think he’s better suited for the role long term).

    -I like Houston moving forward especially if they land Howard and are able to keep Lamb and T. Jones in the process. Even if Howard is a no go this team IMO will be bad this year and have a shot at a Zeller or Nerlens in next years draft. If these players don’t relise they are just assets well that’s just ignorance on their parts.

    -I’m a little stooped on Denver. On one hand they are step up well for regular season play. Not so much for the playoffs. However I see several teams that may be ready to turn the page in SAC and POR so I see them missing the playoffs.

    -I love where POR is going with there team. I wasn’t high on Lillard coming in but now I think he will be pushing my choice for ROTY all year and he’ll be right up there. I like Leonard always did. With Aldridge as the centerpiece and his perennial all-star talent I think POR will find themselves in the post season. My long term question are about Batum. Not only is he overpaid, but he’s not happy with the FO.

  12. Ben

    July 23, 2012 at 5:07 pm

    This would be my rating for each team’s competitiveness with the Hornets. The first number is now and the second number is for 3 years from now. 1 being Hornets absolutely better. 10 being other team absolutely better than Hornets. 5/6 is pretty much even with 5 being slight edge to Hornets, 6 slight edge to other team. The order is my prediction for the Western Conference next year.
    1) OKC- 10, 6
    2) LAL- 9, 3
    3) SAN- 9, 2
    4) MEM- 8, 3
    5) LAC- 7, 2
    6) DEN- 8, 4
    7) DAL- 6, 2
    8) HOU- 5, 4
    9) UTA- 6, 3
    10) NOH
    11) MIN- 5, 4
    12) GSW- 5, 4
    13) SAC- 4, 3
    14) POR- 3, 3
    15) PHX- 1, 1

  13. Josh

    July 23, 2012 at 8:29 pm

    Jason, what do the shirts look like (or what’s on it) that Ryan was making that you said you would give to nikkoewan and me?

    • Ben

      July 23, 2012 at 8:38 pm

      And Is there going to be a contest like the trade proposal one to give away a few shirts?

    • Jason Calmes

      July 23, 2012 at 10:52 pm

      Still working on the distribution. One of them had issues.

      Aopreciate the gentle reminders.

  14. cookieman

    July 23, 2012 at 9:23 pm

    Let’s look at the top 8 last year vs. top 8 this year and see if we are better or worse.
    Smith – Stil on team, no change
    Gordon – Still on team, no change
    Anderson – Replacement for Landry -Upgrade
    Rivers – Replacement for Jack – downgrade. Will eventually be better.
    Davis/Aminu – Replacement for Okafor and Kaman. Jury still out. Kaman was good.

    ??? what else is there. To me we are worse, but have ability to be better in the future. Do not count on much this year. Maybe Gordon is right.

    • 504ever

      July 24, 2012 at 12:43 pm


      Totally agree on your player comparison except it is hard to see the 2012 Gordon as no change over 2011 Gordon. It is very unlikely 2012 Gordon will play nine games or less in 2012. That could be the game changer that makes the Hornets better, and that doesn’t include possible mores at center.

  15. G5JeffMartin

    July 23, 2012 at 9:34 pm

    Good podcast as usual, Very thought provoking… But HOW DARE YOU even part your lips to compare ANY version of Chauncey Billups to Mo Pete!!! Lol!! That was laughable.

  16. macs21

    July 23, 2012 at 10:41 pm

    Now/in 3 years

    1. OKC/OKC
    2. SAS/NOH
    3. LAL/MEM
    4. MEM/GSW
    5. LAC/DEN
    6. DEN/MIN
    7. UTA/POR
    8. DAL/LAL
    9. MIN/SAC
    10. GSW/UTA
    11. POR/SAS
    12. SAC/HOU
    13. NOH/LAC
    14. PHX/DAL
    15. HOU/PHX

    3 years is super hard. There are teams I can’t imagine being good (DAL/SAS) given where they are at right now. But I also can’t imagine them being bad because of their record over the last 10-15 years.

    Converseley, teams like GSW/LAC/SAC could be awesome but could also be terrible depending on injury issues and defensive intensity (and getting a whole new front office.)

    I feel like I have about 4 safe picks. MEM, NOH, OKC being in the top 4 and PHX being one of the bottom 2. That is literally all I’m confident in

  17. Chris

    July 24, 2012 at 6:12 am

    I’m expecting this team to be much better offensively and for us to contend for the 8 seed in the West. We might not get it, but I definitely expect us to be in the mix assuming Gordon is healthy for 90% of the season. If not, I expect results similar to last season. I know that we have a young core and still need more pieces, but I would be concerned if we are healthy and are still one of the worst teams in the NBA next season. I think we have too much talent to not take a step forward.

