Should the Hornets Trade Greivis Vasquez?

Published: February 18, 2013

He’s averaging the 3rd most assists in the NBA. Jalen Rose thinks he’s the Most Improved Player in the NBA this season. He’s recorded a triple-double this season. He’s a player everybody loves if he’s on your team and one you hate if he’s not.

He’s Greivis Vasquez.

With the trade deadline coming up General Managers around the league are going to be looking for an answer to their job-security prayers. Everybody wants to be winners, nobody can be a loser. Even a stockbroker working at the NYSE thinks it’s a time of madness.

In amongst it all the Hornets are dealing with a bunch of speculation regarding their future roster outlook. The discussions for Eric Gordon have heated up recently thanks in large part to his absence at a recent home game prior to the All-Star break (Maybe it was an early vacation for him?)

Greivis Vasquez is eligible for a contract extension this upcoming offseason. Because of that many have tried to speculate where his value lies on a team that’s “up-and-coming.” The back and forth between should they or shouldn’t they rages on.

Trading Vasquez could be a solution as well as a risk for General Manager Dell Demps. There are three stages to the process of deciding whether he should be traded or whether he should remain.

1. What is his role on this team?

Grevis Vasquez is the centerpiece of the Hornets offense. He creates for others and gets the team out of late-clock situations. When they bring the ball up the floor it’s likely that they’ll run a motion, then if it breaks down kick it to GV for a Pick and Roll with a big.

Currently Vasquez has a usage rate of 23% this season which is above his career average by 3 percentiles. He assists 47 percent of his team-mates baskets while on the floor demonstrating what we suspected: Monty Williams relies on Vasquez.

Because of this heavy reliance on Vasquez we’ve come to ponder whether such a ball-dominator can indeed work with another like Eric Gordon. Not only that but can this ball-dominator lead you to a championship?

We suspect the answer is no, but until the Hornets/Pelicans develop their roster to the aspect in which they like we much hold back our judgement.

2. What is his value on the market?

The Market aspect of the process includes his current contract value, what his future contract might demand and what he’s worth in exchange for his acquisition in the eyes of other teams around the league.

Pretty much every New Orleanean Professional Basketball Fan wants 1st round picks for just about every asset that the Pels have. Greivis Vasquez may be no different.

Dell Demps acquired Vasquez for Quincy Pondexter. Looking back it was a steal that most NBA experts can only scratch their heads as to how it happened in the first place. Right now his value is at an all time high. Greivis is on a rookie contract, is one of the league’s leaders in assists and still has room to grow. By my estimation there are 12 teams that are all in need of a point-guard upgrade.

  • Boston
  • Charlotte
  • Dallas
  • Detroit
  • Los Angeles (Lakers)
  • Miami
  • Milwaukee (with Jennings looking to enter FA)
  • New York
  • Orlando
  • Phoenix
  • Sacramento
  • Utah

As you can see there are teams out there in need of a point-guard. Some may not have the assets but a GM’s greatest friend is multiple buyers to drive up a price.

Perhaps the Hornets work out a deal that would send Jennings to New Orleans and Vasquez (& Henry) to Milwaukee based on Jennings agreeing to sign an extension (which is pretty unrealistic).

Or perhaps you call up Sacramento and offer Gordon and Vasquez for an unprotected 1st round pick, John Salmons (3yr/8 million a season) & Francisco Garcia (2yr/6.1 million a season)? Hornets take on salary, get a top-5 pick. The Kings get Vasquez on a rookie deal and a flyer on Gordon.

His value is a little bit more complex because no one is sure what he mind command on a free market. However in saying that, Demps would likely want a high asking price because of what he paid to acquire Vasquez (which was quite low).

3. The Future

We all love Greivis Vasquez. When he’s on the court fans notice his immediate impact to the team. He’s the fuel that gets the machine going. He makes team-mates better and has showcased his growth and development over his short NBA career.

What Dell Demps has to figure out is in what way does he want to shape out his roster? Vasquez could easily be the starting point-guard on this team, but he can’t be the prime creator for offense. Nor can you ignore his poor defensive capabilities. Finding more defensively intense guards is a must.

Determining the contract you’re willing to give Vasquez must also be taken into account. Free-Agent moves, extensions for other players and cap management are all imperative to success in a small-market. The Hornets will almost certainly have the capspace to offer him a sizeable contract, but will Greivis want a $10-million a season deal?

What the Process Reveals

I remember listening to an interview with Dell Demps last off-season about one player who he really likes and that player was Greivis Vasquez. Demps (and I’m paraphrasing here) said that his passion, determination and leadership qualities resemble the type of attitudes they want in the organisation.

Because of this I have a hard time believing that New Orleans is going to end up trading Vasquez even if his value is at an all time high. He’s in the prime of his career, is on a rookie contract and still has plenty of room to grow.

While the Hornets could use more lottery picks or an added veteran forward it remains unlikely that they part ways with a player they see as part of their future.


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