Four Non-Gordon Deals That Make Sense for Hornets

Published: February 21, 2013

All of the speculation as of late has been on whether or not the Hornets should move Eric Gordon. While most agree that they should, at least eventually, the disagreement seems to be on when the best time to make the trade would be. It appears that teams aren’t willing to match the Hornets asking price for Gordon right now, and since Gordon does have veto power up until July 13th, Dell does not have maximum leverage. So barring some sort of miracle, it appears that Gordon will stay through the trade deadline.

What Dell Demps can do, however, is what he has always done- make small trades that look insignificant now but pay off big dividends down the road. Nobody thought the Craig Brackins and Songalia for Jason Smith and Willie Green trade would work out so well. Similarly, the Vasquez for Pondexter swap seemed like nothing but a trade of marginal backups at the time. How about Julian Wright for Marco Belinelli? Point is, Dell can make these little moves that result in good rotational players and that creates flexibility to go after bigger fish down the line. With that in mind, here are some moves that Dell Demps should explore that don’t involve Eric Gordon.

1. Roger Mason to Memphis for Toronto’s 2013 2nd rounder

Memphis is in need of a shooter desperately, and if they can’t land JJ Reddick, then perhaps they look to the Hornets and ask for Roger Mason, who is shooting 42% from behind the arc this season. Dell Demps loves to deal 2nd round picks, and has used them in the past to take gambles on guys like Xavier Henry, to help facilitate the Robin Lopez trade, and he sold a 2nd rounder to get the money for Gustavo Ayon, who turned into Ryan Anderson. So if Dell could get one of these trade chips for a guy who likely won’t put on a Pelicans jersey next season, he should pull the trigger.

2. Xavier Henry, Brian Roberts, and cash to the Kings for Aaron Brooks

The Kings are making trades that are financially motivated and whenever that happens, you have to look to take advantage. Aaron Brooks is a fantastic backup guard with a great contract, stuck on a horrible Kings team. He began the year as a starter and put up very good numbers. Then the Kings started messing around with their rotation and some nights he gets 30 minutes, while others he gets 5. It’s a mess in that backcourt. Over the course of his career, he is a guy who gives you 18 and 5 per 36 minutes while hitting 37% from three and 85% from the line. He has a player option that would cost the Hornets just 3.4 million dollars next year if he were to pick it up. Not bad for a guy who could help stabilize your bench and even become a spot starter if need be.

3. Lance Thomas to the Nuggets for Quincy Miller

The Nuggets are making a run at the Western Conference Finals this season and they are going to try to win the conference by playing with high energy and wearing teams down with their tremendous depth. Lance Thomas is a guy who gives maximum effort every minute he is on the floor and right now the only guy Denver has at power forward behind Kenneth Faried is Anthony Randolph. Quincy Miller has spent the majority of the season in the D-League and appears unable to crack the Nuggets rotation because they are so loaded at small forward. Even looking towards the future, they have guys like Jordan Hamilton and Evan Fournier ready to step in. The Hornets could buy low here on Miller, and it could pay off big a year or two down the line.

4. Robin Lopez to the Nets for Mirza Teletovic, Marshon Brooks, and 2013 1st rounder

The Nets have been shopping this package around but have found no takers. How about they try to reunite the Lopez brothers together once again? Sounds like a Prokorov type of move. The Nets talked about wanting to move Brook Lopez to power forward if Dwight Howard came in, and I am sure they can try to do that in stretches if Robin Lopez came to town. On the Hornets end, they get an electric scorer in Brooks who could score in bunches. His rookie year saw him put up nearly 13 points per game, scoring in a variety of ways. He has a very good mid-range game, which is hard to come by in this day and age, as he shot nearly 49% from 3-10 feet last year, which ranked in the top 20 amongst guards and wing players. Teletovic has solid potential and is on a good contract, but would likely be moved for something else since the Hornets have similar players in Anderson and Smith. The pick figures to be in the late teens/early 20’s, which could get you a quality player like Glenn Robinson III in this draft.



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