    Speaking of the future, I would love to add Igoudala at the 3 somehow and would even be willing to part with next years first round pick to do so. Some would cringe and say that is not the OKC plan or the plan that Dell is likely to employ in regards to trading a first rounder and they would be correct. However, next years draft might be the worst draft in at least 10-15 years……NBA scouts left the Nike Hoop Summit feeling like they wasted their time with next years freshmen class. If we don’t have a top 5-7 pick, there isn’t a ton of value in keeping the pick IF we can land a quality starter via trade. He is a great distributor, defender, and team player who also happens to be able to score when called upon. Passing, defense, and a reliable SF are three things we need. Igoudala helps in all of those categories.

    PG – Rivers
    SG – Gordon
    SF – Igoudala
    PF – Anderson
    PF/C – Davis

    This would be a very athletic starting 5 that is capable of making a run in the playoffs IMO. A lot depends on Rivers development and if he can play the PG like Dell and Monty think he can, but it definitely gets me excited to think about a team like the above.

    • bob

      July 24, 2012 at 7:28 am

      Uh…now here this if you are counting on Rivers to play the most
      important position on the court at 19yrs of age and no point guard
      experiance…well that won’t work. He needs to be taught.
      You traded Jacks which was stupid. Hornets will be lucky to win
      20 games with Rivers at the point. Also you have no depth.
      Miller your second round pick can’t play.

    • Nate

      July 24, 2012 at 8:25 am

      76ers have been shopping Iggy for years. Can you imagine if we were to trade Aminu for him? We would be feared as one of the best defensive teams in the league if Davis develops like I hope. Iggy’s very underrated.

  18. sean

    July 24, 2012 at 6:43 am

    Here is my western conference standings:

    1. New Orleans!

    End of story


    • Nate

      July 24, 2012 at 8:26 am

      Thank you! I seem to have gotten a round of boos for even suggesting they’ll make the playoffs in the 8 spot. It seems even their own fans are underestimating them.

      • Chris

        July 24, 2012 at 12:06 pm

        I think the 8 spot is realistic if we are healthy. We might be a few games short and end up 9th-10th in the West, but if we are going down the right path than you have to see improvement THIS season. I know Davis and Rivers are 19 year old rookies, but they are very talented and not quite as raw as some might think.

        I also don’t think we have the finished roster for next season. While I don’t expect anything major, I do see us adding a few pieces that will help.

      • Nate

        July 24, 2012 at 12:21 pm

        Monty is a teacher. Their development will be faster than most. GO HORNETS!!!

    • sean

      July 25, 2012 at 8:54 am

      Lol. Boo to the person that thumbs downed me.

      Cant a man DREAM?

  19. Ben

    July 24, 2012 at 10:45 am

    Got skynet and sub-zero signed so let the browing down of the NBA begin.

  20. SunsFanJeremy

    July 24, 2012 at 1:52 pm

    Funny how you hornets fans keep ranking your team above the suns when you don’t even have a point guard, SF, or center.

  21. Suns4life

    July 24, 2012 at 2:14 pm

    You guys are dead wrong about the suns! You have no idea what you are talking about. The suns have had a fantastic offseason adding lots of young talent. They will be nowhere near 14 and 15th seed. Will we be a top 4 seed in the west? Possibly. But I see the 5-7 seed for us this year. The young talent we added will make us a title contender in about 2 years. Quit spitting useless garbage about the suns when you don’t know what you are talking about!

  22. Jason A.

    July 24, 2012 at 2:43 pm

    Someone pointed out all the predictions y’all are making and it’s pretty funny. Although both the Suns and Hornets won’t be that good this year, I think there’s a chance the Suns make the playoffs. I’d go though all the reasons why but I’m not sure y’all would understand. Good luck being “In” for this year.

  23. Banloo

    July 24, 2012 at 2:56 pm

    Suns fans are defensive lol. Your team will suck for years to come accept it and move on.

    • SunsFanJeremy

      July 24, 2012 at 3:14 pm

      No one wants to play in NO. It’s why they had to trade Paul. Gordon wants out. And Anthony Davis will be gone in 4 years. All Hornets fans can talk about is the draft because it’s the only way they can get players to their team. By forcing them to play there for 4 years.

      • Jason Calmes

        July 24, 2012 at 3:28 pm

        The same way Gordon was gone?

        Oh, restricted. We’d be in charge (again).

        Did tou know that rule?

  24. Jason A.

    July 24, 2012 at 2:58 pm

    @Banloo, yes, I’m sure you could tell us a lot about that outcome. At least we never tanked a season.

    • Banloo

      July 24, 2012 at 3:03 pm

      Lol go back to valleyofthesuns. We never tanked a season. We won 7 of our last 10 games. Direct your anger where it belongs at suns management who put u in a crapy position

  25. Nithenz

    July 26, 2012 at 12:23 pm

    Thursday morning … Hope its delayed covering this last trade… Bored at work, would kill for podcast second part.

    Keep up the great work guys!

    • Ryan Schwan

      July 26, 2012 at 12:27 pm

      Actually, no, I just forgot to upload it last night. 🙁

      Sorry about that. I’ll do it this evening.

      No podcast about the Lopez trade because McNamara is unavailable right now.

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