Hornets Beat: Taking Stock

Published: December 24, 2012

It’s time took look around, see what we have and what can be done about this mess the season has been so far.

1. How would you grade the Hornets overall handling of Eric Gordon since he was first acquired from the Clippers?

Jason Calmes: An unmitigated disaster. This entire situation has been marked with incompetence. Depending on who you are, you’ll dole out the incompetence differently, but, to me, this injury was more than either Gordon or the medical staff thought it was. It’s been nearly a year since Gordon missed his first regular season game with the Hornets. That is excessive. Then, at least one person was handled the free agency in a way that cause far more trouble than was necessary. There are more instances. Explanations range from the simple to the complex. Occam’s razor says it’s the simple explanation.

Michael McNamara: D+. Their stance has remained the same, at least publicly. They said he was their best player, a franchise cornerstone, and they backed it up by matching the Suns offer this summer. Other than that, it has been a disaster. Poor communication by both sides, leading to Eric Gordon questioning whether he could trust the organization, along with the franchises inability to really relay to its fan base what was going on. They still have time to turn it around, but so far it has been a disaster.

Chris Trew: If Gordon stays healthy the rest of his career and the Hornets get really good we’ll look back at the past year and we’ll be all “ha! remember when everyone thought Gordon was a weirdo?”. But if Gordon gets traded or if he gets hurt again then everyone will probably always be mad forever. My head hurts thinking about who was right or wrong and how things were handled. I’m going to shut my brain off for the remainder of this Hornets Beat.

Mason Ginsberg: D. The only reason that they don’t get an “F” is because he hasn’t requested a trade; not because that would have been the Hornets’ fault, but it’s the only thing that would have made the situation worse. There has been so much confusion and controversy between Gordon’s camp and the Hornets’ organization, which has resulted in the fans feeling disrespected.

Jake Madison: I don’t want to assign it a grade since we don’t know what the ‘true’ story is, but, regardless, they’ve handled this pretty poorly. It’s also like the Hornets’ medical staff evaluated his injury incorrectly–or maybe not. Regardless, I think a lot of these issues could have been avoided by communicating with each other more.

2. Which guard best fits with Eric Gordon in the backcourt?

JC: Austin Rivers. Another guard that can get to the rim while passing passably would give the defenses fits . . . in time.

CT: I’m pretty excited about July 2013 when Chris Paul signs a max contract with the Hornets/Pelicans. The Tumblewolves movement was a success and that twitter handle has been converted to CP_Come_Home so how could this not work? My answer to this question is Chris Paul and will be until he signs a contract somewhere else. Reminder, my brain is not working properly.

MM: Greivis Vasquez. Vasquez’s numbers off the ball numbers in spot-up situations are actually really good, and when Gordon comes back, I expect him to have the ball in his hands a lot. Also, Vasquez can guard the bigger, bulkier shooting guards that Gordon might have problems with.

MG: Right now, it’s probably Greivis; having Gordon in the lineup to take some of the ball-handling pressure off of him should help him cut down on his turnovers. However, once Rivers becomes a better distributor in order to make himself a dual threat when attacking the rim, then my answer will change to him. As Jason noted, they have the potential to give opposing defenses some trouble.

JM: From an oncourt-production perspective, it would be Vasquez for the reasons McNamara said. But does that matter for the Hornets right now? The backcourt of the future is Gordon and Rivers. May as well play them together right now.

3. Who is the Hornets best small forward?

JC: Lance Thomas. Aminu’s turnover woes keep him from consideration here. The position is fundamentally flawed at this point. This is a more glaring issue than point guard. It’s too early to tell with the other guys.

CT: Shabazz Muhammad. You know, the guy we’ll draft with the 3rd overall pick this June. He’s gonna be great. Will fit right in with our new starting point guard Chris Paul.

MM: Lance Thomas hustles his butt off on defense, makes all the right rotations and can crash the boards on offense while occasionally hitting a mid-range jump shot. Collectively, the Hornets have the worst collection of small forwards in the league, but Thomas is the best of the worst.

MG: There’s really no argument for anyone else but Thomas. Aminu has been terrible, and Miller hasn’t gotten enough minutes to put himself in the conversation. Thomas helps the Hornets the most on defense and hurts them the least on offense.

JM: It’s Thomas. At the start of the season, I didn’t much like him as a player. Now? I’m on board with what he brings to the Hornets. He’s a solid rotation player who has been playing solid defense.

4. When will the Hornets get their next win?

JC: Sabado, contra Los Gatos De Roberto.

CT: Probably against Orlando on Wednesday when Ryan Anderson breaks the NBA record for three point shots made. If not there then Friday against Toronto when Julian Wright flies in from Israel or Austin or wherever he is now and messes something up for the Raptors.

MM: Saturday, January 5th at Dallas. Toronto and Orlando are actually playing good ball as of late, and while I would like to predict a victory over Charlotte, I have a strange feeling that Gordon comes back that night and it takes the Hornets a little bit of time to readjust.

MG: If we go 0-3 at Orlando, at home vs. Toronto, and at Charlotte, I will be immensely disappointed. I’ll say we start off New Year’s weekend right and get a home win over the Raptors.

JM: It’s gotta be the against the Raptors, right? The Bobcats? Please tell me the Hornets don’t lose to them.

5. What, if anything, would you be willing to give up for DeMarcus Cousins?

JC: To play him, nothing. To hold him as an asset, next year’s first rounder, the right to swap this year’s first rounder, top 3 protected, or some other team’s first rounder if we could get one. Someone will take this guy. See: Mettartest.

CT: Xavier Henry, Roger Mason, Aminu, Brian Roberts, second round draft picks, a lottery protected first rounder, Joe Gerrity’s extensive collection of Mardi Gras memorabilia, a 2020 third rounder, a basket of Louisiana Seafood, a Dan Dickau bobblehead, my secret 3% ownership stake in the Hornets and Andrew’s video camera. That’s it.

MM: A poo-poo platter of our garbage, nothing more. The guy is 5-6 years away from maturing into a guy you can tolerate in your locker room. Now, if some other team wants him, I would be willing to be the third team facilitating that trade, but I don’t want him on this roster.

MG: I had some fun with this on Twitter on Saturday, just to see what some fans thought. From a talent perspective, a Davis/Cousins front-court could be the best duo in the league as early as a year or two from now. Unfortunately, the baggage that he brings with him outweighs that potential, so I wouldn’t give up any key assets for him. Personally, I think Cousins could very well be salvageable from a personality perspective; he couldn’t possibly be in a worse situation than he is right now with the Kings.

JM: I really like Boogie Cousins, but I’m not giving up Davis or Anderson for him. I would be okay with including Lopez and perhaps a protected lottery pick for him though.


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