Quick Notes and Thoughts from an uneventful week

Published: June 26, 2011

On Thursday night, every single team added at least one player to their roster. Every team, except the New Orleans Hornets of course. Indiana and Dallas did not draft anybody, but they added veterans in George Hill and Rudy Fernandez. Toronto added a guy who won’t be on their roster next year, but they still added someone who figures to be a big part of their future in Jonas Valanciunas. The Hawks and Grizzlies only had one late second round pick, like us, but they used it. The Hawks grabbed Schwan’s man crush Keith Benson and Memphis took Josh Selby, a guy who was projected to be a potential lottery pick one year ago.

So not every team made a major splash, but at least their team writers and bloggers got to dive into scouting reports and videos so they can try to sell the fans (and themselves) on this new guy being a part of the answer. We didn’t get the opportunity to do that. I didn’t get the chance to debate Schwan in a podcast about the potential of our draftee, Joe didn’t get to interview Dell about him, and 42 didn’t get to write a 2200 word soliloquy about how the drafting of an unknown prospect is akin to the first time he discovered what anti-matter was.

We were robbed of all of that, and you were all robbed of the joy that comes with sharing your opinions as well. It was simply uneventful. But there were still some random happenings and general thoughts that I wanted to throw out there as we head into the final week of the NBA as we currently know it. The lockout is coming, and if the NFL lockout has frustrated you this offseason, this could (and should) be much, much worse. Here are some thoughts:

– Once Charles Jenkins went off the board at No. 44, I could have cared less who the Hornets took with the next pick. Honestly, a lot of the guys that fans wanted in that spot (David Lighty, Scotty Hobson, Rick Jackson, Malcolm Thomas, Jerome Richardson) went undrafted and are still available if the Hornets want to pursue them. I don’t think Jenkins was on the Hornets short list, however, and I think they would have moved it anyway had Golden State not picked him. Guys who they were hoping would fall, but didn’t, likely include: Jimmy Butler, Jeremy Tyler, Trey Thompkins, Malcolm Lee, Bojan Bogdanovic, and David Bertans.

– Speaking of David Lighty, it appears that he has narrowed his choices down to Atlanta and Phoenix. Several teams called him after the draft, and those are the only two that he will visit.

– Remember when the Hornets brought in those 16 players for a workout a couple of weeks before the draft? That could have played a much bigger role in the selling of this draft pick than we realize. If the Hornets like one or two of those guys better than anybody on the board at 45, it was smart to sell the pick. With the money that the Knicks sent over, they can get two of those guys. The minimum contract is right around $473,000. When you go a step beyond that and factor in how much we would have paid the guy we actually picked, you can rationalize this as a 3-for-1 swap of sorts. The Hornets can use the Knicks money (and the money they saved) to sign Patrick Ewing, Jr., Edgar Sosa, and Tasmin Mitchell if they so choose, as opposed to just drafting a random guy at No. 45.

– Based on some of the things I have said in previous points, I am not mad that the Hornets sold the pick, I am frustrated with how much they got for it. Just six picks earlier, the Warriors paid 2 million dollars to draft Jeremy Tyler. It would have been nice if there was somebody on the board that a team liked enough to pay 1 – 1.5 million, but beggars can’t be choosers.

– On the David West front, it looks like we will have a decision in the next day or two. West wanted to talk with Demps this weekend and present some ideas to him, which sounds like a reason for Hornets fans to be slightly optimistic. Of course, West might just be saying this to the media, and in reality he is just biding his time until he tells the Hornets he is opting out, but I will take West at his word on this one. It sounds like West wants some security and he wants to play for an organization that knows where it is going. Demps can offer him one, but he can’t guarantee the other, and that will make signing him to an extension or a new contract difficult unless an owner jumps on board. I think West (and all the players for that matter) believe in Demps and Monty, but the question is whether or not the old regime caused too much long-term damage for that to even matter.

– With all that said, I still think West gives the Hornets a fair shot to retain his services, and when you glance at the NBA rosters post NBA draft, there are not many teams who require the services of a starting power forward. Even fewer teams need a power forward and have the money to offer anything more than the MLE. Barring a major trade, New Jersey and Indiana seem like the only threats and there are questions as to whether either team will even make a run at West, considering the age of their rosters and West’s uncertain future.

– This is random, but it makes sense to me. As I am watching the Dell Demps post-draft interview, I am thinking to myself, “GM’s have to come out and do this for every minor move. They have to explain to writers and their fan base why they did what they did.” Taking that forward, I think of some of the ridiculous trade proposals I see some people make to resurrect their favorite teams with no regard for the other teams in the trade. But remember, that other team has a GM who will have to go stand in front of reporters and give his rationale for making the trade.

So this will be my personal litmus test, and I advise everyone to do the same. Before I propose a trade that will help the Hornets, I will try to visualize the other teams GM standing (or in Dell’s case, sitting and rocking) in front of reporters and fans, telling them how he just made his team better. If I can not do that, I will not waste my time proposing the trade.

– Finally, I have not yet publicly spoken yet about the Hornets247/HornetsReport merger, but I am fully on board and cannot wait to see where it goes from here. What this partnership requires more than anything, is for us to come together as one community that has a goal of celebrating all of our unique voices, as opposed to tearing down others who might have differing points of view. The partnership also requires YOUR constant feedback, so that we can provide the best Hornets coverage on the web.

I am not going to sugarcoat the fact that we think that Hornets fans get the short end of the stick when it comes to local and national coverage. Our goal is to make this a thing of the past, and to turn these two sites into something that Hornets fans can be proud of. If we are doing a good job, let us know and we will keep doing it. If you would like to see something new, chime in. If 42, Joe, or Ryan do something that you don’t like, shoot us an email or comment. I would have included myself there, but as we all know, that just wouldn’t have been realistic.

– Enjoy this final week of NBA, and check back in once David West makes his decision for the latest news, commentaries, and opinions.


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